Mid-autumn festival to celebrate Southeast Asian culture

Published:  15:35 Thursday - September 19, 2013

Mid-autumn festival to celebrate Southeast Asian culture

Ha Noi's Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology will host a mid-autumn festival inspired by Southeast Asian culture this weekend, featuring a wide range of activities and games

With support from Southeast Asian embassies in Vietnam, the festival will give children from regional countries a chance to introduce their cultures through music, dance, folk games and workshops.

Through the event, Vietnamese children will understand similarities and differences of how the mid-autumn festival is celebrated across different countries, according to museum official Nguyen Thai Hoa.

Southeast Asian cultures will be creatively introduced with competitions to identify countries through songs, customs, currency, national flags and traditional costumes.

Cultural exchange: Visitors will learn about Southeast Asian countries through paintings at the festival.

Museum visitors will be able to partake in a wide variety of folk games such as "walking on coconut shells" (from Laos, Thailand and Indonesia), the "pebble board game" (Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam), "hopping" (Myanmar, the Philippines and Viet Nam), "pick-up-sticks" (the Philippines and Viet Nam), "tug-of-war" (Thailand and Viet Nam) and "spinning tops" (Malaysia, Indonesia and Viet Nam).

Children will be photographed in traditional costumes and can sample food from various countries in Southeast Asia.

They will also take part in workshops guiding them on how to make toys using traditional methods and materials.

They'll also receive a talk on tien si giay (paper effigy), a traditional toy of Vietnamese children symbolising fondness for learning, with a presentation from Nguyen Van Thinh from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Other features of a traditional Vietnamese mid-autumn festival – the most eagerly-awaited festival for children – such as the legend of the festival and how it's celebrated will also be presented.

A wide range of activities to celebrate the mid-autumn festival will be held in the city's Old Quarter from September 13-19.

The events will enable tourists to see the most popular festival for Vietnamese children. Children will be able to join in and play folk games.

Artisans in the Old Quarter and from nearby craft villages will display their skills in making traditional toys, paper effigies and lanterns at Kim Ngan Temple (42 Hang Bac Street), Dong Lac Temple (38 Hang Dao Street) and an old heritage house at 87 Ma May Street.

Many entertainment activities for children living in shelters and in rural and remote areas throughout the country will be held from September 12-19.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has assigned the Viet Nam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Arts, 2 Hoa Lu Street, to work with agencies to organise a festival and fair from September 14-19.

In HCM City, more than 3,000 children, mostly from shelters and rehabilitation centres and schools for kids with disabilities, will attend the entertainment programme Mai Am Nha Viet (Viet Nam Family's Home) at the Military Zone No 7 stadium on September 19.

During the programme, children will take part in games and lantern-decoration contests, and will receive gifts. Famous singers and artists will also perform.

On Thursday, the Youth Cultural House and the Department of Education and Training also will sponsor the Vang Trang Yeu Thuong (Lovely Moon) and lantern contest for children and students, especially for kids living in shelters. The first-prize winner will be given VND3 million (US$143).

Source: VNS

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