Vietnam Ancestral Global Day and National Reunification Day

Longstanding Friendship Between the Canadian and Vietnamese Peoples Celebrated at Toronto Conference

The Canada Vietnam Society (CVS) and the York Centre for Asian Research hosted a one-day conference on April 30, called "Vietnam: Tradition and Development," to celebrate Vietnam Ancestral Global Day. Ancestral Global Day is commemorated in Vietnam to honour the Hùng Kings, who founded the Vietnamese nation almost 4,000 years ago and to celebrate their legacy in the modern Vietnam today. This year, besides in Canada, the commemoration was held in France, Laos, Poland, Japan, Thailand, Russia and other countries.

The event was held at York University. Dr. Julie Nguyen, a CVS board member, welcomed everyone and informed those attending that this was the first time that a celebration to commemorate the Hùng Kings is being held in Canada, making it an historic occasion. She pointed out that Vietnam Ancestral Global Day not only marks the historical beginnings of the Vietnamese nation, but celebrates the achievements of modern Vietnam, and in Canada it highlights the friendship between the Vietnamese and Canadian peoples. She announced that the conference would begin with a ceremony to honour these ancestors, followed by two panel discussions: the first "Local History, Global Future" and the second, "Canada-Vietnam Business and Educational Co-operation."

Dr. Julie Nguyen introduces the second panel.

Dr. Phouc Dang, the Chair of the CVS board, read a powerful poem to open the conference which pays tribute to the Hùng Kings and pledges the present generation of Vietnamese in the homeland and in the diaspora, to uphold their legacy of the independence and sovereignty of Vietnam. He later presented a slide show, providing an overview of Vietnam history and the role of the Hùng Kings.

In the first panel, a member of the Canada-Vietnam Trade Council highlighted the emerging areas of the Vietnamese economy today and the increasing trade relations between Vietnam and Canada. She pointed out that Vietnam is a highly educated society with a hard-working people, and given that it is Canada's largest partner in ASEAN, there are many more opportunities for business collaboration. She hoped more trade and opportunities for both Vietnamese and Canadians will emerge with the recent Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Speaking on behalf of the CVS, Philip Fernandez highlighted the friendship between the Canadian and Vietnamese peoples and noted that this relationship goes back to the time of Vietnam's national liberation war and the fight to reunify the country. He denounced the Journey to Freedom Act adopted by the Harper government in 2015 which distorts and falsifies the history of the heroic Vietnamese people and their defeat of the U.S. imperialists. He also expressed the support of CVS for the initiative of the Vietnamese Women's Entrepreneurial Association to oppose the flying of the colonial flag of the defeated U.S.-puppet south Vietnamese regime as a provocation against the Canadian and Vietnamese peoples.

In the afternoon panel, Dr. Lorna Wright and Dr. Elena Caprioni from the Schulich School of Business at York provided information of the various projects being undertaken to foster academic collaboration between the two countries. Dr. Wright also expressed hope that the current volume of Vietnam-Canada economic activity, valued at $6 billion, can be further developed and enhanced, given the economic stability and opportunity that exists in Vietnam.

Lily Tang, Executive Director of the Vietnamese Women Entrepreneur's Association, stated that Vietnam is a society of young people who have great entrepreneurial spirit. She noted that the more than 20,000 Vietnamese students studying in Canada are looking to make contributions to their own country and to Canada while they live here. This spirit, she said, bodes well for the future of both countries and peoples.

The organizers of the conference thanked everyone for their participation and expressed enthusiasm for the strengthening of relations between Vietnam and Canada.

Presentation by Dr. Phuoc Dang on the Four-Thousand Year
History of Vietnam

Click image to view the presentation in your browser as a PDF.

This article was published in

Volume 49 Number 16 - May 4, 2019

Article Link:
Vietnam Ancestral Global Day and National Reunification Day: Longstanding Friendship Between the Canadian and Vietnamese Peoples Celebrated at Toronto Conference


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