On November 28th and 29th,the 7th Korea – Vietnam Food & Culture Festival 2015 was held at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Korea. Started in 2008, this festival is held annually with the aim to enhance the close relationship between the two countries as well as introducing Korean culture to Vietnamese people.
Organized by the Viet Nam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in collaboration with Korean Embassy in Viet Nam and Korean Community in Ha Noi, the sponsors of this year’s festival included Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corp (aT), Korea Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA), Korean Cultural Center in Viet Nam, Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and KAFDA.
Visitors at the festival had such great experiences tasting Korean foods, along with Vietnamese ones and enjoying Vietnamese and Korean cultural exchange atmosphere. Hundreds of kiosks selling Korean foods, including kimchi, teokbukki, kimbab, jajangmyeong, fish cake and bibimbap filled the vicinity. Apart from these foods, that are already familiar with Vietnamese people through Korean daily dramas and movies, various popular foods among young people such as seasoned chicken, patbingsu, Korean snacks and ice – cream were also introduced at the event. Moreover, visitors also had the chance to try making traditional Korean foods namely kimchi and fried rice. Together with Korean food, Vietnamese foods were also at sight to offer more Vietnamese foods to Korean community in the country.
Visitors had lots of fun experiencing Korean traditional games. People waited in lines to play Korean games such as Tuho (throwing a stick into a box), Jegichagi (kicking a shuttlecock-like object), and Yutnori (traditional board game). Some of the games are similar to Vietnamese ones and it is such a great thing for people to understand more about both countries’ traditions, loving and enjoying the games. Traditional Korean dancing and traditional Vietnamese music were also introduced at the festival.
Furthermore, this festival provided a great opportunity for Korean companies to promote their products in Vietnam. Products ranging from agricultural to cosmetic and electronic could be easily found at the festival. Books and document about Korea tourism were also distributed there. Many people also showed their interest towards Korea, wishing to visit Korea at least once. “Thanks to the images of Korea out there, I would like to visit Korea once to see all those beautiful things”, said a visitor.
With the popularity of Hallyu (Korean Wave), fan clubs of Korean idols are also presented at the festival. EXO, Girls’ Generation, TVXQ and Running man (variety show) kiosks were always crowded with their fans.
The highlight of the festival was the special appearance of Korean comedian Park Jun Ha as the MC, together with Korean boyband Nolza, Korean singer/ actor Lee Jung, the Queen of Korean Ballad Baek Ji Young and Haha – member of Running Man show on the first night. Nolza has brought an exciting atmosphere for the festival with their songs, while singer Lee Jung created a romantic vibe with his ballad songs. The collaboration between Nolza and Lee Jung was terrific. Vietnamese singers Trung Quan idol and Minh Hang rocked the stage with their hits. Although not everyone knew Korean, surprisingly, the audience sang along with Baek Ji Young’s hits such as Like Being Hit by a Bullet, Don’t Forget and I Won’t Love. Both the artist and the listeners surely had a touching moment. Last but not least, Haha showed up on the stage, burning the stage with his dance songs. He also sang several trot songs, introducing this type of music to the Vietnamese. The following night also welcomed Nolza, Minh Hang and Thanh Duy idol, a Vietnamese singer who can sing Korean and Trot song.
The 7th Korea – Vietnam Food & Culture Festival 2015 was estimated to have welcomed more than 10,000 people and this number was much greater than the years before. This year’s festival surely accomplished its mission of promoting and spreading Korean culture among Vietnamese. It is expected that next year will be better and bring more interesting experiences to visitors.
By Pham Hong Anh, ASEAN Correspondent from Vietnam