From 15-17 September, at Sapporo City, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan, Vietnam Embassy in Vietnam, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, solemnly organized the Vietnam Festival in Sapporo 2019 for the first time. The festival is organized to enhance cooperation and exchange between Vietnam and Hokkaido through the introduction and promotion of cultural beauty, tourism potentials, and Vietnamese cuisine to the people of Hokkaido.
Attending the opening ceremony were Japanese officials, representatives of agencies, organizations and residents of Sapporo City. The event attracted many trainees, engineers, international students working and studying in Japan and also the Vietnamese community living in Japan. Among them was a group of 14 Hai Phong trainees, currently working at a hotel in Hokkaido.
Especially, among 14 female trainees from Hai Phong, Ho Thi Phuong Loan participated in the festival in a very unique way. Different from 13 friends in her group, Loan chose Vietnamese traditional white ao dai as her costume this time. Perhaps it was because of the long dress that Loan wore that make her stand out and noticable.Photo 7
Talking with Ho Thi Phuong Loan, she shared with us abouther experience:
I and my friends knew about Vietnam Festival in Sapporo via Facebook. It was our holiday, so we were able to join this event.
You may feel surprised hearing this, but besides the knowledge cultivated at Hai Phong Language Center – where I trained before coming to Japan, I also prepared a special thing for myself. That is the traditional ao dai. Being born in Hue, I always choose ao dai for holiday occasions. When I came to Japan, I also brought ao dai to introduce Japanese people to Vietnamese ao dai. I think there have been probably not so many Vietnam festivals in Japan, so I chose to wear ao dai for this event.
When I got on the train, everyone was curious and asked me. Many people even know that the outfit I wear is Vietnamese traditional dress and they asked for photos with me. I’m glad many people feel interested. When I arrived at the venue of the festival, everyone could see that I was Vietnamese, without asking if I’m Vietnamese and we just greeted each other in Vietnamese.
The place where I live, apart from us, I haven’t met any Vietnamese who live here. When I went to the festival, I felt like home and the happy feeling of meeting each other face to face was really hard to describe.
We did not even know each other’s names, but we still greeted each other like relatives from distant time. What I like and remember the most is when the music started, we could hear the sound of the flute and the sitar. When the music started, I even danced along.
While cheering to the performance, a member of the organizers approached me and said, “There will be an ao dai performance during the show. The one you are wearing is very beautiful. Do you want to join the performance?” The invitation made me extremely intrigued. At that time, I thought that I would love to have some great moments during three years working in Hokkaido, so I agreed.
I was then brought to the backstage area to prepare. The performance was very successful, and received many applause from the audience. It made me feel so happy.
At the festival, I also had Vietnamese bread, beef noodle soup and even watered rice paper. It had been a long time since I’ve eaten Vietnamese food. The festival ended, I made many new friends. When I got home, I also received many friend requests on Facebook. This is really a trip leaving me with many memories”.
We wish you and your friends all the best for your study and work life, continue to bring more success during your remaining time in Japan.
Hai Phong also hope that, not only passion and love today, but it is also an inspiration to the trainees and young Vietnamese who are working in Japan to make a good impression on the people and the country of Vietnam in the eyes of the people of Sunrise.
Take a look at photos of Phuong Loan and her friends at this year’s Vietnam Festival in Sapporo: