Indigenous Australian artist fetes Hanoi anniversary

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Indigenous Australian artist Jeremy Donovan says he is honored to be part of Hanoi's 1000th anniversary celebrations.

"A thousand years is very big. This is such a remarkable number when you think the colonial history of Australia is only about 200 years," he said.

The indigenous didgeridoo player, artist and keynote speaker, Donovan said he has travelled around the globe to introduce and promote greater understanding of Australian tribal art.

A descendant of both Gumbaynnigirr and Kuku-Yalanji aboriginal people, Donovan grew up with his grandparents in the bush, without electricity and running water.

Life was all about hunting.

"It's our way of life. Tribal art and culture is all about the land. Everything that we paint, we sing or dance about is about honoring the motherland, honoring the Earth," Donovan said.

"For a long time, there were a lot of fear about embracing the culture but now there's a greater willingness to learn about it."

The artist will appear tonight (Saturday April 17) at the Cultural Friendship Palace in a gala concert titled "Journey Through Time." It's part of the Australian embassy's "Once in a 1,000 years: An Australian gift to Hanoi" program.

"Good friends celebrate birthdays together," said Australian Ambassador Allaster Cox at a press briefing launching the program.

"The program includes something for everyone: world-standard indigenous art, classic didgeridoo performances, modern hip hop and musical exchanges," he said.

Tickets have already run out for the gala, but the public can still attend other outdoor activities during the weekend at the Cultural Palace on Tran Hung Dao Street in Hanoi.

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