Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — More than 1,200 local and international visitors flocked to HCM City’s Nguyễn Huệ Pedestrian Street to participate in a South Korea culture expo that opened on Saturday evening.
The HCM City-Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2017, which ends on December 3, is co-hosted by HCM City and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province of South Korea.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, said the festival marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“Việt Nam and South Korea have many similarities in terms of culture, history and people,” he said. “During the past years, the two countries have gained much success in most fields, including economics, culture, commerce and education.”
Kim Kwan Yong, governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do, noted that Việt Nam is South Korea’s third-largest trading partner.
The opening ceremony included artistic performances from musicians and others from 15 countries, including Russia, China, India, Turkey, Thailand, Slovakia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Latvia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Kuwait, and Malaysia.
The event, which aims to promote cultural exchange and economic cooperation between South Korea and Việt Nam, is expected to attract local citizens, members of the Korean community and other expatriates.
Themed “Cultural exchange for a prosperous Asia”, this year’s event features more than 30 programmes that combine the two countries’ traditional cultures, bringing to light the values of historical and cultural heritage in Gyeongju and Việt Nam.
The programmes include a parade, a variety of performances, a special exhibition on the two countries’ cultural exchanges, and an event involving South Korean residents in Việt Nam, among others.
Venues for the programmes are HCM City’s major tourist attractions and its historic places, including Nguyễn Huệ Street, September 23 Park, HCM City Hall plaza, Reunification Palace, and the Opera House.
Organisers selected HCM City as the stage for the event as it is home to many South Korean firms and expats and has an extensive road network.
More than 800,000 local and international visitors are expected to take part in the 23-day event.
The Gyeongju World Culture Expo, which began in 1998 by the Gyeongsangbuk-do provincial government and the Gyeongju city government, will be the third of its kind to be held overseas following the first event at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap in Cambodia in 2006, and the second one held in Istanbul in 2013.
The event is one of the most significant festivals of South Korea and has been organised eight times, both in and outside South Korea, attracting 66,000 artists from 345 countries and territories and 17 million visitors.
Gyeongju in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, 370km southeast of Seoul, was the former capital of the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla (from 57 BC to AD 935), which ruled two-thirds of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries. Many archaeological sites and cultural properties from this period remain in the city. — VNS