Learning to dance to Korean culture

November 12, 2012 | 15:26
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The Vietnam-Korea Culture and Food Festival 2012, part of a series of activities to celebrate 20 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries, succeeded in showcasing the distinctive culture identity of each country’s humanity.

Nearly 50 booths of Vietnamese and Korean businesses featuring typical agricultural produces of each country attracted throngs of visitors during two festival days November 3-4, 2012 at Keangnam Garden west of Hanoi.

There, the visitors had a chance to indulge in youthful festive ambiance and enjoy dishes from the distinctive cuisine of  the two countries like kimbap, bulgogi, mixed noodles, spring roll tteobokki, Vietnamese noodle soup (pho), grilled pork noodle soup (bun cha) and tropical fruit variety. A wide range of entertainment performances and folk games such as lion dances, juggling, K-pop and Vietnamese traditional martial art shows also featured on the two-day festival.

Nearly 13,000 Koreans are working, studying and living in Vietnam and approximately 120,000 Vietnamese people are residing, studying and working in South Korea at present. Similarly, residents of both countries who visit each other’s country amount to 650,000 each year.

Hence, the festival, the fourth of its kind, served as a virtual bridge cultivating mutual understanding between people in the two countries. Over the years, Vietnam has proven proactive in promoting Korean culture abroad while Vietnamese culture and cuisine has become increasingly favoured in Korea.

“Strong cultural exchanges help cement ties and strengthen mutual understanding between people of our two countries,” said Korean ambassador to Vietnam Ha Chan Ho, who said the  Food Festival reflected the two nations’ solidarity.

Sharing the mindset of the Korean ambassador, Vietnam’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat said: “Culture and cuisine are ‘the ambassadors of goodwill’ to help promote the image of Korean and Vietnamese land and people. The occasion like such is of great importance and should be further expanded since they help nurture understanding between partners, friends and colleagues in our two countries, from there facilitating bilateral economic and trade cooperation as well as cultural links.”

Looking back on the past 20-years, Vietnam and Korea have scaled up bilateral ties to strategic partnership relations and witnessed exceptional growth in diverse trade, investment, culture, education, agriculture and rural development areas.

Korea has upheld Vietnam in carrying out projects to shape up new countryside model following Korea’s Saemaul Undong model and expediting projects on safe water supply and rural areas’ environmental sanitation, hunger eradication and poverty reduction through agricultural development as well as launching quality and high-yielding agricultural products.

The burgeoning ties between the two countries over the past two decades were the offspring of constant efforts by both countries’ top leaders and the corporate community. The Vietnam-Korea Food and Cuisine Festival is an important part in the chain of corporate social activities sponsored by the Korean community for  Vietnam’s development.

Apart from nurturing cultural exchanges and consolidating solidarity between the two nations, the festival sought to contribute to charity activities. Accordingly, all the proceedings will be donated to Vietnam’s charity funds.

The third Vietnam-Korea Culture and Food Festival in 2011 reportedly awarded $10,000 to Vietnam’s different relief funds.

By Thuy Ha


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