With a theme celebrating “Cultural Heritage with Integration and Development,” the week-long program from June 7 to 12 united nearly 30 troupes from eight nations: France, Belgium, Spain, Canada, Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, and Vietnam. Artists became ambassadors, sharing their unique cultural and artistic heritage with the local community, creating a vibrant cultural tapestry.

Janick Appelmans, a 51-year-old member of the Belgian royal stilt walkers troupe, Koninklijke Steltenlopers Merchtem, attending the festival for the fifth time, shared the challenges of coordinating travel for their large group of 47, along with their bulky musical instruments and stilts. Despite the logistical hurdles, the troupe expressed extreme satisfaction with their journey, which included special travel arrangements.

Mariana Neto Brito Luz, representing the Hiphop Cergy team from France, shed light on their participation as part of an exchange program between Hue and Cergy, a commune in the French department of Val-d’Oise, northwest of Paris. Since establishing cooperative relations in April 2019, numerous artist exchange initiatives have taken place between the two sides.

Ooshiro Yuuga, leader of Japan’s Eisa Urakaji drum dance troupe, marked their first visit to Hue with enthusiasm, eager to introduce Vietnam and other countries to the captivating art of Eisa drum dancing.

Additionally, the Vietnamese team presented “don ca tai tu,” a southern amateur singing style rooted in Hue court music and southern folk music. This art form, recognized as one of Vietnam’s primary music genres, was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Representative List in 2013.

The festival successfully fostered cultural diplomacy among the participating art troupes, fostering friendship and cross-cultural understanding between nations and local communities.

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