Written by Tufng for Hanoi Grapevine
Photo by Tour de Hanoi
Inspired by “The Amazing Race”, Tour de Hanoi Season 3 is the chance for young people, especially high school and university students, to understand the culture and history of the many regions in Vietnam – Hanoi in particular, through cultural activities at each stop.
Despite the heavy rain, 10 teams were still present this morning the 05 Aug at the grass field by the West Lake on Quang Khanh street to start the game. At each stop, these teams of six, whose members are mainly students from high schools and university in Hanoi, would have to solve various riddles concerning historical and cultural knowledge, such as the art of wrapping West Lake lotus tea, of making Chang Son traditional hand fan,…
The stops included several pagodas in Hanoi such as Hoang An pagoda, Tao Sach pagoda, Pho Linh pagoda and Vong Thi temple… These activities that had all the elements of history, art, religions, but aren’t paid enough attention, especially from young people. Through putting the teams in a cultural environment, the participants of Tour de Hanoi had the chance to understand, not only through theorical knowledge, the religious culture of the 1000-year-old capital.
The teams moving by bike or on foot, but above all, teamwork is an important factor when the activities required every team to complete and continue through every challenge together. Through solving these riddles, these 60 young boys and girls were able to practice the culture and the traditional arts at the stops. Making paper boats, enjoy and learn the art of ca trù, making lanterns,… are activities that are familiar to the daily life back in the days but now can hardly be found in urban society or even at schools nowadays.
Though very young, Vu Minh Hanh (1999), the head organizers of the event, has successfully held the 3rd edition of Tour de Hanoi in just 2 years. The organizers were only intended to organize a single event, but due to high demand, they were aspired to continue the next seasons, she told Hanoi Grapevine. With the aim to expand the target participants (up to 30 years of age) and to add in more stops and activities in the upcoming season, Tour de Hanoi is a promising “cultural race” that is immensely exciting and full of potential in the future.
Translated by Hanoi Grapevine