The promotion of culture through food is incredibly successful in Vietnam.26/10/2022
The Hanoi People’s Committee has just issued Plan No. 217/KH-UBND on the implementation of Resolution No. 09-NQ/TU of the Hanoi Party Committee on the development of the cultural industry in the capital for the period 2021-2025, orientation to 2030, vision to 2045.
Accordingly, the city focuses on investing in developing potential fields such as cultural tourism, cuisine, performing arts, handicrafts, cinema, television, and radio…
Reporter Lao Dong had a conversation with the Chief Representative of UNESCO in Vietnam – Mr. Christian Manhart about his perspective on Hanoi’s strengths in cultural industrialization.
According to the plan, by 2045, Hanoi will complete the goal of turning the capital’s cultural industry into a spearhead economic sector, comprehensively developing, and contributing 10% to the city’s GRDP. What is your view on this direction of Hanoi?
– In 2016, the Government of Vietnam approved the National Strategy on the development of cultural industries in Vietnam to 2020, with a vision to 2030. On September 12, UNESCO coordinated with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism held a conference to review the progress of strategy implementation.
At the meeting, Hanoi shared its experience of leveraging UNESCO’s “Creative Cities Network” to develop the city’s creative and cultural industries. And since then, Hanoi has been leading the development of creative and cultural industries, using the “Creative Cities Network” for international exchanges and cooperation.
The current development of cultural industries is particularly timely during the global recovery from COVID-19, and we are delighted that Hanoi is the first Vietnamese city to have this Resolution, connecting socio-economic development with cultural development, focusing on the economic value of cultural and artistic creation, paying attention to the diversity in the creativity of individuals and collectives, community.
What special advantages does Hanoi have to build and develop the cultural industry into a spearhead economic sector, according to you?
– Over the past decades, Hanoi has undergone rapid changes and is at a turning point where history and tradition intersect with modernity.
The city has a multi-layered culture with creativity at its heart. This is exemplified by a rich treasure of cultural resources, including thousands of heritage sites, 1,350 traditional craft villages, and a community of designers, creators, and emerging creative hubs across the city.
Joining UNESCO’s “Creative Cities Network” in 2019, Hanoi now has a great opportunity to expand international cooperation and exchanges with other creative cities in the region and around the world. Hanoi Creative City is a new story for a new century, representing the brand and image of Hanoi – the country of Vietnam – towards the future, towards integration and sustainable development.
Among the 12 key areas of the cultural industry, which in your opinion has the most potential for development?
– Vietnam is a country with a large population and diverse cultures. So I think all 12 areas of cultural industries can have potential if we have the right approach. However, I understand that Vietnam will need a lot of effort and resources if Vietnam invests in all 12 areas. Thus, cities or regions can choose the advantages that are in line with the development strategy of the city or region.
UNESCO’s “Creative Cities Network” as a prime example. There are more than 300 cities in the world. Each city joins the network in one of seven creative areas: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Food, Literature, and Music.
Member cities collaborate in seven clusters to exchange best practices and collaborate across cities in their designated creative areas. By focusing on an innovative sector, cities can maximize the return on investment of their resources and make their name known as an innovation destination of a particular sector.
For example, Hanoi is a creative city of design. Australia’s Adelaide is the creative city of music, and China’s Yangzhou is the creative city of food.
I can share with you that UNESCO is working with the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to assist Vietnam in establishing a creative belt consisting of seven creative cities across the country. We are optimistic about the development of cultural industries in Vietnam.
According to Mr. Christian Manhart, Hanoi now has a solid foundation to develop cultural industries. Photo: NVCC
Vietnamese cuisine is very rich and diverse, but people around the world know only a few typical dishes such as pho, bun cha, or banh mi without knowing or trying other delicious Vietnamese dishes. Do you think that Vietnam has promoted its culture through food well enough and right?
– When I was distributed to Hanoi, some of my friends said that I was lucky to come to Vietnam because of its interesting culture, friendly people, and especially great food. And indeed, I am very impressed with Vietnamese cuisine, which is very diverse and healthy because it is less greasy than in many other countries and uses a lot of fresh ingredients and herbs. That makes most of the food here so delicious.
I think Vietnam is doing quite well promoting its culture through food – there are many food tours and street food where visitors can learn to cook, learn interesting stories behind every delicious food, and enjoy them.
International tourists come here very much like this type of attractive tourism. With the return of international tourists after COVID-19, I think Vietnamese cuisine will reach more and more people around the world.
In your opinion, what challenges is Vietnam’s tourism industry facing? What advice do you have for the Vietnamese tourism industry on its future development?
– Vietnam currently has 8 world heritages, 14 intangible heritages recognized by UNESCO, and of course many other beautiful places, not yet registered by UNESCO across the country. I have been to several places in Vietnam and am very impressed by the beauty and excitement of your country.
I can see the huge potential of Vietnam in tourism development. However, like many other countries, the balance between cultural conservation and development is a challenge.
Visitors come to Vietnam not only to see beautiful things but also to interact with the locals, and learn and discover new cultures and traditions. Therefore, it is important to keep this in mind.
When developing services that only serve international tourists, it is possible to lose the real soul of that place. We need to have a sustainable approach and development because, without the culture and soul of the land, tourists will stop coming here. And we’ve seen this negative development in a lot of other parts of the world.
Currently, UNESCO is implementing several sustainable tourism projects at many World Heritage Sites in Vietnam, from Trang An, and Ha Long, to Hoi An… We are working closely with local partners. to help them find the best strategy for conservation and development that enhances the well-being of the local people living in the area.
Source: Lao Dong Newspaper
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