Hue hosts Buddhist festival

VNA, May 18, 2010

THUA THIEN-HUE, Vietnam -- A Buddhist Cultural Week held as part of Ha Noi's millenium anniversary celebrations scheduled later this year opened in Hue on Sunday in the presence of Japanese ambassador Mitsuo Sakaba and Buddhist clergy and faithfuls.

The opening ceremony featured Prof Phan Huy Le's presentation on Buddhist influences on the Thang Long Royal Palace which was unearthed in Ha Noi a few years ago, and a Japanese film, Kwaidan, by Masaki Kobayashi, which won the Jury's Award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1956.

A vegetarian food festival also opened on the same day on Nguyen Dinh Chieu pedestrians-only street on the banks of the Huong (Perfume) River. Hue's vegetarian cooks served free food to the public.

An exhibition of 108 relics found in Thang Long, as Ha Noi used to be called during olden times, is being held at the Lieu Quan Cultural Centre on Le Loi Street. They belong to a private collection owned by Tran Dinh Son and date back to various periods ranging from that of Chinese overlordship to the independent Ly, Tran, and Le dynasties. The centre will also host other presentations, exhibitions, concerts, and discussions through Saturday, including Buddhist culture in business by businesswoman Ta Thi Ngoc Thao, Vietnamese Buddhism with Vietnamese cultural identities by researcher Le Quang Vinh, Zen during Tran Dynasty and Vietnamese Zen by Prof Cao Huy Thuan.

Japanese director Yojiro Tokita's Departure, which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Picture in 2009, will be screened tomorrow.

The event, held by the Hue Buddhist Sangha, is meant to begin celebrations of Buddha's 2,554th birthday next Friday.

"The cultural week aims to relive the values that Buddhism gave to the country and was tested in the course of its history of more than 2,000 years," Venerable Thich Hai AŠn, a member of the Central Buddhist Sangha's Executive Committee, told the opening ceremony.