|Our corner of Asia: A section of the Viet Nam ASEAN Cultural Heritage Space portrayed the cultural identity of Vietnamese localities and ASEAN countries during the festival in Hoi An. — VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
by Phuoc Buu
QUANG NAM (VNS)— Hoi An has been a centre of cultural exchange between neighbouring ASEAN countries and provinces over the five days of the fifth Quang Nam Heritage Festival, which came to a close yesterday.
Theatre groups from the ASEAN countries of Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and the Philippines took part in several performances in the province's cities of Hoi An and Tam Ky.
The artists portrayed the cultural identity of their home countries as well as expressing their desire for friendship and peace across the region.
At the exhibition Viet Nam - ASEAN Cultural Heritage Space, the countries involved used photographs, their traditional costumes and national symbols to give visitors a brief taste of their respective cultures. The rich cultures and potential for tourism in Ha Noi, Bac Ninh, Quang Binh, Hue, HCM City, Kien Giang and An Giang were also highlighted.
Many local crafts, early paintings, musical instruments and antiques from the Dong Son, Sa Huynh and Oc Eo civilisations were also on display.
The exhibition, set amongst 23 ruong houses (traditional wooden houses with many beams and pillars), was one of the festival's main attractions, with nearly 20,000 local people and tourists visiting.
Several live musical performances were on the programme, including ca Hue, a form of Hue royal court music. Quang Nam folksinging, don ca tai tu (Southern music) at night also added to the festivals bustling atmosphere and the riot of colour and sound.
During the event, visitors also had a chance to taste various kinds of culinary specialties from the region and around the country.
Many academics and commentators also gathered for seminars discussing the sustainable relation between tourism and heritage and how to generate models of "green growth" for Quang Nam.
Local tourism companies announced several new ecotours that will add to Hoi An's diversity, including a bicycle tour to Thanh Ha Village and a boat trip to the luscious Triem Tay Islet.
Authorities believe that the festival has enhanced Hoi An's reputation as a tourist destination as well as other UNESCO-recognised sites including the My Son Sanctuary and Cham Island.
According to Tran Minh Ca, deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee, the festival was attended by 54 different ethnic groups from around the country, giving international visitors a comprehensive introduction to the nations cultural makeup.
It also linked ASEAN countries with Japan and South Korea, creating a wider range of cultural exchanges, he said.
Hoi An has been bustling and full of tourists during the festival, despite this being low season for the tourist industry.
Hoi An ended the festival by saying farewell to their visitors after the last performance, a parade of beauty contestants from the festival's Vietnamese Ethnic Peagant. — VNS