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The Vietnam News

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Display of diplomacy

British diplomat says “Charming Vietnam” can strengthen the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the UK. British Ambassador to Vietnam Mark Kent regards Thanh Nien’s charity gala Duyen Dang Viet Nam (Charming Vietnam), due to perform in London next week, as a cultural ambassador, carrying a message of Vietnam’s dynamism to the international community.

“Charming Vietnam” will perform for two nights, March 4 and 5, at London’s Central Hall Westminster. The shows coincide with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s tour of European nations, including the UK. Kent, who took up his posting to Vietnam two months ago, told a press briefing in Hanoi on Wednesday that he was intensely impressed by Vietnam’s dynamism and the progress made in every sector over the past decade. Vietnam was considered one of the big success stories of Southeast Asia, Kent said, adding the UK highly valued its relationship with Vietnam. He believed the Vietnamese PM’s forthcoming visit to the UK would be a wonderful opportunity to boost bilateral ties. Kent pointed out his nation was one of the top sources of foreign investment and donations to Vietnam. Kent said he was honored to work in Vietnam as the country continued its rapid pace of development.

In addition, the new ambassador expressed his pleasure at the increasing number of Vietnamese, especially students and businesspeople, who had chosen to live in the UK With some 35,000 Vietnamese living in the UK at present and more than 106,000 Brits visiting Vietnam last year, the British diplomat claimed the bilateral relationship between the two countries had never been stronger.

Vietnamese cultural spectacular

During the Vietnamese prime minister’s first-ever official visit to the UK, there will be a “Vietnamese Days in the UK” promotion from March 4 to 15. Thanh Nien’s fundraising gala, the 20th “Charming Vietnam,” will be the highlight of the event. “These days, opening any UK newspapers or magazines and then looking at the tourism or cultural columns, you would see information about Vietnam,” Kent said. “Vietnam has become an example of success in the region and a miraculous story in Asia.” “I think the Brits are welcoming the gala. Charming Vietnam is a significant cultural event within the Vietnamese PM’s trip,” Kent said. The “Charming Vietnam” extravaganza showcases Vietnam’s rich traditional culture and the British ambassador said he looked forward to seeing many more high-quality Vietnam-UK cultural exchanges in future.

Before wrapping up the press conference, Kent said: “To the UK eye, Vietnam is a peaceful country that has been developing rapidly. PM Nguyen Tan Dung’s upcoming visit to our country will further affirm Vietnam’s image of dynamism and development.” “I very much want to attend the gala,” the diplomat said, adding that he believed the cultural show would be very popular when it hit the stage of one of the biggest and most beautiful theaters, the Central Hall Westminster, in the heart of London. The “Charming Vietnam” charity gala has been raising money for disadvantaged students since 1994. The national cultural show has been a huge success over the years.

On its third tour abroad, the highlights of the extravaganza, which features 140 famous Vietnamese and British artists, include performances of famous traditional folk songs and love melodies from the north, a distinctive litho-phone display by artist Do Loc and a showcase of elegant ao dai (Vietnamese traditional long tunic).

By Nhu Nguyen - Thanh Nien - March 1, 2008.

Vietnamese paintings to show in London

The East West Integration exhibition will showcase Vietnamese art in London next month. The show comes as part of Vietnamese Cultural Days, a program that aims to introduce Vietnamese culture to the UK. The exhibition will be presented by Song Hong Gallery and Quoc Anh IEC Company at Limkokwing University.

Thanh Nien’s 20th Charming Vietnam Gala will also play London as part of the program. Director of Quoc Anh IEC Lien Huong said the exhibition “reflects the real integration of two big cultures from the east and west.” Ceramic art by Tran Do from the renowned Bat Trang handicraft village will also be on display. Do’s art will be given to world leaders as gifts from the Vietnamese Government. A delegation led by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will attend part of Vietnamese Culture Days, which will run March 4-15.

By Truong Son - Thanh Nien - March 1, 2008.

“Charming Vietnam” ready for London audiences

A dress-rehearsal was held Wednesday for the European portion of Thanh Nien’s annual charity gala, Charming Vietnam (Duyen Dang Viet Nam), at Ho Chi Minh City’s Hoa Binh Theater. Slated for March 4 and 5 in London, England, the fundraiser promises a dazzling show rich in Vietnamese traditional culture.

Minutes before the full rehearsal, director Tat My Loan pumped up performers and staff with words of encouragement. “The way to show our national image is to underscore our performing manner and quality,” said Loan. A charity gala that raises money for disadvantaged students, Charming Vietnam has become a huge success over the years with high-ranking officials even attending the rehearsals. Highlights of the extravaganza will include performances of famous traditional folk songs and love melodies from the north, a distinctive lithophone display by artist Do Loc and a showcase of elegant, contemporary Ao dai (Vietnamese traditional long tunic).

The show’s tour of the UK will coincide with Prime Minsiter Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to the European nations next week.

By Luu Hong - Thanh Nien - February 28, 2008.