A performance at the festival (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The eighth Vietnam-India people’s friendship festival kicked off in Hanoi on December 3, with a string of activities to take place in several different localities.

During the week-long festival, delegates will pay tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum and visited the Presidential Palace in Hanoi. They will also visit the Birla Children’s Village, an orphanage that has provided care and education for the city’s children since 1987.

The delegates are also scheduled to tour the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho where they will pay a courtesy visit to the municipal leaders and go on trips to the Cai Rang floating market, the My Khanh tourist site and the Truc Lam Zen Monastery.

In Ho Chi Minh City, they will pay a courtesy visit to the city’s leaders and tour the Ben Thanh market.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh highlighted the Vietnam-India relationship, which was founded by President Ho Chi Minh and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and fostered by generations of Vietnamese leaders and people.

The minister expressed his belief that with a favourable development momentum and strong resolve of leaders and people of the two countries, the bilateral friendship and cooperation will reap greater achievements, bringing pragmatic interests for both nations, for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity in the region and the world at large.

The festival takes place after Vietnam and India elevated their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership and are preparing for the Vietnam-India Friendship Year in 2017 which marks the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and ten years of the strategic partnership, he said.

The official said he hopes the delegates will take the occasion to review the solidarity, friendship and mutual support between Vietnamese and Indian people, and propose measures to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership in a more tangible fashion.

Lakshminarayanan Kannan MLA, Vice President of the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation, reassured India’s whole-hearted support for Vietnam’s revolutionary cause at international forums.

Vietnam is bringing about the best strategic opportunities for India’s “Act East” policy through the strategic partnership, he said.

The relationship should be enhanced at both bilateral and multilateral forums, especially exchanges between the two countries’ citizens, he said, noting his wish to promote Indian culture in Vietnam.

He used the occasion to affirmed India’s solidarity with millions of Vietnamese Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims.-VNA