A Belgian toast at Haiphong festival

12:38 | 26/10/2019
A Belgian culture and cuisine festival will provide a three-day tour of the finest selection of beers and iconic traditional dishes from the country, paired with music performances from both Belgian and Vietnamese artists.
a belgian toast at haiphong festival
Press conference on the announcement of the 2019 Vietnam - Belgium cultural and economic exchange festival

The festival known as B.Fest, which takes place at the Viet Czech Labour, Friendship and Culture Centre on October 25-27, is just one of the events under the Vietnam-Belgium Cultural and Economic Exchange Festival held in the northeastern city of Haiphong. The event is hosted by DEEP C Industrial Zones on behalf of the Embassy of Belgium.

B.Fest includes a series of activities and events such as one on Belgian cuisine, Culture Festival 2019, the Haiphong Port and Logistics Symposium 2019, and a semi-classical concert entitled Coming Home.

“This is the first time a large-scale Belgian festival has been organised in Haiphong, introducing to the local population the unique and authentic Belgian culture through a harmonious combination of beer, food, and music,” said Paul Jansen, ambassador of Belgium to Vietnam. “Each sip of beer will take you back in time to the origin of Belgian beer centuries ago, and explore how and why it is loved worldwide.”

The festival offers an extraordinary chance to taste more than 20 types of famous Belgian breweries such as Roman, Antwerpse Brouw Compagnie, and Van Honsebrouck, served over three continuous days. Each beer glass is specifically tailored for the occasion, and fruit-flavoured and non-alcoholic version will also be available. In addition, traditional Belgian dishes such as chocolate and waffles will create an unforgettable and authentic experience of Belgium for visitors.

Belgium, a country with a population of just over 11 million people, boasts more than 1,600 different types of beer, each brewed with a specific recipe that has been in existence for centuries. Many were fermented by masters through a combination of traditional and modern methods, making the art of Belgian beer no less sophisticated than that of French wine.

Belgian beer has been famous since the Middle Ages when monks brewed beer behind the walls of the abbeys to make medicine and raise maintenance and charity funds. Two distinct styles of beer brands, trappist and abbey, are still evolving to this day. Abbey is easier to buy and less constrained by the rules, only requiring to be produced in a monastic style, while trappist beer must be made in a true monastery.

Up to now, Belgian beer is known as the first and only drink in the world recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, going hand-in-hand with the civilised and unique way Belgians enjoy their beer.

While B.Fest introduces Belgian culture, the Coming Home concert is considered a highlight to spread Vietnamese culture for music lovers inside and outside the city. The music night brings 20 songs, recalling a colourful music journey nurtured and inspired by Haiphong through the voice of singer Pham Thu Ha, who is famous for her talent in semi-classical music. Through this concert, DEEP C hopes to introduce to the world a traditional and classical aspect of Haiphong beside the familiar image of a modern port and industrial city.

Meanwhile as part of the festival, Haiphong Port and Logistics Symposium 2019 gathers high profile leaders from associations of businesses, investors, banks, and consulting agencies such as EuroCham, AmCham, JLL, Hateco, and DEEP C Industrial Zones to provide a big picture of the logistics landscape, as well as guidance on doing business in Haiphong. Discussion and interaction will be open and straightforward as these experts will not hesitate to share what genuinely lies ahead of any investment decision.

“DEEP C dedicates these event series to Haiphong as a token of appreciation in return for 20 years of accompanying and developing together,” emphasised Bruno Jaspaert, general director of DEEP C Industrial Park. “Thanks to the warm welcome and attentive support from Haiphong since 1997, DEEP C has been able to thrive and stand out as one of the largest industrial zones in Vietnam. Being the biggest Belgian project in the country, DEEP C expects this event series will strengthen the already close bond between Haiphong and Belgium, and consequently call for more Belgian businesses to the city.”

By Thanh Son

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