The event took place from July 5-7 in Son La city with a range of cultural activities and sporting events, attracting more than 700 artists and athletes from 15 Vietnamese and Lao provinces sharing the border between the two countries.
It was part of activities aimed at celebrating the 55th anniversary since the establishment of Vietnam-Laos diplomatic ties and 40 years since the signing of the Vietnam-Laos Treaty on Amity and Cooperation in Son La province.
According to Pham Van Thuy, Vice Chairman of Son La provincial People's Committee, the festival was imbued with cultural and political meaning, reflecting the special and long-standing traditional friendship, as well as the comprehensive cooperation between both countries.
It also affirmed the consistent viewpoints and guidelines of the Vietnamese Party, State and people in maintaining and strengthening the special relationship between the two Parties, States and people of Vietnam and Laos.
Cultural and artistic exchange activities along with the participation of eight Vietnamese delegations and seven from Laos brought to the stage 56 performances, including folk songs and dances, traditional ethnic costumes and recreation of the festivals and rituals of ethnic groups.
The event also introduced cultural identities and tourism products including paintings, photographs, models, artifacts, musical instruments, medicinal herbs, agricultural products and traditional food, reflecting the cultural characteristics and tourism potentials of each locality along the joint border.
Sporting activities attracted the crowd with three competitions of tug of war, crossbow shooting and stick pushing, exhibiting the solidarity between the people of Vietnam and Laos.
During the festival, thousands of visitors flocked to tourist and revolutionary historical sites of both Vietnam and Laos, such as Son La Prison, the Temple of King Le Thai Tong and the Son La Hydropower Project. It also offered an opportunity for Son La to introduce domestic and foreign tourists to its revolutionary traditions and potential for tourism development.
The event contributes to introducing and promoting the potentials and strengths of cultural development, sports, tourism and cultural heritage of ethnic groups in the renewal and international integration, as well as raising the awareness of preserving, promoting and honouring cultural identities of ethnic groups in the border areas between Vietnam and Laos, Thuy said.
At the same time, the event helps to raise the material and spiritual life of local people, contributing to maintaining national security and defence, building a peaceful and stable border for the friendship and special solidarity of Vietnam and Laos, added Thuy.
At the closing ceremony, the organising board presented the Certificate of Merit from the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Tay Bac Steering Committee and the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs to collectives and individuals who have made positive contributions to organising the festival.
The third Vietnam-Laos cultural, sports and tourism exchange festival will be hosted by the central province of Thanh Hoa in 2022.