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Festival for Peace – a link connecting past, present, and future

Chairman of the Quang Tri People’s Committee Vo Van Hung told the Quang Tri Newspaper about the objectives and significance of the Festival for Peace 2024 with the theme "Bringing the entire world of peace to Quang Tri."

Festival for Peace – a link connecting past, present, and future

Boat racing on Ben Hai River. Photo: Tra Thiet

During the December 2019 workshop focused on the "Festival for Peace" Project, it was observed by experts that Quang Tri stands is the most fitting region within the country to celebrate and uphold the values of Peace. Following the Government's greenlight, Quang Tri has undertaken the initiative to outline a comprehensive blueprint for hosting the event, scheduled for July 2024. Could you provide more details about the festival's objectives, significance, and scope?

Quang Tri, a region scarred by the ravages of war and marked by profound sacrifices and losses, holds a fervent yearning for Peace, a shared aspiration of its people.

With the approval of the Government and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the Quang Tri Provincial People’s Committee has undertaken a project to orchestrate the Festival for Peace. This endeavor seeks to honor the paramount value of peace and beckon all individuals to unite in the effort to preserve and build a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable life for their homeland, nation, and humanity at large.

It also presents an opportunity to pay homage to the heroes and martyrs who valiantly sacrificed for the longevity of their homeland while commemorating the victims and the profound losses incurred as a consequence of war.

The festival serves as a conduit for propagating, introducing, and elevating the position and image of Quang Tri, amplifying its rich cultural heritage, tangible and intangible treasures, and abundant tourism offerings.

By doing so, it aims to attract both domestic and international tourists to Quang Tri, thereby bolstering the province’s socio-economic advancement. The festival also endeavors to rally robust participation from the business sector and tourism entities, fostering the improvement of tourism programs and the diversification of appealing tourism products to meet the discerning needs of travelers.

Furthermore, it seeks to enhance the caliber of human resources and tourism services, stimulating investment for tourism development and nurturing a shift in consciousness towards sustainable tourism, green tourism, and the gradual transformation of tourism into a pivotal economic sector year by year.

Beyond these objectives, the Festival for Peace, being an instrument of education and homage to the values of Peace, aspires to draw in a substantial number of domestic and international organizations and individuals, with a special focus on engaging young people, students, and veterans from countries that extended support to Vietnam or participated in the war in our country.

The message for the 2024 Festival for Peace "Joining hands to create a peaceful world," signifies a deliberate choice aimed at establishing a platform for unity and innovation while effectively communicating the intrinsic importance of Peace. Could you provide further insights into the reasoning behind this message?

Much like their fellow Vietnamese citizens, the people of Quang Tri today possess a profound understanding of the agony and sacrifices brought about by war, and they hold a deep appreciation for the immense value of Peace.

Quang Tri has evolved beyond being merely a local geographic entity; it has transformed into a universal symbol, representing the collective national pride and unwavering desire for Peace harbored by the heroic Vietnamese populace.

Quang Tri is a land characterized by its profound affection for comrades and compatriots from all corners of the country and the world.

The current yearning for Peace, both today and tomorrow, mirrors the aspirations of countless heroic martyrs and war survivors residing within the heartland of Quang Tri.

The core message of the Festival for Peace is twofold: to celebrate the intrinsic merits of Peace and to convey the voices of the Vietnamese people and those worldwide who champion Peace.

This festival serves as a clarion call, awakening the collective conscience and wisdom of our era, championing Peace and sustainable development in Vietnam and across the globe. Through this festival, our hope is that Quang Tri will evolve into a cultural sanctuary for Peace—a testament to the indomitable spirit of humanity on a terrain once ravaged by conflict. It shall serve as a gathering place for friends hailing from every corner of the world and as a platform for dialogue and solidarity among cities and populations who have endured experiences akin to Quang Tri’s.

The mark left by this festival will generate poignant moments that "bring the world of peace to Quang Tri." Moreover, the festival’s distinctiveness lies in the fact that each resident of Quang Tri will assume the role of a peace ambassador, while those who visit Quang Tri during the festival will seamlessly integrate into its ethos, taking on the responsibility of disseminating the values of Peace to every corner of the globe.

The Festival for Peace will open a gateway for Quang Tri to emerge as a destination, a nexus of convergence, and a place for deep-seated expressions of solidarity and friendship with the international community. This represents the impetus, the distinction, and the driving factor propelling Quang Tri toward sustainable development in an era of global integration.

As per the preliminary schedule, the 2024 Festival for Peace is slated to take place from July 20-26, 2024. Could you provide an overview of the pre-festival and during-festival activities, as well as an update on the progress of the preparatory efforts thus far?

The framework plan for the 2024 Festival for Peace outlines key activities, commencing with the festival’s inauguration at the historic Hien Luong - Ben Hai banks, a special national relic, on July 20.

Subsequently, from July 21 to July 23, 2024, a cultural exchange program is set to unfold at the Provincial Cultural and Cinema Center, featuring cultural performances and artistic exchanges with participating countries.

Additionally, a cultural and culinary festival, coupled with international kite flying displays, will enliven the Cua Viet Tourist Service Area from July 21 to 25. The festival will culminate with a poignant program involving the release of flower lanterns and the lighting of candles of gratitude at Thach Han River, marking the festival’s conclusion on the evening of July 26, 2024.

The inaugural festival would be prepared meticulously to ensure its success. All activities within the festival’s framework must ensure vibrancy, diversity, safety, friendliness, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency, garnering the attention and support of leaders from various ministries and central branches, and securing the financial resources needed to orchestrate future, even larger-scale festivals.

The primary objective of the festival is to realize the socio-economic development strategy and propel tourism development, catering to four distinct customer groups: spiritual tourists, festival-goers and local consumers, youth travelers, and international tourists. Particular emphasis is placed on diversifying the festival’s target audience, shifting the focus away from spiritual tourism customers towards these other groups.

The provincial authorities have outlined a plan from August to December 2023, concentrating on disseminating information, propaganda, and promotional activities for the festival. We will also collaborate with central ministries and branches to secure coordination and support for the festival’s organization, alongside working with sponsors. Further tasks include the renovation and construction of infrastructure and facilities to facilitate festival activities, as well as extensive communication and promotion efforts to engage organizations and individuals in the festival’s activities.

The Provincial People’s Committee will also oversee the selection and appointment of consultants and directors for script development.

The Festival for Peace is an inclusive event that is expected to draw a significant number of domestic and international tourists, thereby enhancing the reputation, image, and cultural heritage of Quang Tri and its residents. The long-term vision is that by 2030, tourism will become a cornerstone of the local economy, attracting over 40 million tourists and generating employment for approximately 42 thousand workers. The Festival for Peace is poised to be a distinctive and unique event, embodying Quang Tri’s rich historical narrative and connecting the past, present, and future.

Thank you very much!

Ngoc Mai - Thanh Truc

Ngoc Mai - Thanh Truc

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