Italians believe in power of culture

June 02, 2018 - 09:00

On the occasion of the National Day of the Italian Republic, Ambassador Cecilia Piccioni sends a message to mark the anniversary and celebrate the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

Bellissimo: The first celebration of the Italy-ASEAN Week in Hà Nội (November 2017). — Photo courtesy of the embassy
Viet Nam News

On the occasion of the National Day of the Italian Republic, Ambassador Cecilia Piccioni sends a message to mark the anniversary and celebrate the diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

June 2 marks the anniversary of the Italian Republic. Indeed, 72 years ago on June 2nd 1946, the Italian people gave birth to our Republic thereby laying down our democratic foundations on the pillars of freedom and democracy.

Thus, every June 2 we celebrate the beginning of the Italian journey towards development, industrialisation and international integration. Through this very transformative, not always simple, journey, Italy has become a major player at the regional and international level, a founding father of the EU, a member of the G7 and G20.

But this year’s commemoration bears an additional, special significance, as it also coincides with the celebrations of 45 years of Italian-Vietnamese diplomatic relations.

Indeed, Italian-Vietnamese cooperation has been flourishing over past decades, taking our bilateral relationship to the next level and making it truly strategic. We’ve been working together across various fields to achieve our ambitious targets set forward by our Strategic Partnership and then reaffirmed on the occasions of the many visits that have taken place in the last few years, at all levels. As a result of these institutional exchanges not only are our economic and commercial partnerships thriving, but every day more Italian and Vietnamese companies show growing interest in our respective countries, as the success and the figures of the latest Italian business delegation with more than 60 top Italian companies proved last November. Our two-way trade is steadily progressing, having reached US$4.3 billion.

Thanks to our partnership we work hand in hand, sharing experiences and knowledge and tackling some of the most crucial global challenges we all face, such as environmental protection, disaster risk reduction or preservation of cultural heritage. Against this backdrop, on June 5, we’ll enrich our collaboration in the fight against climate change and its impact, providing a necessary framework to identify and implement environmental protection solutions, thus strengthening Việt Nam’s resilience.

Cultural exchange is also one of the most meaningful pillars of our bilateral relations, as underscored by our President during his historic visit to Việt Nam in 2015. Undeniably, through bridging gaps and breaking down walls, culture proves the most powerful and effective tool to strengthen relationships. Its preservation and dissemination are at the core of the Italian global approach based on mediation, dialogue and acceptance. It is also thanks to such a holistic approach that in the last three years the mutual understanding and awareness of our respective heritages have dramatically increased throughout all Vietnamese Provinces thanks to the wide variety of events we’ve organised in Hà Nội, in HCM City and lately also in Đà Nẵng where we are engaged in strengthening our presence.

In short, today we can proudly say that Italy and Việt Nam know each other better and are closer than ever! It is always moving for me to see how much the Vietnamese public loves Italy and its icons. Today, the Vietnamese know and appreciate truly Italian food, they value the inventiveness and creativity of our design, art, music, and in the work of hundreds of thousands of artisans, whose creations are still deeply inspired by tradition, but are now efficiently crafted with the help of cutting-edge technology! We are also working with many provinces in this capacity, knowing that high quality artifacts are key for a sustainable and competitive manufacturing industry. We are cooperating in the training field, sharing our know-how and best practices to enhancing the competitiveness of Vietnamese products. To this end, in 2017 we’ve established two Technological Centres for the production of leather shoes and textile garments and enhanced our scientific co-operation programme.

In the same vein, strongly believing in the power of culture, we have decided to offer to the Vietnamese public on the occasion of our National Day a classical music delight. It will unfold along with the notes and poetry of the world-renowned Gioacchino Rossini, commemorated this year for the 150th anniversary of his passing. This is consistent with our commitment to make each one of our National Days an occasion to enchant the public with a special Italian treat, just as it happened with our outdoor fashion show on Lê Phụng Hiểu in 2016 or with the ‘Raffaello Opera Omnia’ digital exhibition in 2017.

The decision to bring to Việt Nam some of the most iconic arias from Rossini’s repertoire, embodies our way to engage with Vietnamese counterparts in the cultural promotional activities, within the framework of a genuine partnership and a special focus on the value of ‘sharing’ good practices and knowledge. Thanks to an unprecedented collaboration between the newly established Sun Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mo Ochanine and the Associazione Concertistica Romana, we intend to take the Hà Nội public along a journey of timeless harmony made of Rossini’s unique notes and words.

A key role in making this initiative possible has been played by the sponsors, modern art patrons that have greatly contributed to make this initiative possible: Piaggio, Leonardo, Ariston, Bedeschi, Ghella, Hưng Yên, CAE, Mapei, Studio de Masi Taddei-Vasoli. As Rossini with his unique art, they keep on representing Italian gifts of creativity, leadership and farsighted vision .  — VNS