Young people are a key force in preserving and developing traditional cultural values fostered by fraternal ethnic groups during the nation’s thousand-year history, said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan.

The Deputy PM made the statement at a gala night themed “The colour of youth – the colour of solidarity”, one of the main event of the first festival for young people from ethnic minorities which took place in the Culture-Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups in Hanoi on April 17. The event drew the participation of 300 outstanding youths from ethnic groups nationwide.

Deputy PM Nhan highly valued the organisation of the festival as it took place on the occasion of the Cultural Day for Vietnamese Ethnic Minorities (April 19) and in response to the Youth Year 2011.

“The festival is a practical activity and a vivid manifestation of the will and action of young people of ethnic minorities towards the cause of preserving and promoting their groups’ unique cultural values,” Nhan stressed.

He said that Vietnam has 54 fraternal ethnic groups with their own cultural identities, which is an invaluable asset for not only Vietnam but also humankind.

Therefore, preserving the traditional cultures of ethnic groups is extremely important in the context of the wide cultural and knowledge exchange in which young people play a decisive role, Nhan noted.

According to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan, the festival helped raise the spirit of national pride, strengthen awareness and responsibilities of young generations in preserving and developing national cultural traditions.

On the occasion, Deputy PM Nhan and Ha Thi Khiet, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and Head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Organisation, presented the Committee for Ethnic Affairs’ certificates of merit to 36 units which had made excellent contributions to the festival.

They also granted Vu A Dinh scholarships to 54 outstanding ethnic minority students./.