|Love is in the air: Singer Phuong Linh performs the song Ao Dai (Long Dress) during the concert titled Viet Nam Youth, The Story of Peace. — Photo tuoitre.vn
HCM CITY (VNS)— The crowds that filled Hoa Binh Theatre seemed overwhelmed with emotion on Thursday night as flocks of white pigeons flew over a screen and dancers performed Bo Cau Trang (White Pigeon).
The performance was part of a free concert highlighting patriotism and peace, which featured 18 popular Vietnamese singers such as Hong Nhung, Uyen Linh and Doan Trang. Their repertoire included Dat Nuoc (The Country) by Pham Minh Tuan, Chieu Tren Que Huong Toi (Afternoon in My Homeland) and Mua Xuan Lang Lua, Lang Hoa (Spring: Village of Rice, Village of Flowers). Images depicting the country, people, patriotism and love for peace were displayed in the background.
Songs like Hue – Sai Gon – Ha Noi and Mua Xuan Tu Nhung Gieng Dau (Spring from Oil Fields) reflected the patriotic spirit. As pop singer Tan Minh completed the song Noi Dao Xa (Islands Far Away) which conveys the sentiments of soldiers on islands to people inland, the applause continued to echo for minutes.
"It's such a creative idea to use music to disseminate concepts of peace and war, about which the youth remain still vague," said Ton Nu Thi Ninh, chairwoman of the Viet Nam Peace and Development Foundation. "Viet Nam's music industry has so many beautiful and meaningful songs, conveying splendid messages. The peace story here is also told through the connection between generations – those who went through wartime and those who were born in or after the 1990s. I think that the love for peace should be fostered every day, not just at times of war."
Love between people was also a common theme.
"In wartime, we lost 36 of the 56 members of our class," veteran musician Tran Tien recalled. "I will never forget all these moments, so I wrote songs stressing that people want peace, not war." He went on to launch into his composition Diep Khuc Tinh Yeu (Chorus of Love), which begins with the line "Remembering the first kiss..."
Many songs voiced hopes for peace, expressing faith in a world without war, a world full of love and laughs. Khat vong (Aspiration), Song Nhu Nhung Doa Hoa (Live Like Bunches of Flowers), Canh Dong Hoa Binh (Field of Peace), Em Nhu Chim Bo Cau Trang (I'm Like a White Pigeon) and We Are The World resounded before the show ended with all participating artists belting out Tinh Yeu Hoa Binh (Love for Peace).
"I was born and grew up in peacetime. However, I have never felt love for peace as strong as now, when our national sovereignty is threatened," said Nhu Nguyet, a student from the HCM City-based College of Foreign Economic Relations. "The Story of Peace programme with its strong messages will surely capture the hearts of other young people like me."
Chairman of the Viet Nam National Union of Students Le Quoc Phong voiced a similar opinion, saying the show was "like a journey that inscribes the thinking, aspiration, responsibility and sentiments of young people in the cause of national protection and construction, which is demonstrated through the language of music".
Enterprises contributed VND6.1 billion (US$290,000) during the show to Tuoi Tre newspaper's Join Forces to Defend the National Sovereignty over East Sea programme, bringing the total raised to VND48 billion.
The show will be performed in Japan this October, according to the show's director Pham Hoang Nam.
The concert was organised by the Viet Nam National Union of Students, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper and Viet Vision Company. — VNS