By participating in these events, the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) and other participating countries broadened their knowledge about culinary culture of one another, thus consolidating their friendship and cooperation. For this reason, the sidelines activities were considered “bridges” bringing participating navies closer together.

Vietnamese cuisine attractive to visitors

The MILAN Culture Village is a space where navies participating in MILAN 2022 introduced traditional dishes and food of their countries. At the event, the Italian naval delegation introduced famous spaghetti to visitors, while the Bangladeshi naval troops prepared rice served with braised fish. Similarly, the VPN’s delegation brought Vietnam’s special dishes, including chicken pho, spring roll, shrimp with passion fruit sauce, and salt-roasted sturgeon to the event. These dishes, which are typical for each region of Vietnam, demonstrated the unity and harmony.

Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau and members of the Vietnamese Embassy in India at the Vietnamese naval delegation's stall introducing Vietnamese cuisine

In addition, eye-catching food presentations by crewmembers of Frigate 016-Quang Trung surprised visitors, including Indian Minister of State for Defense Ajay Bhatt. “Your food stall is very diverse, and dishes are presented in very eye-catching way,” said the Indian official while visiting the Vietnamese delegation’s stall.

Sharing the same opinion with the Indian Minister of State for Defense, Republic of Korean Ambassador to India said that he visited all food stalls at the MILAN Culture Village, and he was very impressed with the VPN’s. He said that the stall of Vietnam contributed to diversifying the world’s cuisine at the village.

As one of the first visitors to VPN’s food stall, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau was happy as he could enjoy Vietnamese dishes in a foreign country. He said that he had attended many cuisine festivals, and at those events, Vietnamese cuisine was always festival goers’ favorite. That was the reason why VPN’s stall attracted visitors despite it was located far from the entrance of the village.

Visitors queued to visit Vietnamese delegation’s stall and choose their favorite food and drinks. The attentive service and detailed introduction by the VPN’s “chefs” pleased all participants. An Indian officer said, “Delicious, delicious” after enjoying the Vietnamese people’s spring rolls.

Friendly multinational teams

Apart from cuisine, sports exchange was also considered a “bridge” between navies participating in MILAn 2022. Sports activities gave Vietnamese and foreign naval officers opportunity to promote understanding and solidarity as well as improve their health for upcoming exercise at sea.

MILAN 2022’s theme, “Camaraderie – Cohesion – Collaboration,” was clearly demonstrated through such team sports activities as volleyball, basketball, football, and walk. To enhance interaction and mutual understanding, each participating navy selected its members to create a friendly and cooperative multinational team to participate in these competitions. The VPN’s naval troops took part in football, volleyball and jogging events.

Despite language and culture barriers, through sports activities, naval troops from different countries became lovely and reliable teammates. Competitions in the Sports Center of the Eastern Fleet of the Indian Navy created a joyful atmosphere.

Petty Officer First Class Josee Hightower from Australian Navy said that he was happy joining naval troops from other countries in volleyball sets. It was interesting because these competitions were not to choose the winner. “We come from different countries, but we become teammates and have joyful moments,” said Josee Hightower.

Naval troops from different countries in a football match

At Yarada beach, the friendship jogging event took place with the participation of hundreds of naval troops joining MILAN 2022. Frigate 016-Quang Trung’s Captain Commander Vu Trong Tan and crewmembers participated in the event. After completing 4.5km distance, members of participating navies formed random teams to participate in friendly sports activities, including volleyball, tug of war and dance.

It can be said that the MILAN Culture Village and sports exchange were outstanding activities within MILAN 2022. They have contributed to strengthening friendship and cooperation among navies.

Translated by Tran Hoai