“EUROPE DAYS” ARE BACK TO STIR UP VIETNAM’S CULTURAL CALENDAR
“Europe Days” are back again in 2008, to enrich the cultural scene in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This 5th edition includes a wide variety of events – as culturally rich and varied as the 27 Member States of the European Union – during the month of May 2008.
Europe Days 2008 will take place in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It will include a cluster of colourful and diverse events and programmes organised by the Embassies of EU Member States, the Delegation of the European Commission and the European Cultural Institutes.
“Europe Days” are part of Vietnam’s annual cultural calendar since 2004. They commemorate the day – 9 May 1950 – when European integration was launched. Originally a way to stabilise post-war Europe, today the European Union stands for peace and prosperity, freedom, democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and equality.
Starting with a photo installation entitled Hanoi Transformation presented by the Goethe Institute, Europe Days 2008 will continue with several cultural and intellectual events to present many aspects of Europe – “united in diversity” and rich in experience, interests and aspirations which are increasingly at the centre of the broad-based relationship between Vietnam and the European Union.
A Spanish Concert, presented by the Spanish Embassy, will feature the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra under the conductorship of the famous Spanish conductor Carlos Cuesta on 8 May.
A European Film Festival will focus especially on children and teenagers, to be preceded by a Silent Film Concert showing the Fritz Lang 1921 classic Der müde Tod (literally ‘Weary Death’), known also as Behind the Wall and Destiny, accompanied by a full symphony orchestra from the Conservatory of Music under the conductorship of Pierre Oser from Munich.
A Fashion Gala with designers from France, Italy, Spain and Vietnam will follow on 21 May at the National Museum of Fine Arts. The Gala will be also beautifully enhanced by three other fashion photo exhibitions named respectively Mediterranean Beauty on 10 May at Ly Thai To Square, A City in the Night on 19 May at Mosaique Livingroom, 23 Ngo Van So, and Paris and Milano on 22 May at L’Espace.
There will of course be the annual Europe-Vietnam Children’s Football Cup at the National Water Resources’s University; a Painting Contest on gender equality, with prizes; and a Roundtable on the culture of reading; a European Food Festival, organised by the European Chamber of Commerce, on 24 May at the National Library, 31 Trang Thi, and, for the business community, specialised Debates on EU-Vietnam trade relations.
Background on “Europe Day”
On 9 May 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman made a speech, the so-called “Schuman Declaration”, calling upon France, Germany and other European countries to pool together their coal and steel production as “the first concrete bases of a European Federation essential to the safeguarding of peace”. This becme the foundation for gathering the European nations into what today is the European Union.
Copies of the Europe Days brochure listing all the Europe Days events and activities, as well as a separate brochure on the European Film Festival, are available at the Commission’s Delegation, the EU Member States embassies and the European cultural institutes. Electronic versions of these publications also can be found on the EU website.
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