The impulse to identify Vietnam on the world map

With a rich cultural identity and great achievements in the development process, Vietnam possesses valuable assets of 'soft power', which need to be promoted, creating new impetus to increase 'Vietnamese identity' on a global scale.
The impulse to 'identify Vietnam' on the world map
Artists perform Vietnamese traditional musical instruments in the program "Vietnam Day in France", November 6. (Source: VNA)

Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang made the remarks in an interview on the occasion of the Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc attending the 42nd Session of the UNESCO General Assembly and attending many cultural events, notably the opening ceremony of Vietnam Day in France 2023.

Could you please share the significanes and highlights of the Vietnam Day in France 2023?

The Vietnam Day in France held this time is an important event, on the occasion of the anniversary of major milestones in the two countries' relations, which are five decades of diplomatic relations and 10 years of the Strategic Partnership, contributing to enhance the proud development of Vietnam - France relations.

Diverse activities are implemented from the beginning of this year in the two countries in the political field, exchanges of high-level leaders of the two countries, promoting economic cooperation, trade, investment, science and technology, and training... along with dozens of cultural and artistic performance activities, painting, cinema, sports exchanges, exchanges in the fields of heritage, conservation - museums and cuisine which reflect the richness of the development and depth of the two countries' relationship.

Vietnam Day in France is an opportunity for the two sides to continue fostering friendship and creating momentum for bilateral cooperation. The timing of the event bears the great significance, just a few weeks after the phone talk between General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and French President Emmanuel Macron. It can be said that this is also the first implementation step of one of the contents agreed upon by senior leaders at the phone talk, which is strengthening people-to-people exchanges, one of the five pillars of the Vietnam - France Strategic Partnership.

The impulse to 'identify Vietnam' on the world map
The dragon dance performance impressed many guests at the Colors of Vietnamese Culture event at UNESCO headquarters. (Source: VNA)

"Vietnamese cultural Night" or Vietnamese Cultural Day in Saintes... are sucessful outstanding cultural diplomatic events organized by the Embassy. Why do you choose culture as one of the implementation focuses in this special year of bilateral relations?

Culture is a strength of Vietnam and is considered as a great "asset" of the nation and of foreign affairs. The Cultural Diplomacy Strategy until 2030 has determined that cultural diplomacy contributes to deepening and stabilizing Vietnam's relations with partners; ensuring national and ethnic interests, creating and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment; mobilizing external resources, turning favorable conditions and the country's position into resources for socio-economic development; at the same time, honoring the values and beauty of Vietnamese culture, absorbing the quintessence of human culture, thereby arousing the desire to develop the country, strengthen soft power and enhance national position.

Determining that culture is as a category within the five pillars of the Vietnam - France Strategic Partnership, the Vietnamese Embassy in France is always aware of and strives to implement cultural diplomacy activities to contribute to preserving and enhancing the image of the Vietnamese people which is close to the French people, rich in compassion, brave in the struggle for independence and freedom, and at the same time very dynamic, creative and succeeding in building and developing the country - integrating strongly with the region and the world.

With a long history of traditional relations, the French people have sympathy for the people and country of Vietnam, and have always supported exchange and cooperation activities between the two countries in recent times in all forms and levels, including at the center and local. Cultural association activities with feelings of solidarity, mutual love and humanitarianism always attract a large number of participants. Thus, promoting culture combined with people-to-people exchanges is a favorable basis for promoting the role and image of Vietnam in France.

"Sharing culture" is the theme of the 50th anniversary of relations between the two countries, shown in the logo of 50 years of diplomatic relations. What are importances of culture in “bridging” bilateral relations?

France is place that has many favorable conditions to deploy cultural diplomacy with many materials and playgrounds to demonstrate. France and the French people always value and promote culture and eager to explore, therefore, approaching every aspect from a cultural perspective is an attractive and easy way to achieve success.

The Vietnamese community in France is a large community, attached to the homeland and oriented towards the country, so cultural activities and associations organized by our overseas Vietnamese in France can easily mobilize the huge participation.

The Vietnamese Cultural Center in France, one of two Vietnamese Cultural Centers abroad, has for many years promoted its functions and tasks of promoting Vietnamese culture in France and Europe. Vietnam Airlines has direct flights and operates many flights a week, also creating conditions to connect the two countries and two people. In recent times, the Embassy has implemented a series of diverse activities, spread across all regions of France, creating a spillover effect on many classes of people and French partners.

It can be said that cultural diplomacy in France has taken advantage of the cultural closeness and sympathy between the two peoples to conduct activities to introduce and promote Vietnamese culture continuously throughout the year, attracting great attention from the French people, combining the promotion of Vietnam's image while contributing to strengthening the pervasive social foundation for Vietnam - France relations, expanding and exploiting more effectively the rich partnership system between the two countries.

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