Hanoi to Host First National Ethnic Minority Congress

The first National Ethnic Representatives’ Meeting will officially kick off in Hanoi May 12 with 1,702 delegates from 54 Vietnamese ethnic groups in attendance, Minister and Chairman of the Nationalities Committee Giang Seo Phu announced May 7. The two-day meeting will be the first opportunity for representatives from all ethnic groups, whose ages range from 12 to 103, to gather in one place, exchange cultures and learn from each other, said Phu. During the meeting, the representatives will review the past activities relating to the government’s ethnic policies carried out at local and government levels. Initiatives and changes to current ethnic policies to help the poor and the minorities will also be proposed. The minister hopes that the ethnic minorities will gradually increase their confidence and independently develop their own economies and cultures. More developed ethnic groups should help preserve the less developed ones, including some groups that now have only about 300 people left like the O-du.
"We hope the groups will unify and make progress to eliminate poverty, advance their people’s education and help the nation achieve its industrialized goals by 2020," said Phu.
To conclude the event on the evening of May 12, a music festival will be held to celebrate the cultural diversity of the different ethnic groups with performances by professional ethnic artists from over 30 provinces at My Dinh National Stadium.