Ten notable culture, sports and tourism events of 2019

by NDO13 January 2020 Last updated at 11:37 AM

Vietnam’s ‘Then’ practice honoured as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Vietnam’s ‘Then’ practice honoured as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

VTV.vn - The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced the top 10 culture, sports and tourism events of 2019.

The 10 events were selected from 39 nominations from functional agencies and units under the ministry, including 21 events in culture, 11 sporting events, and 7 tourism events.

The events were then finalised through an online poll, which took place from January 2 to 6 at http://sukienvhttdl.bvhttdl.gov.vn, and through votes by 100 journalists working in culture, sports and tourism columns on January 3.

Following is the list of standout events:

1. Law on Library – A motivation to develop libraries and cultivate reading culture

The Law on Library was adopted on November 21, 2019, during the eighth session of the 14th-tenure National Assembly.

The promulgation of the Law, which consists of six chapters with 49 articles, contributes to creating a legal corridor for the development of the sector, promoting reading culture and ensuring the right to access information, culture and help the lifelong learning of people.

2. The return of classical ballet Swan Lake to Vietnamese stage after 35 years

Tchikovsky’s ballet masterpiece “Swan Lake” premiered in Hanoi on October 7, 2019

Tchikovsky’s ballet masterpiece “Swan Lake” premiered in Hanoi on October 7, 2019, featuring artists from the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Theatre as an event to celebrate the theatre’s 60th anniversary.

The first time this ballet was fully performed in Vietnam was in 1985 under the direction of a Russian expert. But the recent event in Hanoi was a fully made-in-Vietnam product as it brought the complete “Swan Lake” to the Vietnamese stage performed entirely by the Vietnamese.

3. Vietnam’s ‘Then’ practice honoured as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

‘Then’, an essential ritual practice in the spiritual life of Tay, Nung and Thai ethnic people in Vietnam, has been added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in mid-December 2019.

Then ceremonies describe a journey in which the Master controls ghost soldiers travelling from earth to heaven to present items of worship and prayers for peace, good crops, and good health.

The ritual practice is mostly observed by Tay, Nung and Thai ethnic communities in the north-western and north-eastern provinces, including Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Dien Bien and Lai Chau, among others.

4. Celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the formation and development of Cai Luong

Cai luong is a form of modern folk opera which is particularly popular in southern Vietnam. It is the convergence of southern Vietnamese folk songs, classical music, tuong (traditional opera) and modern spoken drama.

The southern province of Tien Giang is the home of Cai Luong and is the location where Chau Van Tu established the first Cai Luong troupe in Vietnam with a show launched in 1918.

5. Vietnam sports delegation achieves exceptionally excellent performance at 30th SEA Games

With 98 golds, 85 silvers and 105 bronzes, the Vietnam sports delegation claimed second place in the overall medal tally at the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 30), which took place from November 30 to December 11, 2019, in Manila, the Philippines.

In particular, the majority of Vietnam’s gold medals were won in Olympic events such as athletics, swimming, wrestling and tennis, among others.

6. Impressive achievement of national football in the regional arena

Vietnam women's team celebrate winning their sixth SEA Games gold medal in the Philippines on December 8, 2019.

Vietnamese football wrapped up a successful 2019 with two gold medals in both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 30th SEA Games.

Earlier in the year, Mai Duc Chung’s Vietnamese side had been crowned champions at the AFF Women’s Championship in convincing fashion, which sent them through to the last round of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualifiers. Meanwhile, the men’s national team, coached by Park Hang-seo, overcame a series of tough opponents in the second round of the 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers to lead Group G after an undefeated run in the first five matchdays.

Such incredible results helped Vietnamese football to conclude 2019 with a dominant position in the Southeast Asian rankings, as men’s world no. 94 and women’s world no. 32.

7. Hanoi to host Formula 1 race in 2020

The capital city of Vietnam will host a stage of the world renowned Formula 1 (F1) Grand Prix for the first time in April 2020, becoming the 22nd city in the world to host the series.

As a world-class sporting event, which is broadcast by reputable media outlets and attracts large crowds of fans, Hanoi expects to promote its image and tourism via the event, as well as to enhance trade links between the capital city with international economic groups and develop high-quality logistics, aviation and entertainment services.

8. Vietnam welcomes record number of foreign visitors in 2019

Vietnam greeted over 18 million international tourists in 2019, the highest level so far, according to the General Statistics Office. The number showed a year-on-year rise of 16.2%.

As for domestic visitors, Vietnam saw 85 million Vietnamese travel last year, an increase of over 6%, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Total revenue from both international and domestic tourists in 2019 reached VND726 trillion (US$31.4 billion), a 17.1% increase over the previous year.

9. Vietnam’s tourism wins global and regional prestigious prizes

In 2019, Vietnam was honoured with global prestigious prizes such as the World Golf Awards, the World Travel Awards, and the Asia’s Best Destination.

Vietnam’s tourism competitiveness has continuously improved, and is currently standing 63rd among 140 economies in the World Economic Forum ranking. The country also ranked among the world’s 10 fastest growing travel destinations by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

10. Vietnam successfully hosts the ASEAN Travel Forum 2019

Delegates at the ASEAN Travel Forum 2019 (Photo: baovanhoa.vn)

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2019 themed ‘ASEAN-The Power of One’, the most important annual event in ASEAN tourism co-operation, was successfully held in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province, in January 2019.

Attracting around 2,000 delegates from ASEAN and its partners, the event was the most crucial event for the tourism industry as it not only helped to plan policies, but also highlighted the efforts of Vietnam and other member states in building a prosperous ASEAN community, being a reliable and prestigious partner.


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