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Mar 03, 2024 / 07:45

Families of Heads of Mission explore Vietnamese ethnic cuisine

The engagement is a potent reminder of the significance of cultural exchange, food, and sustainable development.

Spouses of Heads of Mission (SHOM) have explored the diverse cuisine of Vietnam’s rural and ethnic minority communities at a conference held under the support of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

 Spouses of Heads of Missions enjoy food and drink of Vietnamese ethnic minorities. Photos: IFAD

The event, which took place at the French Hospital in Hanoi, gave SHOM members a special chance to interact with these communities through their culinary traditions.

SHOM, a network fostering connection and cultural exchange among the expatriate diplomatic community, facilitated an immersive experience that went beyond mere food tasting. Attendees gained insights into the nutritional value and cultural significance of each recipe, fostering understanding and appreciation of the communities these recipes came from.

A key highlight of the workshop was the launch of “Vietnamese Recipes and Stories from Ethnic Families,” a remarkable cookbook showcasing the culinary heritage of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities.

This IFAD publication serves as a valuable resource for preserving traditions, promoting cultural understanding, and raising awareness about the significance of sustainable food systems.

“The spouses of heads of mission play a vital role in fostering cultural exchange,” said Willem Aumann, spouse of IFAD’s Country Director in Vietnam. “We are honored to collaborate with SHOM and launch this exceptional cookbook, which makes a valuable contribution to the understanding of Vietnam’s diverse culinary landscape,” she stated. 

 Spouses of Heads of Missions help promote Vietnamese cuisine. 

The workshop covered significant topics like better nutrition and sustainable rural development in addition to cultural immersion. In order to create a more sustainable and healthy future, SHOM members actively engaged in discussions about how to incorporate traditional practices into modern food systems.

“This event provided a valuable platform to explore the history of Vietnamese nutrition and delve into the culinary wisdom of ethnic minorities,” said Prof. Dr. Ho Thu Mai, a specialist in nutrition at the French Hospital Hanoi. “By rediscovering these traditions, we can contribute to promoting healthy eating habits for all.”

Sharing the same view, Ilaria Firmian, IFAD’s expert on ethnic minorities highlighted the importance of these communities’ food systems in preserving biodiversity and combating malnutrition. “By incorporating these practices into today’s world, we can create a more sustainable and nutritious future for everyone,” she said.

The workshop served as a powerful reminder of the importance of cultural exchange, sustainable development, and the common language of food.

 IFAD, during its 30 years operating in Vietnam, helps transform Vietnam's rural lives.