Multicultural home at heart of SaiGon

Next the cradle lulled the language is, how much boundless love mom gives/ To life stanzas gently lead me/ and shades of cranes’ wings in my dream I see/ the native language dad taught me/ Flying kites in the sunset are released/ And folk songs I sang with my buddies, through which I love my country.

Sweet songs sung by girls in long and graceful tunics, which conveyed a portray of a peaceful and soft-hearted Vietnam, led in the commencement of the Vietnamese Culture Festival for Foreign Students that took place in USSH VNU HCMC at night on the last Dec 12nd. 

Photo: Thai traditional dances.

Traditionally, this is the fifth festival which was officially held by the Faculty of Vietnamese Studies in association with the USSH’s Association of Students. The carnival aimed at bringing in a sense of multiculturalism, introducing the Vietnamese culture to international friends and showing other cultures to Vietnamese youths. Given the honorable intention, the faculty was committed to instructing its students to sing Vietnamese songs, setting up a fake natural landscape of Vietnamese countrysides, understanding folklore and folk songs before letting them produce a magnificent and stunning performance in the event. At that night, the “Cuoi” Hector (“Cuoi” is a character in a fable about the Moon’s Legend) exclaimed blithely and ludicrously in the golden moonlight: “There is a cricket/ through late nights/ ‘cos of a street performer/ he is a penniless busker”. Then, he humorously fluttered his empty pocket . In another play, Korean friends vividly performed “Trong Com drum percussion”. Curious to the Vietnam culture, foreign friends seemed to get excited and indulged in traditional costumes. Ao-dai was the focus of the night when Korean, Germany, Spanish and Japanese students chose it for their performances and took catwalk-like steps with confidence. Students were well-dressed in different colors  such as purely white, royal golden, warm-heartedly red, sky blue etc. appeared on the stage. That was the reason why a Korean MC was mesmerized and enchanted. The same happened to the Japanese guitarist, Yasuhiro Tamiya, felt embarassed when singing the song “I love Vietnam”.

Photo: Hector, a French, in “Cuoi” role.

Two-hour programme was imbued with eagerness of “Ly Ngua O”, with inspiration of a Thai dance, with the “Four words with lam” play of those in love, pretending in anger although the MC was sometimes perplexed and bewildered in broken Vietnamese and performers sometimes had problems with their pronunciation. However, the two-hour show was worth of students’ and lecturers’ durable and determined efforts in preserving the Vietnamese language, like what is sweetly sung in a catchy song:

As soon as Vietnamese is in people’ heart, the nation was protected,
Keep the language and make it inherited for succeeding generations.
As soon as Vietnamese is in people’s heart, the national spirit is preserved,
Keep the language to the posterity, the language is also a solemn promise. 

: Foreign students in ao-dai

Prior to the event, on Dec 12nd, a booth to heave into sight the cultural culinary skills and gastronomy of cross-cultures was formally organized on USSH’s campus with Thai, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and the Philippine colors. You can gasp aspects of the Vietnamese traditional culture when observing an old scholar sitting under a blooming tree, painting calligraphy, a craftsman making to-he (toy figurines made of flour) and another one making locusts by palm leaves. Another amazement to you may be scenes of a Turkish young guy dancing to melodious rhythms or a group of Japanese students pounding rice to make cakes. They were gathering under the same cross-cultural roof in the middle of Saigon.
By choosing the song “Beautiful Saigon and Let’s love each other” to end up the event, the organizers would like to send to international friends a beautiful image of a cosmopolitan Saigon which is proactive, modern yet traditional, and has open-minded, friendly citizens who want to make friends with many people around the globe.
According to: Bảo Hướng - SaiGonTiepThi Newspaper.
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