After many delays due to the pandemic, Huế Festival will return between June 25 and 30 this year with a variety of interesting activities.
This is the first time the biennial festival has been organised throughout the year with activities spread over four seasons, the highlight of which is the cultural festival at the end of June.
Lê Hương chats with Nguyễn Văn Phúc, director of Thừa Thiên-Huế Province’s Tourism Department, on the upcoming Huế Festival 2022.
Could you tell me what the local tourism sector expects from this new form of festival, which will spread throughout the year?
This festival will be a four-season occasion with a series of activities and events in every month of the year, the highlight of which will be the festival week at the end of June. We will be hosting events and in case of an emergency, there will be other activities at other times of the year. So the festival will not be stopped for a long time.
As we have organised events monthly, we offer tourists and the community more chances to get close to and explore the festive activities, rather than only visiting Huế for a week to attend the events. Instead, tourists can plan to visit Huế any time in the year. We hope to avoid the pressure caused by too many tourists flocking to Huế in a short time and draw more visitors to the province throughout the year. We hope to receive more domestic guests of all ages.
We can see from the schedule this year that the department has cooperated very closely with enterprises to host the festival. There are also new activities like promoting brand names and co-organising media trips. Could you tell me more about the combination of private and public sectors at this festival?
The tourism sector must work together with various agencies, especially enterprises specialising in tourism services. We have called for the active participation of enterprises to sponsor activities. To the State agencies, this will help ease the tension due to budget constraints. For enterprises, this will create more chances for them to join in social works and to develop in other business fields. They will be more confident to join in other upcoming investment projects in the province.
In the recent conference on culture, the Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng called for more contribution of the culture sector in the national economic development. A concrete purpose was set out that by 2030, the culture, tourism and sports sector should contribute 7 per cent to the GDP. How has the local culture and tourism sector worked for that purpose?
Our province and other localities have issued policies to preserve traditional culture and promote tourism along with socio-economic development. We have a master plan to preserve cultural heritage and develop tourism in combination with the common development plan for the province.
Before, each sector had a different plan. Now we have a general master plan for all fields. The master plan helps us to have a clear direction and a uniform connection between agencies. For example, all agencies can join in preserving cultural heritage, bringing into full play the value of the heritage, and developing tourism.
We have invested in infrastructure and traffic facilities, and upgraded urban areas over the past two years like pedestrian zones and roads inside Huế Citadel and along the river. We have projects invested by the province and the State like roads along the coastline or bridges crossing the sea to ease traffic connections between provinces such as the Cam Lộ Highway project.
In cultural heritage preservation, we have implemented a project to upgrade Thái Hòa Palace, Thái Miếu, Kiến Trung Palace and especially a project to move houses away from the former inner citadel area. These projects have been cared much and invested much by both the State and local authorities for the common purpose to preserve and bring into full play cultural heritage values and develop tourism.
Could you tell me more about the foreign performers that will join the festival?
This year, the number of foreign troupes is not as many as in the previous festivals. Most of them are from neighbouring countries and our main partners like Sri Lanka, France, Thailand, Laos, South Korea and Japan.
It’s a pity that due to the tension in the world, traffic is not as smooth as before. Many troupes cannot arrive. But they still commit to following Huế Festival and sharing information. They will join us next year. In the next year, we will host a festival on traditional handicrafts. In 2024, we hope to receive more foreign troupes to the Huế Festival.
This is the first time that a Media Trip has been organised with travel bloggers and key opinion leaders (KOLs). Do you want to make the festival more appealing to younger audiences?
Yes, we have two purposes. First, we want to create a new image for Huế, as not only a former citadel with profound culture and ancient architecture but as a city with many changes and developments, preserving the old and bringing into full play the values of cultural heritage.
Through travel bloggers and KOLs, we hope to lure more young people to Huế to experience the many beautiful places, interesting tourism products and cultural life of locals. Our province has actively developed community-based tourism, and special check-in places created for young people.
We also want to lure more international audiences to Huế Festival as the bloggers and KOLs have many followers from the international community. —
Ho Chi Minh City zoo uses elephant dung to make paper
The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Ho Chi Minh City recently collaborated with a group of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HUTECH) students in transforming elephant dung into paper.
After eight months of research, the first elephant dung papers were produced.
Even though some of them cannot be used, the crew has been continuously developing chemical-free procedures to make paper from elephant excrement in order to raise awareness of wildlife protection.
|Zookeepers at Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens collect elephant dung at the animal’s enclosure. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Phuong Quyen / Tuoi Tre|
Elephants consume primarily grass and vegetables, therefore their feces are clumpy and high in fiber. In the past, their excrement was either discarded or used as fertilizer.
According to Dang Kieu Anh, a HUTECH major in animal husbandry, the group recycles excrement into paper every weekend.
“The first step in turning elephant dung into paper is washing the waste to remove impurities, leaving only the fiber for recycling,” Anh said.
|Mai Khac Trung Truc, director of the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, washes the elephant dung. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Phuong Quyen / Tuoi Tre|
“Following this, the fiber will be boiled to eliminate bacteria and odor.
“The boiled fiber will then be sun-dried and blended.
“The blended fiber will be mixed with water, paper pulp, and tapioca starch.
“The final products will be obtained by pouring the mixture into a mold and exposing it to the sun for drying.”
|The blended elephant dung is being mixed with paper pulp and tapioca starch. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Phuong Quyen / Tuoi Tre|
Mai Khac Trung Truc, director of the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, stated that some countries have already succeeded in producing paper from elephant dung, which is an excellent idea considering the declining forest area and the decreasing number of elephants in the wild and in captivity.
“With the aim to recycle elephant dung, the product may inspire everyone to work together to protect the environment and elephants,” Truc said.
“Every 100 grams of mixed elephant dung may typically be recycled into seven to eight sheets of paper with the same thickness.
“To make the paper more usable, we are now studying methods to enhance its quality.
“We have no plans to sell the sheets to the public.
“We will supply paper for children’s educational materials.”
|A student pours the mixture of elephant dung into a tray. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Phuong Quyen / Tuoi Tre|
|Students filter the mixture through a mold, leaving paper paste residues. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Phuong Quyen / Tuoi Tre|
|The finished products of elephant dung paper. Photo: Ngoc Phuong – Phuong Quyen / Tuoi Tre|
Vocational school students present recycled items at environmental protection event in Da Nang
Hundreds of unique recycled products created by vocational school students were presented at an environmental protection event in Da Nang City, central Vietnam on Saturday.
Taking place at the Da Nang Vocational Training College, the event was organized for the first time by the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training under the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs.
Its goal was to promote a green lifestyle and students’ roles in environmental protection, contribute to the establishment of green schools, and limit plastic waste at vocational education institutions.
|Students introduce handicrafts made from recyclable materials at an environmental protection event in Da Nang City, central Vietnam, July 2, 2022. Photo: Doan Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
The event was joined by nearly 2,000 students of vocational schools in Da Nang and nearby provinces.
The participants presented a variety of recycled products, namely handbags sewn from used tarpaulin, ornaments made from plastic cups and spoons, and tables and chairs made from discarded tires.
|Products made from recyclable materials are displayed at an environmental protection event in Da Nang City, central Vietnam, July 2, 2022. Photo: Doan Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
Using recycled items is no longer a trend, Kieu Loan, 19, stated, adding that it has become a habit of many young people, showing their love for and awareness of the environment.
“This event puts forward a lot of good ideas for recycling discarded items in our daily life,” said Minh Toai, 24.
It also featured a photo exhibition and a game with about 100 players, centered around environmental protection, climate change, and plastic waste.
|A student holds a bag made from used tarpaulin at an environmental protection event in Da Nang City, central Vietnam, July 2, 2022. Photo: Doan Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
|A wall clock made from plastic spoons is presented at an environmental protection event in Da Nang City, central Vietnam, July 2, 2022. Photo: Doan Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
|Le Tan Dung (R), Deputy Minister of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs, attends an environmental protection event in Da Nang City, central Vietnam, July 2, 2022. Photo: Doan Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
|A photo gallery on environmental protection at an environmental protection event in Da Nang City, central Vietnam, July 2, 2022. Photo: Doan Nhan / Tuoi Tre|
Hue Citadel attracts thousands of visitors to enjoy Hue Festival 2022
Thousands of tourists flocked to the Hue Citadel in Thua Thien-Hue Province on Wednesday night, the first night of free admission to the Hue Festival 2022, to take part in major art activities.
Within the framework of 2022 Hue Festival, the Hue Monuments Conservation Center is offering free entrance to the Imperial City within the Hue Citadel in the city’s namesake till Thursday.
|Visitors gather at the Imperial City to enjoy a performance within the framework of the 2022 Hue Festival in Thua Thien- Hue Province, Vietnam, June 29, 2022. Photo: Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre|
On Wednesday, one of the key programs of Hue Festival 2022, an art performance was staged in front of the yard of Thai Hoa Palace.
In the space of the historic Nguyen Dynasty Royal Palace, this art program has combined tradition and modernity.
Hue Citadel was adorned with more multicolored lights to welcome travelers at night, creating a sparkling scene.
|Actors wearing costumes perform on the stage at the Imperial City within the framework of the 2022 Hue Festival in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, June 29, 2022. Photo: Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre|
Nguyen Tuan Anh, a tourist from the capital city of Hanoi, stated that he was truly astonished by the Imperial City’s breathtaking beauty.
“It’s fantastic to be photographed in the royal palace’s nighttime backdrop with such sparkling illumination,” Anh said.
“After this event, hopefully Hue will keep the citadel open at night so that travelers from all over the country can visit.
|Actors wearing traditional costumes perform on the stage at the Imperial City within the framework of the 2022 Hue Festival in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, June 29, 2022. Photo: Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre|
|Visitors tour an exhibition of the Nguyen Dynasty’s royal seal at the Imperial City within the framework of the 2022 Hue Festival in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Vietnam, June 29, 2022. Photo: Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre|
|Visitors crowd the Imperial City within the framework of the 2022 Hue Festival in Thua Thien- Hue Province, Vietnam, June 29, 2022. Photo: Nhat Linh / Tuoi Tre|
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