US-Vietnam Friendship Festival Opens in Hanoi
The program was attended by Dr. Phan Anh Son, President of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO), US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E.Knapper, leaders of the Hanoi People's Committee, representatives of US non-governmental organizations and enterprises, American expatriates, students in Hanoi, local people, and tourists.
In his remark, Ambassador Marc E. Knapper said 2023 was an important milestone for both the US and Vietnam since the two countries celebrate ten years of establishing a Comprehensive Partnership and upgrading the bilateral relation to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development. The relations between people of the two countries; cultural exchange activities; and educational and training cooperation will play a key role in promoting the Vietnam - US relations to further develop in the upcoming years.
|A performance at the US-Vietnam Friendship Festival (Photo: Dinh Hoa)
“All areas of cooperation between the two countries, including trade, investment, security, law enforcement, and energy are based on the foundation of mutual understanding, trust, and friendship between people of the two countries," said Ambassador Marc E. Knapper.
VUFO President Phan Anh Son expressed his delight as VUFO coordinated with the US Embassy in Vietnam to organize the US-Vietnam Friendship Festival on the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership and the official upgrade of Vietnam-US relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development.
According to President Phan Anh Son, more than a quarter of a century ago, in 1995, the story of a "journey of healing and building" began when US President Bill Clinton and Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet officially announced the normalization and establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the United States. With the great and tireless efforts of the leaders and people of the two countries, Vietnam - US relations have made outstanding and impressive developments in all fields, especially the establishment of the Comprehensive Partnership in July 2013 and the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development on September 10, 2023.
|A US guest excitedly catches loaches with Vietnamese children
Son emphasized that although the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the United States were officially established in 1995, the two countries' people have had special connections from many years earlier since the last years of World War II when the Vietnamese people joined the US and other allies in the anti-fascist general front. Only 45 days after Vietnam declared its independence, President Ho Chi Minh decided to establish the US-Vietnam Friendship Association (the precursor of today's Vietnam-US Society), the first bilateral friendship of the Vietnamese people with another country's people.
Almost 750,000 Americans visit Vietnam each year, 119 US non-governmental organizations operate in 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam, and numerous VUFO partners organize in the US, according to Son. In addition, Vietnam's young generation loves American culture and education as well.
Accordingly, he believes that people-to-people exchanges will continue to make significant contributions to building a positive and broad social foundation, which promotes the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Strategic Relations for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development. VUFO, in particular, plays an active role in this relationship development process.
|VUFO and US Embassy staff showcase the Ao Dai collection of designer Lan Anh (Photo: Dinh Hoa).
He also expected that delegates and guests would have memorable moments with cultural exchange activities and special art performances, food, and folk games that unite family and friends in the space rich in culture and lengthy history at Thang Long Imperial Citadel relics.
The US-Vietnam Friendship Festival attracted nearly 3,000 guests with a series of activities introducing the cultures of the two countries as well as people-to-people diplomacy through tourism, ao dai, activities of VUFO, Vietnam - US Society, US non-governmental organizations in Vietnam, trade, health, and environment booths. Participants may obtain information about traveling to the US and learning English, as well as register for exchange programs, educational scholarships, and jobs at the US Mission.
There are also distinctive music performances from both countries, including Vietnamese traditional dance, ethnic orchestra, ao dai performance, and performances of artists Adrienne Mack Davis and Julian Heughan.
The program is a special event to recognize the diverse cultures and the friendship between Vietnamese and the US people, highlight the extensive cooperative partnership, and reflect the common desire of the people of the two countries to strengthen mutual understanding through cultural exchange.
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