Vietnamese people will have a chance to explore India’s culture as the Festival of India kicked off in Hanoi on March 5 night.
The event is co-organised by the Indian Embassy, the Indian Ministry of Culture and the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST).
Addressing the opening ceremony, MoCST Deputy Minister Vuong Duy Bien said the festival is a vivid manifestation of the active cultural exchange between the two countries, and will help enhance the bilateral friendship and strategic cooperation.
Echoing Bien’s views, Indian Deputy Culture Minister Ravindra Singh said India has always considered Vietnam a pillar in the country’s Look East Policy within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other mechanisms.
He stressed that cultural exchange between the two countries has been institutionalised through a cultural cooperative programme inked in 2011, adding that India will establish an Indian cultural centre in Vietnam in 2014 to boost the friendship.
Apart from Hanoi, the festival will come to the central city of Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, featuring Indian folk dances, songs, food, Buddhism, Yoga and Mehndi – the art of body painting, said Indian Ambassador Preeti Saran.
The festival will last until March 15.