The Vietnamese cultural space in South Africa opened the series of “Vietnam Day” events abroad in 2023. This was the first time this cultural diplomacy activity came to Africa, as reported by TG&VN.
The 2023 Vietnam Day in South Africa, which took place in Pretoria from September 14-15, showcased Vietnam’s rich cultural identity and vibrant energy. It attracted a large number of South African visitors who were eager to explore and experience Vietnam.
|Vice State President Vo Thi Anh Xuan at the inauguration ceremony of the Vietnamese Cultural Space in South Africa. Photo: Department of Cultural Diplomacy and UNESCO|
The Vietnamese cultural space in South Africa marked the beginning of the “Vietnam Day” events abroad for 2023. This was the first time this cultural diplomacy activity was held in Africa. Vietnam Cultural Space will also be held in France and Japan in October and November, respectively.
The event, with the theme of “Origins, Vitality, and Continuity,” was organized during the official visit to South Africa by Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan from September 14-17.
Vice President Xuan inaugurated the Vietnamese Cultural Space in South Africa and participated in a ceremony to commemorate the 78th anniversary of Vietnam’s National Day and the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and South Africa.
|Deputy Director of the Department of Cultural Diplomacy and UNESCO Hoang Huu Anh introduces the photo exhibition showcasing vivid images of Vietnam’s natural and cultural heritages recognized by UNESCO. Photo: Department of Cultural Diplomacy and UNESCO|
The theme of “Origins” was expressed through world cultural heritage sites in Vietnam recognized by UNESCO, as well as in the “Vietnam’s Vitality” photo series depicting traditional festivals, daily life, and Dong Ho folk paintings that reflect the identity of Vietnam’s wet rice civilization.
|Visitors learn how to create Vietnamese Dong Ho folk paintings. Photo: Department of Cultural Diplomacy and UNESCO|
|An artisan shows children attending the “Vietnam Days Abroad” in South Africa how to make lacquerware. Photo: Department of Cultural Diplomacy and UNESCO|
The theme of “Vitality” was showcased through the “Vietnam’s Vitality” photo exhibition, presenting a modern and beautiful Vietnam with happy and optimistic people. The vitality of contemporary Vietnam was also depicted through large-scale lacquer paintings by artist Tran Anh Tuan, showcasing the seasons of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, and interactive activities.
The exhibition also highlighted the “Continuity” of traditional cultural values in Vietnam that have been embraced and preserved by young people. It featured royal costumes of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) and the craftsmanship of artisans from Dong Ho and Xuan La craft villages who are dedicated to preserving traditional values. These aspects drew great attention from the viewers.
Alongside lacquerware, visitors had the opportunity to engage in another interactive activity – learning how to create Dong Ho folk paintings. An artisan demonstrated the use of woodblocks and poonah paper to create these intricate paintings.
|Guests try on the royal costumes of the Nguyen Dynasty. Photo: Department of Cultural Diplomacy and UNESCO|
Guests also had the opportunity to experience dressing in traditional Vietnamese costumes, taking photos, and creating “to he” (toy figurines made from glutinous rice powder). These activities were highly appreciated and guests were able to take home their creations as souvenirs.
“Vietnam Days Abroad” is a national promotional event hosted annually by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2010. The event receives enthusiastic participation from Vietnamese localities, enterprises, organizations, international communities, and overseas Vietnamese communities.
Following “Vietnam Days Abroad” in South Africa, similar events will be held in France and Japan in November and December.