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Culture ministry official urges better behaviour during festivals

Update: February, 02/2014 - 22:35
The re-enactment of a ceremony worshipping land and the rice gods at a festival in Hue. — VNS Photo Phuoc Buu

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam celebrates around 8,000 festivals every year, including several folk festivals and rituals during the Tet holidays. Culture ministry officials say they are attempting to ensure that these festivals are not overly commercialised and continue to reflect the true values of Vietnamese culture.

According to Pham Van Thuy, Director of the Department of Local Culture under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the celebration of folk festivals around the country has helped to conserve the values of the local culture, as well educate the young generation about the local traditions.

The various craft festivals have introduced unique Vietnamese craftsmanship to the international community and benefitted the growth of tourism and trade, he added.

However, several issues are gradually emerging, which could lower the public's interest in these festivals, including congestion and chaos caused by huge crowds of people, gambling and an increase in petty theft.

Thuy listed the festivals in the Tran Temple in the Nam Dinh province, the Hung Temple in the Phu Tho province, and the Huong Pagoda in Ha Noi as the main festivals and locations where such problems are becoming major issues.

A performance of Bac Ninh's quan ho sing at a festival in the Hoi An Ancient Town. — VNS Photo Phuoc Buu

The ministry official also noted that the reconstruction, redesign and restoration at several cultural and religious sites had ruined the values and heritage of the local communities.

In addition, the visitors to these festivals are frequently harassed by fake beggars, as well as charged high prices for the goods sold at these events. These problems cast the country's festivals in a bad light.

The ministry aims to intensify the monitoring of such activities and will insist on closer collaboration with the local cultural agencies to monitor the various activities held during the festivals at various localities.

In addition, the ministry will encourage visitors and participants at the festivals to follow the guides provided by organisers, and stop any actions deemed contrary to the nation's traditions and culture, including burning holy papers outside the designated areas, gambling and sticking money on statues at religious sites. — VNS

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