Banana Fest 2019: Check out Vietnamese culture and food!

Don’t be fooled by the name, this is not a fruit festival! Bananas are actually Vietnamese living in the Czech Republic since childhood. And they are organising their own festival!

When you look Asian but you are raised in Europe, you don’t really fit anywhere. Your Czech is far better than your Vietnamese, family traditions confuse you and everybody has different expectations about your future – teachers, friends, even extended family in Vietnam.

That’s why we call ourselves banana generation – we might be yellow on the outside, but we are very white on the inside. While this designation may raise some controversy in western countries, in the Czech Republic we kind of owned it and turned it into a brand.

We are bananas, we have our own culture, which we are proud of and want to share. Banana fest 2019 is our 4th annual multi-genre festival. The festival covers 3 areas:

I. Art

Listen to traditional music, watch a play, experience a fashion show. We have art programs for both adults and children. Perhaps you’d be interested in joining creative workshops or fun debates with YouTubers and actors?

II. Gastronomy

Have you ever been to an authentic Vietnamese night market? Now is your chance! Enjoy some quality street food under the light of a thousand lanterns. You can also learn to make a meal yourself!

III. Education

While art and gastronomy are already traditional, this year’s festival will take a completely new turn with its educational part. There will be interesting lectures, documentaries and a living library, that will introduce the history of Czech-Vietnamese relationship.

“Our aim is to present the Vietnamese diaspora to the Czech majority as a diverse group of individuals. We want to break the stereotypes, educate our neighbours and bring us all a bit closer,” says Minh Ngoc Mai, festival’s chief coordinator.

As our moms always said: it’s only fun if you learn from it. So, make sure to come by and learn something new about bananas!

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The festival is organised by VietUp, an NGO that connects young Vietnamese through sport, culture and art. It will be held on October 26, 2019 at Hybernská 4 from 4 p.m. to 22 p.m. Admission: free.