Promoting Vietnamese Culture to the World

Tran Hai Linh, member of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, chairman of the Vietnam-Korea Business & Investment Association (VKBIA) shared with the Vietnam Times about strengthening the capacity to promote Vietnamese culture to the world.

Promoting Vietnamese Culture to the World
Tran Hai Linh, member of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, chairman of the Vietnam-Korea Business & Investment Association (VKBIA).

Clarifying the “cultural industry”

What are the reasons for South Korea’s success in promoting its culture to the world?

With an early vision of policy making for the development of the cultural industry, persistence, unity in long-term strategic planning, and effective methods of simultaneous implementation, Korea has succeeded in building and promoting soft power resources.

For example, the “Hallyu wave” is an obvious factor. (Hallyu is the term used to refer to the phenomenal growth of Korean culture, since the late 1990s).

Korean cultural goods that have become mainstream include movies, K-pop, K-dance, food, fashion, and cosmetics.

These goods are popular in regions with cultural similarities such as China, Taiwan, Japan, and some Southeast Asian countries. They also have a certain influence on regions with cultural differences such as Europe, Africa, the Middle East.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, along with exporting cultural goods to foreign countries, Korea also attracted millions of tourists to the country to visit and experience culture.

The Hallyu wave is spreading more strongly, receiving the attention and acceptance of many people, especially young people.

It not only promotes the image, country and people, enhances the position of Korea in the international arena, but also contributes significantly to the socio-economic development. It is the driving force behind the development of the Korean cultural industry.

In September 2021, the Oxford English dictionary added 26 new words of Korean origin, including the word “Hallyu”.

From Korea’s experience, what difficulties do you think the promotion of Vietnamese culture abroad is facing?

I think that Vietnam has not clearly defined the definition of the phrase “cultural industry,” to shape the promotion of Vietnamese culture to be “faster, farther”.

Awareness of the cultural promotion scope of sectors is still rigid, and there are even differences between localities.

In fact, the position of culture in general, the goal of promoting Vietnamese culture abroad is still low and has not really been put on a par with other fields.

Human resources for cultural development and promotion are weak, lacking professional and management skills, especially innovation capacity, business administration skills to develop the culture.

The investment in culture is also not commensurate with the role of culture in further development and promotion.

The level of investment in culture in the total budget is relatively low compared to other areas, not commensurate with reality, and uneven.

Promoting valuable cultural goods

To promote culture abroad effectively, what content should Vietnam pay attention to?

Culture plays an important role in the development of a country. Our Party and State emphasize that culture is the spiritual foundation of society, the goal and driving force of socio-economic development.

The process of globalization and international integration is deepening, helping Vietnamese culture to be more widely promoted in the world.

The cultural industry is being oriented as one of the pillars of the economy. The economy is developing and people’s living standards are improving.

They have formed a market with increasing demand, which is an important basis for introducing Vietnamese culture abroad.

In my opinion, to integrate into the constant flow of the world, besides new creations and thinking, we also need to study “customer’s cultural tastes”. Vietnam also needs to promote technology applications that have been effectively supporting the process of promoting valuable cultural goods abroad.

What are the cultural promotion activities of the Vietnamese community in Korea?

Some outstanding activities promoting Vietnamese culture in Korea can be mentioned as:

Successfully organized the first Vietnamese culture festival in Korea in 2011 at Sookmyung Women’s University Museum. The 2nd festival was in Uijeongbu, 2012 and the 3rd festival was held at Chungnam University, Daejeon, Korea in 2013.

The 4th time was in Muan County, Jeonnam Province, Kwangju in 2014, the 5th festival in 2015 at Open Art Center, Gwangmyung City, and the 6th time in 2016 at D-Cube, Sindolim Station, Seoul.

Promoting Vietnamese Culture to the World
The Vietnamese community in Korea promotes the beauty of Vietnamese ao dai.

The scale of the festival is getting bigger. The festival in 2016 attracted more than 10,000 people.

The festival has promoted the beauty of Vietnamese culture, country, people to international friends and Korean people. It is also a bridge to help the community unite.

In 2016, the Vietnamese Association in Korea and partners organized the Vietnam-Korea Friendship Culture Festival.

The event was held in many provinces of Korea such as Seoul, Busan, Kwangju and attracted tens of thousands of attendees.

Major events and programs have introduced the beauty of Vietnamese culture and people to international friends, contributing to the solidarity among Vietnamese community members in Korea. They also contribute to promote better relations between the two countries Vietnam-Korea.

Rosie Nguyen