Technology, traditional Vietnamese arts to mark SEAG opening ceremony

HANOI—Vietnam vowed to showcase a unique mix of state-of-the-art technology and traditional arts during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian Games at the My Dinh Stadium on Thursday evening.

The Vietnam SEA Games Organizing Committee said technologies such as mapping, augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (EX) will help highlight the ceremony that country is staging in the same 40,000-seat stadium where it opened the games as first time host in 2003.

According to Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, Team Philippines will be represented by a 30-member contingent as ordered by the Games organizers for each of the 11 member countries, with Tokyo Olympian and Asian men’s pole vault record holder Ernest John “EJ” Obiena as flag-bearer.

“We’re 30 officials and athletese who’ll be allowed in the parade of nations,” said Tolentino, who’ll be marching with Philippine Sports Commission Commissioner and chef de mission Ramon Fernandez. “We chose those athletes who are in Hanoi and those who don’t have a game early the following day.”

The 40 sports on the Games’ program, organizers said, will be depicted in the style of Dong Ho folk painting art—a traditional craft of Vietnam—through graphic images.

Do Dinh Hong, director of the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports and vice chairman of the Sub-Committee for SEA Games 31 opening and closing ceremonies,  said the opening ceremony aims to depict a “beautiful, friendly and hospitable Vietnam,” which is striving, together with other ASEAN member countries, to grow stronger after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Eleven outstanding Vietnamese athletes will carry the torch and light the cauldron. This will be followed by a three-chapter show themed “Friendly Vietnam,” a “Strong Southeast Asia” and a “Shining Southeast Asia” reflecting the strength from the solidarity and friendship between Vietnam and the ASEAN member countries.

The show will be end with an enticing ensemble performance of the Games’ official song “Let’s Shine,” which will be sand by popular Vietnamese musical artists, the saola mascot, 110 dancers and 250 athletes.
The Games  carry the theme “For a Stronger South East Asia.”