Haiku contest launched in Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge, June 7, 2007

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam -- The Japanese Consul in HCMC has just launched a Vietnamese-Japanese haiku contest, regarded as an opportunity for all haiku-lovers from the two countries.

The organizers will be accepting entries from now until July 16. Vietnamese candidates may write their entries in either Vietnamese or Japanese, but submissions from Japanese contestants must be in Vietnamese.

Each participant must send a minimum of five original haiku poems. None of the entries can be copied or translated from othersí work (printed, published or from the Internet).

The entry must follow haiku rules: It must consist of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables and it must contain a special season word (the kigo) representative of the season or a reference to the natural world. The pattern for Vietnamese works includes three short lines of no more than 5, 7, and 5 words each.

Haiku is not usually popular in Viet Nam except with those Japanese Language students from the University of Social Sciences and Humanity. This Japanese form of verse relies on brevity and simplicity to convey its message. An artform that dates back to the seventeenth century; haiku has developed from the Zen Buddhist philosophy of simplicity and the idea of perfection that excludes the extraneous.

The contest is an opportunity for Vietnamese people to learn more about the Japanese culture through learning about haiku poetry. It aims to encourage the people of the two countries to learn about each otherís language and culture.

Please send all entries to the Department of Culture and Information at the Japanese Consul in HCMC: 13-17 Nguyen Hue Street, District 1. Tel: 08-8225314.