Seven European cultural institutions and embassies established the European Union of National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in Vietnam.
A scene of a film screened at the European Film Festival held in May
The aim of the institute is to jointly strengthen focus on the diversity of European culture.
The introduction of EUNIC took place on November 18 in Hanoi. At the event, representatives from the cultural institutions including embassies of Italy, Holland, Austria, the Director of the French Cultural Centre, Head of the Wallonie-Bruxelles Delegation, Head of the Goethe Institute, and Director of the British Council signed an agreement to make Vietnam part of the global network of the EUNIC initiative.
Franck Pezza, Head of the Delegation Wallonie-Bruxelles and designated Chairperson of the EUNIC Cluster in Hanoi says, “The special thing about Europe is that its 27 member states possess a great wealth of different cultural traditions and an enormous potential of exciting, diverse contemporary cultural trends. Smaller countries benefit, particularly from presenting themselves in a European context: the interest in a cooperative event is greater because more is offered to the public, and – precisely because of the comparison – it is more interesting.”
Almuth Meyer-Zollitsch, Director of the Goethe-Institute and future Deputy Chairperson, added, “The major cultural institutions of Germany, France or Great Britain will continue to maintain their specific profiles here in Hanoi. But in addition it is appealing for us to present our national cultural scenes – film, music, dance or literature – in context with those of our European neighbors; just as our cultures at home in Europe are inspired and stimulated by our proximity and interaction.”
The European Music Festival, scheduled again this year for late November or early December in Hanoi and HCMC, the European Film Festival in May, and the new European Documentary Film Week in June, are already established highlights of the cultural calendar in Vietnam. They are organised by several European Cultural Institutions and Embassies, together with the European Union Delegation for the music and film events.
Now, plans are being made to add further cooperative cultural initiatives, such as European Dance Days, a week of European literature or a week of European languages – the founders of the EUNIC, an informal association, have lots of ideas about how they would like to present the diversity of European culture to Vietnamese audiences.
The EUNIC headquarters is in Brussels, with local associations in 53 countries. Participation in the worldwide EUNIC network also offers a large reservoir of themes and ideas for future European cultural events.