Congratulations to Hội An for joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2023

On November 1st, Hội An city organized a parade to celebrate the event of Hội An becoming a member of UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). This event a great honor and marks an important step in the preservation, conservation, and development of the unique natural resources, cultural heritage, and arts of Hội An (previously, in 1999, the Hội An ancient town was recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage; in 2009, Cù Lao Chàm – Hội An was recognized as a Biosphere Reserve; in 2017, the art of Bài chòi was inscribed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity).

The parade to celebrate Hội An’s joining the UCCN Network (Photo: Văn Minh)

Hội An becomes an official member of the UCCN for the field of Crafts and Folk Art. This decision was announced by the UCCN Secretariat on October 31st, 2023.

Various unique forms of folk art authentically reflect the socio-cultural characteristics of this local land and population and have become an essential part of the spiritual life of Hội An people, such as boat rowing singing (bả trạo), repartee chants (hò khoan), traditional bingo with singing (Bài chòi), poems recital, 4 line-singing (hò vè), classical opera (hát Bội), ritual dance, etc.
It currently has five traditional craft villages with over 50 craft professions including carpentry, pottery, lantern making, nypa palm/bamboo making, garment making, leather making, etc. These have become local specialties, making a significant contribution to the cultural richness and folk art diversity of Hội An.

Lantern making craft of Hội An (Photo: Thanh Minh)

To be recognized as a member of the UCCN, Hội An has committed to implementing three local-level initiatives (The Kim Bồng Woodwork Project – Unleashing Creativity; The Creative Young Talents Incubation Project; The Creative Hội An in Digital Space Project) and three international-level initiatives (Hội An International Folk Arts Festival; Hội An International Lantern Festival; Hội An Creative House).

Becoming an official member of the UCCN, Hội An will promote the conservation and promotion of creative cultural values, expand international cooperation, and strive for sustainable urban development. It is also a favorable opportunity for Hội An to affirm its brand, enhance its position, and promote the image of creative cultural fields.

The UCCN was created in 2004 with the goal of promoting cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The network covers 07 creative fields: Design; Literature; Music; Crafts and Folk Art; Gastronomy; Film and Media Arts.

Almost 350 cities from over 100 countries and territories around the world are members of this network. Việt Nam currently has three cities in this network, including Hội An, Đà Lạt (recognized on October 31st, 2023, for the field of Music), and previously Hà Nội (recognized in 2019 for the field of Design).

Written by Văn Hiệp – Cù Lao Chàm MPA