Making news

SEA Games 31 officially kicks off in Hanoi

The 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31), the region’s biggest sporting event, officially began with a grand opening ceremony held at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on May 12 evening.


  The hoisting ceremony of the flag of Vietnam at the SEA Games 31 opening ceremony. Photo: VNP  

  A Vietnamese traditional performance at the SEA Games 31 opening ceremony. Photo: Hoang Ha/VNP  

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue, and Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam were among the Vietnamese leaders attending the ceremony.

International guests include Speaker of the Singaporean Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, ministers and heads of the sports delegations of the 11 participating countries, chief representatives of international organisations, and foreign ambassadors.

The opening ceremony saw the presence of a large number of athletes and coaches from the 11 delegations who have been competing in 40 sports since May 4. The Vietnamese delegation comprises more than 1,300 members.
  An art performance ‘Way to Vietnam’ at the SEA Games 31 opening ceremony. Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP  
The event began with the Vietnamese flag hoisting ceremony, which was followed by special art performances by over 1,000 artists and athletes to introduce the Vietnamese culture and honour the cultural identities of the countries in Southeast Asia, aiming to strengthen solidarity and friendship, promote the spirit of contribution, dedication and honesty, and motivate people's inner strength through sports competition.

The ceremony looked to not only popularise images of Vietnam but also express the country’s readiness for integration, creativity, and contribution “For a Stronger Southeast Asia” as the theme of the Games goes.
  Unique performances imbued Vietnamese cultural identity. Photo: Hoang Ha/VNP  

SEA Games 31 is taking place in Hanoi and 11 nearby localities until May 23. This is the second time Vietnam has hosted the Games, after the first in 2003./.