Seminar on Vietnam held in Washington

(VNA) A seminar entitled "Vietnam: Beyond the War" was held in Washington on March 24 by the International Francophonie Organisation, the Vietnamese embassy in the US and the Smithsonian Associates of the US.

It is one of the activities in the framework of the Francophonie Cultural Festival 2010, lasting from March 1 to April 11.

Opening the seminar, a representative from the Smithsonian Associates said: "For many Americans, the word “Vietnam” conjures images of war, but today’s Vietnam is a thriving society whose modern culture stands on the foundation of a rich and textured 1000-year history."

Deputy Chief of Mission of the Vietnamese embassy, Nguyen Tien Minh, expressed the hope that through the seminar, participants would gain a better understanding of the country and people of Vietnam.

Taking the floor, Dana Sachs who teaches creative writing classes at the University of North Carolina, using personal narrative, scholarly research, and vivid images of Vietnam in the past and the present, leads a journey through Vietnam's history, geography and culture, especially surprising results of the "doi moi" (renovation) process.

Dana Sachs, who has visited Vietnam a dozens times, presented more than a hundred participants with photos on beautiful Vietnam, Dana Sachs is the author of many books on Vietnam including "The House on Dream Street", "If You Lived Here", and "The Life We Were Given". She co-authored Two Cakes Fit For a King: Folktales from Vietnam.

Also at the event, the participants were invited to Vietnamese culinary specialties.

During the Francophonie Cultural Festival 2010, more than 35 French-speaking embassies, governments and institutions in Washington D.C. partner with the Smithsonian Associates to present a series of films, concerts and activities that reflect the diversity of the francophone world. The goal of this non-profit festival is to bring cultural activities to the Washington community that educate the public and improve cross-cultural understanding./.