Gifts extend Vietnam's warm hospitality to international friends

Friday, 2019-03-01 17:26:46
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A booth offering Hanoian culinary specialties at the cafeteria of the summit’s International Media Centre attracted many foreign journalists
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NDO - The second DPRK-USA Summit in Hanoi was not only a major political and external event, but also a golden opportunity to promote the land and people of Vietnam and the capital city of Hanoi in particular.

Over the past few days, the authorities, organisations, business community and people of Hanoi have offered many warm gifts representing their enthusiasm and hospitality to international friends, leaving a good impression in the guests’ hearts.

The summit’s International Media Centre at the Cultural Friendship Palace on Tran Hung Dao street hosted around 3,000 international journalists, who came from 200 news agencies worldwide to cover the summit. During the event, the journalists were served free food with a wide range of selection and they showed great interest in the culinary specialties of the capital city.

The Hanoian flavours on offer included “bun cha” (noodles with grilled meat), “banh cuon” (steamed rice pancakes), “bun thang” (noodle soup with shredded of chicken, pork and fried egg, mushrooms and dried turnip), “pho” (noodles served with beef or chicken in a hot bowl of broth), “xoi che” (steamed sticky rice with sweet porridge), “banh khuc” (a ball of glutinous rice mixed with cudweed and filled with mung bean paste and seasoned pork), “gio cha” (Vietnamese sausages), lotus tea, and egg coffee. Among them, ‘pho’ and ‘bun thang’ received the most orders from the guests, with nearly 1,000 bowls of ‘pho’ being served on February 26.

Nguyen Thi Huong Thuy, Deputy Head of the Heritage Management Office under the Hanoi city Department of Culture and Sports, said that the city’s authorities and cooks considered it a big honour to introduce the best of Vietnamese cuisine and culture to the international guests.

As the dishes were carefully prepared from the selection of ingredients to the cooking process, many participating culinary artisans had to wake up at 1 am for their preparations in order to present at the cafeteria at 5 am every day.

Dao Duc Toan, an artisan from Uoc Le village, which is famous for making delicious “gio cha” (Vietnamese sausages), said that his facility provided 40 kilogramme of ‘gio cha’ for the event on February 26.

The food was served on Bat Trang ceramic bowls and dishes, creating a lot of interest among the journalists.

Ye Jin Lee from TBS, the Republic of Korea’s TBS television and radio network, said that she loved Vietnamese ‘pho’, revealing that her colleagues were excited to taste Vietnamese dishes.

In addition to free traditional food, arts programmes were also staged at Ly Thai To Flower Garden in the downtown of Hanoi on February 26. During the event, artists from the Hanoi-based Thang Long Music and Dance Theatre brought to the stage songs and dances praising the natural beauty and friendly people of Hanoi.

Tourist attractions in Hanoi, including the Temple of Literature, Ngoc Son Temple, and Thang Long Imperial Citadel, also received much attention from foreign reporters. Le Xuan Kieu, Director of the Temple Literature’s Centre for Cultural and Scientific Activities, said that a nine-member delegation from FOX News, who were in Hanoi to cover the summit, visited the site to film some scenes on the land and people of Vietnam.

Similarly, the Hanoi Transport Management and Operation Centre under Hanoi’s Department of Transport requested local bus operators to offer free transport between February 25 and March 2 to domestic and foreign reporters covering the summit.

Marimi Kishimoto, a journalist from Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review, applauded the wonderful preparations of the host Vietnam, which created the most favourable conditions for news agencies.

She said she has attended and covered many major events, but the days she has spent in Hanoi were a really special experience. She said she took a tour to explore Hanoi’s Old Quarter in the evening by free double decker, complimenting that the scene was so beautiful and the people were so friendly that she would return with her family for sure.

The city’s youth union also joined a hand in supporting the summit. From February 26 to 28, 50 youngsters, who are fluent in foreign languages, and have a certain understanding on the history of culture of Hanoi, stationed in the areas around Hoan Kiem Lake every day to provide free support for any foreigners in need. The youth union also launched teams to tour across the city in order to ensure traffic flow and social order, contributing to building Hanoi’s image as a city of peace.