On September 18, Vietnam Festival 2011 came to a close in Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, Japan with much regret of numerous participants. With the theme, "I love Vietnam. I love Japan" this year’s Vietnam festival offered an opportunity for the people of the two countries to share their sincere affection with each other.
Even though the event only took place over two days, the Vietnam Festival 2011 in Japan left a deep impression on the people of both countries. For Japanese people, Vietnam’s traditional dishes such as noodles, spring rolls and pancakes and Vietnam's traditional long dress (ao dai) have become very popular.
Vietnamese and Japanese visitors stand in line to buy food at the festival
Charming visitors in her ao dai, Ms. Aaiya Saito, a Japanese volunteer of the festival, said that one of reasons she joined in this year’s festival was that volunteers were able to keep the beautiful ao dai traditional dress when the event ended.
Ms. Saito also said that since attending the Vietnam festival in 2010 Vietnamese dishes have become some of her favourite foods. She now visits a Vietnamese restaurant at least once a week.
For Vietnamese people living in Japan, the festival is a chance to meet and take pride in the country of Vietnam. Nguyen Le Bich Ngoc, a student in Japan, said "I feel that such an opportunity is good for those who live far from the country for a long time. We have chance to eat Vietnam’s food. The life here is very busy so this festival is a chance to help us gather, meet each other and promote customs and Vietnam’s cuisine to Japan”.
The Vietnam Festival 2011 ended with a vibrant and colourful closing ceremony with joint-performances of Vietnamese and Japanese artists.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Vietnamese Ambassador to Japan Nguyen Phu Binh, head of the Vietnamese organisers, confirmed that this year’s festival represents an unforgettable moment in his diplomatic life because of the sheer amount of love and friendship between the two people.
Former Senator Iwao Matsuda, the head of the Japanese organisers said he has always loved Vietnam but after this festival, he loves the country more than ever./.