‘A Touch of Belgium,' an event packed with activities showcasing Belgian culture, will be held in Hanoi on Saturday to celebrate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Belgium.
Organized by the Belgian Embassy in Hanoi, ‘A Touch of Belgium’ will feature family-friendly activities, information about Belgium-funded projects in Vietnam, and beloved Belgian cuisines in what the embassy describes as “the best of what Belgian contemporary culture has to offer."
The day-long event will take place at Ly Thai To Square near the Vietnamese capital’s iconic Hoan Kiem Lake starting at 2:00 pm and wrapping up at 10:00 pm.
Three classic episodes of ‘The Smurfs,' a cartoon originally created by Belgian illustrator Pierre Culliford (Peyo) in 1958, will be screened in English with Vietnamese titles throughout the day.
Other Smurf-themed activities celebrating the 60th anniversary of the iconic characters will be organized at the event’s Creative Areas, while a Smurf exhibition is ongoing at the Imperial Citadel in Hanoi until Jun 4.
Visitors will also be treated to dance performances and live music, most notably a parade by a troop of 11 Belgian majorettes, accompanied by a Vietnamese marching band, at Ly Thai To Square.
The group will also hold joint performances with local students and members of a children’s singing club in Hanoi.
Talented Belgian dancer and choreographer Nick Coutsier, together with the dancers of Kinergie Studio, will showcase a week-long contemporary dance workshop culminating in a 20–minute performance called ‘Exploring Connections.'
The work will be in collaboration with Belgian DJ Simon Medard and live visuals producer Daniel Day Long.
Throughout the evening, DJ Simon Medard will stir up the atmosphere with live and upbeat music, coupled with striking visuals and videos by VJ Daniel Long.
Development organizations funded by the Belgian government will also use the event as a stage to present their projects and inform the public about their efforts in Vietnam through activities for children, such as gardening and arts and crafts.
Iconic Belgian culinary inventions including crispy fries, sweet chocolate, fluffy waffles with ice-cream, refreshments, and ice-cold Belgian beer will also be available to visitors.
Friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Belgium and Vietnam have grown over the last 45 years, since the two countries first established diplomatic relations in 1973.
Last year, the partners celebrated 40 years since the establishment of the Belgian Development Cooperation in Vietnam.
Belgium has assisted Vietnamese education through scholarship and exchange programs, with more than 2000 Vietnamese nationals estimated to have received education in Belgium as of 2018.
From being long-standing partners in development cooperation, Belgium and Vietnam have been able to expand their bilateral ties in different sectors.
Bilateral trade between the two countries totaled around 2.5 billion euros (US$2.98 billion) in 2017 and an increasing number of Belgian companies are investing in Vietnam, according to the Belgian Embassy in Hanoi.
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