|The festival brought together more than 11,000 young people from the 11 regional countries and volunteers of SEA Games 31. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The culture of Southeast Asian nations was highlighted at a festival in Hà Nội on Saturday ahead of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31), the biggest regional sporting event.
The Southeast Asian Youth Festival that took place around Hoàn Kiếm lake with representatives from the embassies of Southeast Asian countries as well as Vietnamese ministries and agencies.
It brought together more than 11,000 young people from the 11 regional countries, volunteers of SEA Games 31, which will be officially held in the capital city of Hà Nội and 11 neighbouring cities and provinces from May 12-23.
The festival was intended to promote the image of Hà Nội and Việt Nam to regional and international friends, contributing to building regional peace, for a Southeast Asia of solidarity, friendship and prosperity.
Visitors joined a wide range of activities, including an exhibition on national flowers and dresses, cuisines and cultures of the countries, walking, painting, street arts and an art gala.
Sixteen cultural and art programmes will be held in Hà Nội’s districts from May 13 to 23 to celebrate the Games, praising the Party, late President Hồ Chí Minh, the land and people of Việt Nam and Hà Nội.
The Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union of Hà Nội also utilised social networks to promote the capital city’s image before, during and after the Games.
Hà Nội has encouraged local businesses to join efforts in product promotion, especially handicrafts and those that meet the OCOP (One Commune-One Product) standards, in line with regulations of the Organising Committee of SEA Games 31.
Apart from tourism events, including the Hanoi Tourism Festival, the Tourism Gift Festival and the Hanoi Food and Craft Village Tourism Festival, the city has decorated its streets and competition venues with banners and billboards to welcome the important regional sport event.
Hà Nội has completed preparations for SEA Games 31 and everything is in place for the region’s biggest sports event.
The capital city will host 18 sports at 16 venues, 12 managed by district-level authorities, three by the municipal Department of Culture and Sports, one by a business, and four by central agencies.
The city aims to contribute 25-30 per cent to the medal tally of the Vietnamese sports delegation.
The capital city will be hosting the opening and closing ceremonies of SEA Games 31 as well as the competitions of many sports.
Featuring 40 sports, SEA Games 31 is expected to attract around 10,000 participants. The biennial event was initially slated for late 2021 but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact.
Việt Nam has registered 965 athletes, including 534 males and 431 females, who are set to compete in all the 40 sports of the Games, striving to win 140 gold, 77 silver and 71 bronze medals and secure the top place in the tally.
At the 30th SEA Games in 2019, the Vietnamese sports delegation finished second in the overall medal tally, with 98 golds, 85 silvers and 105 bronzes, just behind the host, Philippines. — VNS