Fusing Hanoian food culture and international cusine

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Culinary culture is a fundamental characteristic of each community, region and country, influencing behavior and communication. All communities have their own ways of preparing and enjoying food together.

Thang Long -Hanoi is the center point of four paths, making it a convergence place of the country’s cultural identity. Over Hanoi’s thousand year history, the residents of the city have built a rich society with elegant ways of speaking, acting and dining.

Food in Hanoi has become a source of pride in the capital, and an indispensable part of Trang An’s culture. Hanoian food culture is distinct and refined, which can be seen in festival feasts as well as at common family dinners. Hanoians pay special attention to how food can build relationships.

To introduce and promote Hanoi’s culinary culture to tourists, and to provide a space for cultural exchange and cooperation, the Hanoi People’s Committee organized the Hanoi Exchange Programme for Culinary Culture. The event was held June 16–17, 2017 at the Octagon House near the Ly Thai To flower garden in Hoan Kiem District. The exchange was one of the highlights of the weekend, attracting a large number of domestic and international visitors.

Participants in this activity included several embassies in Vietnam, foreign cultural centers, handicraft villages, and organizations, individuals and enterprises operating in Hanoi’s food industry.

The event featured 50 stalls offering a wide range of culinary treats. Twenty-five presented typical dishes from Hanoi, such as Me Tri rice, West Lake lotus tea, Phung’s pork skin rolls, Phu Dong’s snail noodle soup, Ba Hoanh’s rice crepes, spring rolls, mixed noodle with ostrich meat, and Quan Ganh’s glutinous rice cakes. The remaining 25 introduced international culinary delights from Laos, France, China, Peru, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Argentina, Australia, Italy, Colombia, Ukraine, Sweden, Turkey, the Czech Republic, the United States of America, South Korea, Germany and Portugal, among others.

At the ceremony, Mr. Ngo Van Quy—Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee—emphasized: “At this festival, visitors will experience many unique activities in a colorful and multicultural space, providing an impression of old Hanoi culture mixed with dynamic and active international integration. After this program, I hope that you will have a deeper vision of an elegant, multifaceted, and progressing Hanoi. Hanoians want to join with all of Vietnam to build long-lasting world peace and a foundation for sustainable development and prosperity.”

To promote cultural exchange between Hanoi and international friends, the event also featured a wide range of artistic performances showcasing the beauty of each participating country’s traditional culture. Folk games such as bamboo dancing, stilt walking, bag jumping, tug-of-war, and jumping rope were organized, creating an environment of cross-cultural friendship and fun.

Hanoi, the thousand-year-old capital of Vietnam, is delicate and rich, as lovely as a poem. This exchange program delivered a taste of Hanoi and international cuisine, blended together to provide a new, unique flavor. This program and others like it can be credited for Vietnam’s inclusion on CNN’s list of the ten best national cuisines.

Huong Kim