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SEA Games 31 officially kicks off

Fadhil Yunus

Colourful and lively performances took centre stage as Vietnam welcomed the region during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam last night.

The ceremony began with the hoisting of a giant Vietnamese national flag followed by the playing of the national anthem.

A performance inspired by a bamboo tree and accompanied with soothing music in the opening scenes of the event demonstrated solidarity and friendship among the countries.

Spectators were also treated to stunning images of lotus flowers and traditional paintings as an assortment of colours and visual effects lit up the arena.

Female performers were adorned with the ao dai, Vietnam’s national garment and a conical hat, illustrating the country’s proud tradition.

Members of the Brunei contingent hold their national flag during the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian Games at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on May 12. PHOTOS: AFP
Performers take part in the opening ceremony of the 31st Southeast Asian Games at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi last night.

In alphabetical order, the Brunei Darussalam national contingent was the first to emerge during the Parade of Nations with pencak silat athlete Anisah Najihah binti Abdullah bestowed the honour as the flag-bearer.

Following past traditions, the event proceeded with the flag hoisting of the official Southeast Asian Games flag shortly after the marchpast of athletes and officials.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc declared the SEA Games open.

The lighting of the SEA Games cauldron further heightened the excitement of supporters with a music performance entitled Let’s Shine.

Themed ‘For a Stronger Southeast Asia’, the Games which is held in the capital and 11 neighbouring provinces and cities will run until May 23. The region’s premier multi-sport competition is expected to attract around 10,000 participants with a total of 40 sports and 523 events set to be contested.

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