More than 40 cultural events have been organised in various cities of Viet Nam as part of the France Year in Viet Nam, which marks the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties (1973-2013) between the two countries.
Benoit Paumier, general inspector in charge of cultural affairs of the France's Ministry of Culture and the general commissar of the France Year in Viet Nam, spoke about those cultural events.
Almost half of the France Year events in Viet Nam focus on culture. Why does France place so much importance on culture?
In our programme, culture plays an important role because it is a good way to make France better known among Vietnamese people and Viet Nam better known among French people, and in particular among young generations.
Our two countries have had close cultural relations for a long time, but it is very important to renew and modernise the image that each population has of the other.
What are the most important cultural events on this occasion?
The cultural programme of the France Year in Viet Nam features diverse activities, including music, dance, photography, visual arts, cinema and literature. It also features several big-scale public events such as a concert featuring French and Vietnamese songs and electronic music scheduled for October 12 at Hang Day Stadium in Ha Noi.
There will also be a grandiose spectacle of 3D images projected on the Independence Palace in HCM City in December to mark the end of the year.
Among other events, I also want to mention the performances of French orchestras and ballets at opera houses in Ha Noi and HCM City, photo exhibitions and a French film tour that will come to about 20 cities in Viet Nam.
The French artists who will come to Viet Nam are very well-known in our country: choreographer Jean-Claude Gallotta, jazz musician Eric Truffaz, La Grande Sophie and the rock electro group Poni Hoax. They all seem excited to come to Viet Nam and join the activities.
The Viet Nam Year in France will be organised during the first half of next year. What events have you planned?
The project is based on the principle of reciprocity between our two countries. It is therefore logical that after the France Year in Viet Nam comes the Viet Nam Year in France. It is still too early to talk about it, because we are currently working actively with our Vietnamese friends. But I can tell you that the programme will be very rich. A number of cultural partners in France wish to take part in this event. They include prestigious museums, theatres, festivals and multiple associations who are preparing the projects throughout France. The celebration of the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival in 2014 may be an important moment for the Viet Nam Year in France.
We expect that those events will give new impetus to the co-operation between our two countries in every field including politics, economics, education, science and culture.
What parts of Vietnamese culture interest you?
During my several visits to Viet Nam, I appreciated your beautiful country and its exceptional patrimony. In particular, I am very impressed by the dynamism and the youth of its population. I also appreciate its gastronomy. I hope that during the France Year in Viet Nam and Viet Nam Year in France, we will have occasions to celebrate this common passion, which unites Vietnamese and French people. — VNS