Members of the Indonesian AUN delegation perform the Piring dance in HCMC

The 6th ASEAN Youth Cultural Forum 2008 wraps up today in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam has taken pride in hosting an event that enhances regional cultural understanding.

Neighboring friends, however, have offered useful advice to help Vietnam organize international events in the future.

The six-day forum is held by different members of the ASEAN University Network (AUN) annually.

HCMC National University (HNU) hosted this year’s event, for the first time.

Over 80 delegates from 13 universities in nine countries met in HCMC on July 28 to participate in four main activities – lectures on each country’s cultural uniqueness including music and dance; workshops and seminars on Vietnamese culture; cultural performances and exchanges; and a tour to the Mekong Delta to study folklore.

Practical experience

Osman Abdul Hamid, team leader from the National University of Singapore said, “The only two things that I want to advise the organizer about is to use time more effectively and have better equipment for the event.”

“I believe the time is used very loosely here. I think the equipment is not good enough for us to perform at our best.

“For example, we should have different microphones for different kinds of performance.

“I know the university staff have worked very hard to host the forum but hiring a professional event company is a good idea,” said Osman.

Rithaudin Abd. Kadir from Malaysia’s Malaya University said Vietnam is like his hometown having a similar climate.

“I think we should have more time to learn a dance which we can all perform together.”

Indonesian Professor Dr. Timbul Haryono, who likes Vietnamese cuisine, agreed with Kadir.

“We should learn a dance or song together, not divide up into small groups and learn different performances, in such a short time that we can hardly remember them.”

“Six days is so tight for a forum but I believe it would be more meaningful if the activities are more focused,” said Dr. Haryono.

Malinee Achayuttakan said, “It was great to learn the Hue court dance on the third day. As scheduled, the host team performed for the whole morning and then all 83 participants were to perform together in the afternoon.

“But it did not go as planned. It was finished in the morning and we had nothing to do in the afternoon.”

All participants complained about the long distances from the guesthouse to the venues, which wasted time.

They also had to get up at 6 a.m.

“We like going shopping and looking around, but it’s quite difficult because we don’t stay near the city center,” said Leia Anne Medina, who loves Ben Thanh Market’s bags and souvenirs.

Source: Thanhnien