Despite nearly 7,000km separating Azerbaijan and Vietnam, the two countries share several cultural similarities, said experts at a recent conference entitled The Parallels of Azerbaijani and Vietnamese Cultures.
The annual conference, now in its third year, was held on April 28 by the Azerbaijani History and Culture Research Centre in Vietnam, and the Azerbaijan Embassy.
Most of the Vietnamese experts taking part in the event studied in Azerbaijan and have beautiful memories of the country.
“We have been holding this conference already three years in a row, however this year it is particularly meaningful, because, this year, we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Despite establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1992, friendship relations between Azerbaijani and Vietnamese people have a long-standing history and most of the attendees of this event are the witnesses of these relations,” said Anar Imanov, Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Vietnam at the conference.
“Today Azerbaijan and Vietnam have left behind many difficulties, overcame them successfully and both have become leading countries in their regions. Both countries promote their culture and traditions not only in the national level, but also internationally,” he added.
This year, the conference focused mostly on similarities between the two countries in music and folk dancing.
Le Anh Tuan, director of the Vietnam Academy of Music said that the two countries have very rich and diverse folk music with various traditional music instruments.
Azerbaijani music is the musical tradition of the Azeri people. It builds on folk traditions that reach back nearly 1,000 years.
“The folk music of the two countries is rich in meaning and human values. It’s very important that the two countries promote music exchanges,” Tuan said.
People’s Artist Ung Duy Thinh, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Dancing Artist Association, also said that he found similarities in the folk dances of the two countries.
He discovered several ancient dances that are similar in the two countries.
“For example, the collective performance of the Yalli dance in Azerbaizan is very similar to the xoe vong dance of the Thai ethnic group in northwest Vietnam. They both originated from the peasants’ working daily life and are performed with the joy of a community,” he said.Participants at the conference said that even though the two countries were not large, they had thousands of years of history, and were resilient during wars against foreign invaders.
Multiculturalism, for both countries, has been the way to peace and stability.
The two countries set up close relations in 1959 when President Ho Chi Minh visited Azerbaijan. The President wanted oil-savvy Azerbaijan to help Vietnam train cadres in this sector.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Vietnam were established on September 23, 1992. Azerbaijan opened its embassy in Vietnam in 2013.