Visitors were impressed by the show of Ao dai (the Vietnamese traditional costume), the strong and attractive performance of Vietnamese martial arts – Vovinam, the rich flavors of authentic Vietnamese dishes, souvenirs and handicrafts, and other national specialties. All created a colorful party dedicated to a large number of guests who were overseas Vietnamese families and French friends.
|Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang speaking at the ceremony. (Photo: baotintuc)
With the theme of “Connecting Spring, Proud Tet,” the Association for the Promotion of Vietnamese Culture (APCV) organized the event to welcome the Lunar New Year. At the same time, it was to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a strategic partnership between Vietnam – France. It also marks the 4th anniversary of APCV’s founding.
Speaking at the ceremony, Diane Nguyen Duc emphasized APCV’s aspiration to bridge the French-Vietnamese culture, connect people, and spread the good values of Vietnam to the French as well as the Vietnamese born and raised in France. That is also the reason that APCV’s Tet program offers guests Vietnamese ao dai imprinted with outstanding cultural heritages of France such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre palace, Chambord castle, or specialties such as Macarons, romantic lavender from Provence…
“We want to make the French love the Ao Dai and Vietnamese beauty; at the same time, for young Vietnamese to embrace the values of French culture,” said Diane.
|Ao dai performance at the event. (Photo: baotintuc)
Éric Pliez, Mayor of the 20th arrondissement of Paris, said he was delighted to attend the Tet celebration and witness the development of the APCV, one of the 3,000 associations operating in the arrondissement.
He said that there are people from 110 nationalities living together in Paris, and many of them have resided in the 20th arrondissement, including the Vietnamese community, creating the diversity of the area.
“I understand that the Lunar New Year is a Vietnamese tradition that has existed for centuries and is the most important time of the year. It is a special moment to celebrate family reunion, the bond between different generations, and hope of a better new year”.
|Performing Vietnamese martial arts. (Photo: baotintuc)
|Introducing Vietnamese decoration during Tet holiday. (Photo: baotintuc)
Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang highly valued the APCV’s organization of the program, especially when Vietnam and France are marking 50 years of their diplomatic relations and 10 years of the strategic partnership in 2023.
He said what the association has done to popularise and preserve the Vietnamese culture is highly encouraging, and that contributions by each people will help reinforce the two countries’ friendship.
The ambassador also called for the APCV’s continued efforts to educate younger generations about friendship and solidarity.
Coming to this celebration, Valencia Vacca and Casandra Theiler dressed in traditional Vietnamese Ao dai. They said that through a friend at APCV, they know the Vietnamese culture and are impressed by especially the Ao dai. For Guerrier Amar, the Vietnamese Vovinam martial arts outfit is his favorite and he has been wearing it for the past 40 years.
Talking about his journey with APCV, Vincent Galland shared his thoughts about APCV.
“Although I can’t speak Vietnamese, when I joined APCV, I had many opportunities to explore Vietnam, from culture to costumes, as well as the differences between the two cultures: Vietnam and France. Like a breath of fresh air to Paris’s busy life, APCV enhances the cultural closeness between the two peoples.”
|Visitors are having drinks. (Photo: baotintuc)
Founded in January 2019, the APCV gathers more than 200 members who are Vietnamese people and foreigners from five countries, namely France, the US, Sweden, Japan, and Vietnam. Aside from the headquarters in Paris, it also has branches in San Francisco of the US, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City.
Diane Nguyen Duc said that APCV’s principles and purpose are only encapsulated in three keywords: spread, connect, and preserve. Accordingly, they aim to spread Vietnamese culture to French and international friends, preserve Vietnamese culture for young people born abroad, and connect to create good relationships among people.
|Food corner. (Photo: baotintuc)
In this spirit, APCV has established 6 clubs specializing in Ao Dai, cuisine, tourism, academics, art, and health in order to attract young generations of overseas Vietnamese and French.
In the coming time, APCV will mobilize politicians and organizations to influence the French government to recognize the Ao Dai Festival, a day when thousands of Vietnamese and French friends who love this traditional costume can embrace and wear Ao dai. Besides, APCV also plans to organize a culinary contest to spread this culture of Vietnam to international friends.