Hanoi celebrates 20 years as ‘City for Peace’

By Quy Nguyen    July 13, 2019 | 01:16 am PT
Hanoi celebrates 20 years as ‘City for Peace’
A dance near Hoan Kiem Lake to celebrate Hanoi's title "City for Peace" that UNESCO granted 20 years ago. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Manh.
The capital city is bustling with cultural events this weekend to mark the ‘City for Peace’ title conferred by UNESCO.

More than 10,000 joined a walk for peace around the iconic Hoan Kiem (Sword) Lake Saturday morning while a street carnival presented a colorful picture of cultural diversity as Hanoi promoted itself as a destination of peace, friendship and cooperation.

Several cultural activities and music performances will take place on Saturday and Sunday nights at the Ly Thai To Statue garden in downtown Hanoi, part of the weekend pedestrian area around Hoan Kiem Lake.

The activities seek to introduce locals and foreign tourists to UNESCO-recognized intangible cultural heritages like bai choi, a traditional folk singing game of central Vietnam.

A culinary corner at the Hanoi’s Children Palace hosts around 18 food pavilions serving many specialties of the capital city including bun cha (noodles with grilled pork); pho, Hanoi-style beef noodle soup; bun thang, another noodle soup with rice vermicelli, thinly sliced chicken, omelet, Vietnamese ham, mushrooms, and chopped fresh herbs; and banh tom Ho Tay (West Lake shrimp cake).

Bun cha (noodles with grilled pork) is a signature dish of Hanoians. Photo acquired by VnExpress

Bun cha (noodles with grilled pork) is a signature dish of Hanoians. Photo acquired by VnExpress.

At the "Friendship Village" exhibition on Le Thach Street in Hoan Kiem District, foreign organizations and embassies have set up pavilions introducing the cultures of participating countries like China, India and Laos.

A photo exhibition featuring the famed elegance of Hanoians is scheduled to take place in July and August. Another exhibition from July to December will display photos and documents on activities undertaken to heal the wounds of the wars and promote peace.

Hanoi was the only Asia Pacific locality to be granted the "City for Peace" title by the UNESCO on July 16, 1999, recognizing its contributions to the struggle for peace, its efforts to promote equality in the community, protect the environment, promote culture and education and care for younger generations.

Last February, Hanoi was in the global limelight as it hosted the historic second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The city received around 3.3 million visitors in the first six months of this year, up 10.6 percent year-on-year, while revenues surged 30 percent to VND50.2 trillion ($2.1 billion).

Hanoi officials last April signed a memorandum of understanding with CNN to continue its tourism promotion campaign on social media and to air documentaries on the popular cable news network in the 2019-2024 period.

The city was recently named among top 15 destinations in the world by TripAdvisor travelers.

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