The beauty of Vietnam's tangible and intangible cultural assets will be on display in a special exhibition titled "Stunning Vietnam" running from Jan. 9 through March 10 at the Cultural Heritage Park in Taichung City.
The exhibition is organized geographically, taking visitors from the northern to southern tip of the Indochina Peninsula to meet Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups living between the Red River and Mekong Delta, and their unique customs, traditional crafts, and performance arts. A total of 12 aspects of Vietnamese culture are included on the UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity register.
Some highlights will include introductions to the water puppets of the Red River Delta; the gong culture of the highlands and the Cham people of central Vietnam; the Kinh people and Han immigrants of the Mekong Delta; and the Vietnamese traditions associated with the Lunar New Year, including belief in the East Asian zodiac (in which "ox" is replaced with "water buffalo" and "hare" is usurped by "cat").
A week-long program featuring Vietnamese performers will also be staged at the Cultural Heritage Park during the Lunar New Year holidays. Audience members will be treated to live showings of Vietnam's water puppetry, gong ensembles and folk music, as well as imperial court music and royal dances.
Additional workshops will also be held to showcase the food, crafts, and music that make up the collective memories of Vietnam. Exhibitiongoers can look forward to making and sampling Vietnamese rice dumplings and spring rolls; crafting star-shaped and shadow lanterns; and playing the gong, hand puppets, and water puppets. A unique cultural board game designed by Vietnamese immigrants will also be available on site.
"Stunning Vietnam" is organized by the Bureau of Cultural Heritage to raise awareness of conservation and revitalization practices pertaining to intangible heritage, and to help the Taiwanese public better understand the history, culture, and people of Vietnam.