A 150-page book of Vietnamese and Korean fairytales, the Starfruit, was released at the Korean Cultural Centre on March 2. This is the first issue of the fairytale collection.

Ten known fairytales, including Cay khe (The Starfruit), Ondal va Cong Chua Pyunggang (Ondal and Princess Pyunggang) and Nuoc Suoi Giup Tre Ra (Spring Water Brings Youth), were written in both languages and illustrated by Vietnamese artists.

Each story describes traditional foods, such as the origins of chung cake and day cake, and also offer lessons on behaviour, love and honesty. The moral of Cay Khe is that the greedy and the wicked lose in the end and the good prevail. Nguu Lang Chuc Nu explains the meaning of love through the romance between Nguu Lang and Chuc Nu.

"We hope to create harmony between the souls of Vietnamese and Korean people through the simple love in the fairytales transmitted by ancestors," said the centre director, Keum Gi-hyung.

The collection will teach Vietnamese and Korean history and culture to Vietnamese-Korean families and especially to younger generations.

"It is written in Vietnamese and Korean. It will help my children not only understand more about the two countries' cultures but also learn both languages," said Lee Geon, a father of two.

The books will be sent to department of Korean studies at Vietnam's universities and libraries, Vietnamese and Korean families, women who are about to emigrate in the Republic of Korea (RoK), the RoK Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and their Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and other offices.

About 40,000 Vietnamese - Korean couples, out of about 150,000 worldwide, now live in the RoK. They find it hard to communicate the culture of each country due to language barriers within families. /.