Culture minister acts to protect national image

Source: Pano feed

(VOV) – The pressure for Vietnam to attract tourists and investors in a rapidly integrating marketplace has never been greater, said Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh in a recent interview with a Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reporter.

Certain images come to mind when the international community thinks of certain countries. France usually brings the Eiffel Tower to mind. Italy brings to mind Italian cuisine. Egypt brings to mind the Nile River and the Pyramids.

But what do they think about Vietnam’s image?

This is why festivals are a very important part of both selling the national image and defining the national identity for Vietnam inside and outside the country, not to mention for attracting other nations’ citizens to explore Vietnamese culture.

It has been estimated that there are roughly 8,000 festivals in Vietnam each year and most of them are held in the spring. These festivals should represent everything that is good about Vietnam.

However, already this year the media has reported many scandals related to festivals, such as the pig-chopping ritual at the Nem Thuong village festival in Bac Ninh province, the fight for offerings at the Giong Festival in Hanoi and the problems at the Duc But Festival in Vinh Phuc.

“Our goal is to stage festivals where both international guests and residents can see, feel, and experience what Vietnam is really like,” said Minister Anh.

“These incidents have negatively affected the national image of the country and the government is taking remedial action to rectify the situation.”

Anh added that others are turning festivals into commercial events and are no longer using traditional rituals to pay tribute to the ancestors and the gods but simply to earn a profit.

First of all, we need to raise the awareness of the organisers to ensure they have are cognizant of the fact that they have the responsibility to protect not only traditional cultural values but also the nation’s beautiful tourist attractions, heritage sites and historical relics.

This year, the ministry is initiating a programme that will assess the organisation and management of each individual festival in localities throughout the country based on a point system.

We will evaluate each festival based on its effects on the environment, security, and citizen’sawareness of traditional cultural values. Based on the points, the festival is assigned it could be banned in the future or required to take other corrective action.

Secondly, the ministry is asking for media agencies assistance in informing the general public of the government’s new policies and their responsibilities for the management of spring festivals in localities whether they are an organizer of the event or a festival goer.

Lastly, the organising board of each festival should provide guidance for citizens to respect and protect the traditional cultural values and implement measures to effectively ensure compliance.

All festivals in the future should be organised in accordance with the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of UNESCO which Vietnam participates, Anh noted.

Local authorities should also get involved to raise young people’s awareness of the significance of traditional cultural values, then takes steps to change their behavior to join spring festivals, he added.

Đăng ký: VietNam News