Model fined, banned from performances in HCM City


Model Ha Anh.

Vietnamese supermodel Ha Anh has been fined VND10 million (USD476) and banned from performances for three months in HCM City for wearing skimpy costumes.

Chau Quoc Dung, chief inspector of the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that Ha Anh was penalised for the inappropriate clothing she wore at a fashion show on June 26. She did not wear the outfit that had been previously approved by the organising board, but changed them herself, Dung added.  

Ha Anh was fined due wearing provocative clothing.

Ha Anh admitted her fault in the incident. This is the second time she has been fined for a costume mishap.

Ha Anh is one of Vietnam's best-known models, and has often appeared at events wearing provocative clothing. She has faced much public criticism for her style of dress.

Buddhist Kathina grand ceremony held in Ha Noi

A grand Buddhist ceremony will be held for the first time at the Culture Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups in Son Tay town on the outskirts of Ha Noi.

The annual Kathina festival, which originated about 2,500 years ago, is one of the biggest and most important Buddhist ceremonies. The festival will take place today and tomorrow at the Khmer Pagoda Complex, about 35km from the city centre.

The festival features a number of significant rituals, including the presentation of cloth offerings to the monks and a ceremony for taking refuge in the Buddha. Participants will also pray for peace and happiness.

As many as 1,000 delegates including Buddhists, non-Buddhists, ambassadors of ASEAN member countries and Lao and Cambodian students studying in Viet Nam are expected to attend the event.

The event aims to reinforce the solidarity of monks and nuns from different sects and ethnic groups, in addition to promoting cultural exchange and friendship within the ASEAN community and introducing Viet Nam's Buddhist religious culture and life to the world.

Xoe dances kick off cultural festival in Yen Bai

More than 1,000 artists and local people performed xoe dances on Thursday night to kick off the Muong Lo Culture, Sports and Tourism Week in Yen Bai Province's Nghia Lo Town.

Xoe is a typical dance of the Thai ethnic minority groups in the north-west. Men and women hold hands to form a circle and dance to the rhythms played on instruments such as gourd lutes, drums, two-chord fiddles, gongs and cymbals.

The festival will continue till Monday with a range of activities, including trade and food fair, sports competition, buffalo fighting, and heritage status being given to three banyan trees in the area that are more than 300 years old.

The special week aims to promote solidarity and cultural exchange among ethnic minority groups, to strengthen the preservation and development of culture, and to promote tourism in the region.

Acoustic album features ‘Thrilling Ha Noi'

A new acoustic album featuring hit songs by Vietnamese composer Phu Quang about his love for Ha Noi has been released.

Titled Ha Noi Run Run Heo May (Thrilling Ha Noi in the Very First Winter Breeze), the 10-song album is the first-ever album featuring Quang's music in the acoustic style.

Singer Tuan Hiep, a former graduate of the National Music Academy, teamed up with guitarist Tuan Khang, winner of the 2002 National Guitar Festival, to record the album.

Following Vietnamese pre-war music genre (nhac tien chien) – a sub genre of Vietnamese modern music – Hiep lept to fame with his debut album Mat Biec (Blue Eyes), which he recorded with Tung Duong and Le Quyen. Since its release seven years ago, the album has been a best seller for the Music Publishing House DIHAVINA.

Hanoi celebrates Theravada Buddhists’ robe-offering festival

The Kathina (robe offering) ceremony is being held for the first time at the Khmer pagoda in the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Son Tay district, 40km west of Hanoi’s centre.

The ceremony, spanning October 18-19, is one of the official tradition rituals of Theravada Buddhism, during which Buddhist followers donate new robes to the monks with a hope that both devotees and recipients will gain merits.

The event is expected to draw thousands participants, including Buddhists monks, nuns and followers across the nation, ambassadors of ASEAN countries, and Lao and Cambodian students in Hanoi .

It aims to improve the cultural and spiritual life of Buddhist followers and strengthen their solidarity.

The festival also offers a prime opportunity to introduce the Buddhist culture and the religious life in Vietnam to international friends.

Workshop discusses promotion of Vietnam’s world heritage

The Vietnam Office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) held a workshop in Hanoi on October 17 to develop a strategy to promote the country’s world heritages.

Vietnam is now home to eight natural heritage sites, eight intangible cultural heritages, four documentary heritages, and eight world biosphere reserves, Deputy Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage Nong Quoc Thanh said.

Since gaining official UNESCO recognition, the heritage sites, especially the natural heritage sites, have become well-known tourist destinations, contributing to local socio-economic development and helping promote Vietnam’s global image, he added.

Thanh stressed that UNESCO recognition was not intended to develop tourism but rather to instill responsibility in localities to preserve and uphold the values of the different heritages.

A representative from the UNESCO office said that by making good use of promotional techniques and communication tools, Vietnam could influence visitors’ behaviour at heritage sites and engage the community in heritage protection.

During the workshop, a participant presented useful measures for the promotion of world heritage sites, while noting that the existing information on Vietnam ’s heritages was not recorded in a digital database, consisting only of simple documents, photographs, or drawings.

Participants also discussed the benefits of applying a heritage promotion strategy, the detailed process of strategy development, and concrete proposals to promote Vietnam’s world heritage sites.

More than 2500 tickets sold out for Oktoberfest in Hanoi

Under the patronage of the German Embassy in Hanoi and the German Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh city, the German Business Association (GBA) with its 164 German member corporations co-hosts and celebrates Germany’s largest cultural event in the two cities of Ho Chi Minh city at Windsor Plaza Hotel on October 10 – 18, 2014 and Hanoi at JW Marriott Hanoi Hotel on October 23 and 24, 2014.

This is the first time for the GBA to team up with the JW Marriott Hanoi hotel organising the 05th Oktoberfest in Hanoi. A specially designed tent “Festzelt” like in Munich on the original “Wiesn” is set to revive the utmost authentic atmosphere we could offer. “This year’s Oktoberfest Hanoi is promising to be even bigger and more exciting and we expect on both event days a sold out event with more than 2,500 guests”, Elmar Dutt, Chairman of the German Business Association states.

The Oktoberfest in Vietnam of the German Business Association (GBA) definitely creates the authentic atmosphere found in the massive beer halls of the original Oktoberfest in Munich, complete with delicious German cuisine, premium imported German brews and a great party mood with very authentic Bavarian music from the band “Anton Showband” in Hanoi, who promise to keep the party in Hanoi rocking through the nights this year.

Featuring a 1600 square meter Marquis with traditional with seating for up to 1,200 people, the guests will once again “go loud” with rock hits and popular Bavarian folk music, sing in chores, swing the beer mugs for toasting, hold each other’s hands and dance together with great enjoyment in the Hanoi’s biggest Oktoberfest yet.

Thanks to the support of more than 10 sponsors who make the event possible and successful: Andritz Hydro, Rieckermann, Schenker Vietnam, Euro Auto-BMW Importer, Siemens, Haefele Vina JSC, Messer Haiphong, MISDA, Peter Cremer and Paulaner Hefe Weissbier and more.

Northwest Tourism Fair 2014 held in Ha Giang

The Northwest Tourism Fair 2014 was held in Ha Giang province on October 17-18 with an effort to foster tourism cooperation in eight regional provinces.

The participated regional provinces were Dien Bien, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Hoa BInh, Son La, Lai Chau and Ha Giang.

The event, the first of its kind, was to create a change in promoting the region’s popular destinations and tourism products, particularly community-based tourism, said Tran Duc Quy, Deputy Chairman of the Ha Giang People’s Committee.

Apart from traditional tourism products, the fair highlighted traditional folk songs, dances and music instrumental performances by local artists and ethnic people.

A photo exhibition was held as part of the fair, showcasing 43 photos depicting the beauty of the region’s landscapes such as Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark in Ha Giang province.

The organising board plans to hold the fair annually with the aim of strengthening tourism linkages between the regional provinces, Quy said.

Cumbersome procedures hinder preservation in Hoi An

The Hoi An Centre of Heritage Conservation and Management has complained about various difficulties in their preservation and renovation work resulting from a lack of financing and cumbersome procedures.

Out of hundreds of deteriorating houses in Hoi An, 49 are about to collapse and 10 relics might not survive a storm. Each year, the city receives 70 to 80 requests to renovate old houses but only few have actually been repaired. Since Hoi An was recognised as national relic site, its renovation and preservation plans require extensive procedures.

Quan Than House on Tran Phu Street is one of the most unique houses. It was built in 17th century and features many fine examples of architectural style of the period. However, the house now requires extensive renovation as its wood frame is being destroyed by weevils and the walls and roof are caving in. When the owner had enough money for renovation, the necessary repairs could not be made because of cumbersome procedures.

Resolution 70 states that the authority to inspect and create renovation plans for national relics belongs to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. However, Resolution15 says that relics at the district level and higher must be inspected by the Ministry of Construction. In order to repair the house, the plan must be approved by both ministries.

Tran Trung Hung, an official from the Hoi An Centre of Heritage Conservation and Management, said it took them at least five months complete a dossier while the need to repair old houses grew more and more urgent.

The centre and local authorities had to encourage people to preserve their own houses. Owners of severely deteriorated homes will be evacuated to new residences during storm seasons. If the house is deemed to be unsafe to live in, it would have to be destroyed.

Hoi An municipal authorities have also asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Construction and the government to adjust the regulations to make them more practical.

Italian Language Week to feature various activities in Hanoi

Various activities, under the framework of the 14th Italian Language Week around the world, will be organised at the Casa Italia, No.18 Le Phung Hieu Street, Hanoi from October 23 – 30, according to an announcement from the Italian Embassy in Vietnam.

The event aims to help Vietnamese people increase their understanding of Italian language and culture and offers an opportunity for co-operation between two countries.

A photography exhibition named ‘Milan – Reading Coner’ and a talk on the publishing industry will open the series of activities at 5:30pm on October 23.

The exhibition, featuring photos on Milan, the cultural destination of Italy, will run until October 30.

Meanwhile, Italy’s Ambassador to Vietnam Lorenzo Angeloni will chair the talk. Participants will discuss the future of the publishing industry in developing e-books and share Italy’s experiences in the industry with Vietnam.

On October 27, the organising board will present an Italian book, “I'm Not Scared” by Niccolo Ammaniti, at 4pm.

On the occasion, the first curriculum on Italian language and Italian literature for Vietnamese people will be introduced at 5:30pm on October 30.

Photography exhibition on world heritage sites

A photo exhibition entitled ‘Discover wonder of world heritage’ opened at the Thang Long Imperial Citadel at 18 Hoang Dieu Street in Hanoi on October 18.

The photos at the exhibition offered different views of domestic and international photographers on 12 world heritage sites and world heritage sites of Vietnam.

The exhibition is constructed from triangle units formed from squares.

Addressing the ceremony, Katherine Muller Marin, Head of the UNESCO Office in Vietnam, said “The structure of the exhibition highlights the fact that the greatness of nature originates from tiny things. Each heritage site is portrayed individually, yet all are linked closely to one another to create the harmony between natural and cultural heritage, the harmony between heritage Vietnam and of the world.” she said.

She also stressed “The beauty of World Heritage is there for all of us to discover, but the challenge in protecting these valuable properties is also our mutual responsibility.”

The Head of the UNESCO Office in Vietnam expressed her hope that the young audience of Vietnam would enjoy the exhibition and join hands in heritage conservation activities in the future.

Aiming to promote the unique beauty of Vietnam’s eight Heritage sites together with other heritages site in the world, the exhibition is an initiative of UNESCO Hanoi Office with Panasonic’s sponsorship.

After showing in Hanoi, the exhibition is scheduled to move to other cities and provinces across the country.

On the occasion, Panasonic announced the 15 winners of its annual programme Eco Picture Diary Contest, a painting contest for secondary pupils. The winners, selected from 500 pupils across the country, submitted outstanding pictures expressing their creativity in preserving the environment and their expectation of green living practice among society.

Also on the same day, an Award Ceremony for the child movie making programme, Panasonic Kid Witness News, was also organised. Phan Chu Trinh secondary school team with the movie ‘Innocent’ was presented with the Grand Prize worth US$1,000 and an opportunity to enter the global round to be held by Panasonic Corporation in 2015, in Paris, France.

Local war book published in German

Local author Bao Ninh’s novel entitled Noi buon chien tranh or “The Sorrow of War” has been published in German with translation assistance by a group of experts including Vietnamese-German Nguyen Ngoc Tan.

The book, which tells a story about a Vietnamese soldier who joined the American War in Vietnam, has been published in 18 countries and territories. It was awarded by the Vietnam Writers’ Association in 1991 and the Nikkei Asia Prize in Japan in 2011.

To mark the book launch, the Vietnam-Germany Friendship Association and Mitteldeutscher Verlag Publishing House are organizing meetings between translators of the book and readers in some cities in Germany until October 31.

Bollywood singer to thrill Diwali participants

Bollywood singer Kumar Sanu  will perform at the Festival of Lights, better known as Diwali, at the convention center of the White Palace in HCMC’s Phu Nhuan District on October 25.

The festival, organized by the Indian Business Chamber in Vietnam (Incham), will feature Bollywood performances as well as a wide selection of Indian cuisine and free flow of drinks.

Thousands of expatriates and Vietnamese guests are expected to join the Festival of Lights this year in the city.

Born 1957, Sanu, one of the most popular playback singers of Bollywood, has had his name in the World Guinness Book for recording 28 songs in a day that are more than those of other singers in the world.

Sanu graduated from a commerce faculty of Calcutta University. His style of singing was greatly influenced by legendary Bollywood singer Kishore Kumar.

Sanu has won five Filmfare awards for five consecutive years and had sung in different languages in hundreds of films by the end of 1990.