Working to preserve their national identities against the backdrop of cultural homo-genisation, regional countries are gathering for the colourful festival, ASEAN Culture Week 2004, which is taking place in Ha Noi and Ha Long Bay from August 6-13.
Including150 artists from10 ASEAN countries, the festivities feature performance and visual arts, national costume displays, crafts exhibits, a menagerie of different foods and arts workshops.
The opening ceremony will be at the Ha Noi Opera House on August 8; Ha Long Bay’s Tuan Chau Island will host the closing ceremony on August 11.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai initiated ASEAN Culture Week, rotating among member countries, at the ASEAN Summit held in Brunei Darussalam in 1999. His intent was based on the idea that an international festival would bring regional nations together to show each other their cultures and build a basis of understanding to develop friendship, co-operation and solidarity.
"We believe that such an activity will help raise public awareness of ASEAN cultures that are similar in some ways, but disparate in many," said a representative from the Embassy of the Philippines in Ha Noi. The previous ASEAN Culture Week was at the Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia
VNS - (23/07/2004)