The 5th Vietnam-India People’s Friendship Festival got underway in Puducherry city, southern India , on December 16.

The four-day event is being held by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO), the Vietnam-India, India-Vietnam Friendship Associations and the All-India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO).

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Pallav Sengupta, AIPSO General Secretary and Politburo Member of the Communist Party of India (CPI), expressed his belief that the festival will succeed in strengthening mutual understanding between the people of both countries, and boost the Vietnam-India strategic partnership.

VUFO General Secretary Nguyen Thi Hoang Van reviewed the two countries’ traditional friendship established by President Ho Chi Minh and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which has since been nurtured by both countries’ leaders and people.

Van highlighted the solidarity and mutual support in the struggle for national independence, affirming that it is a valuable tradition connecting the two peoples.

The festival is a meaningful and practical activity to celebrate the 2012 Vietnam-India Friendship Year and the 40 th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, and it marks five years since the two countries established the strategic partnership, Van said.

She added that through the festival, Vietnam wants to further develop the relationship between the two peoples and promote bilateral cooperation in all fields.

The same day, the Vietnamese delegation was received by Governor Rangasamy of Puducherry city, and met with CPI and AIPSO representatives.-VNA