Russian Culture Days kick off in Hanoi


The 2013 Russian Culture Days kicked off on November 12 in the presence of President Truong Tan Sang and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Addressing the opening ceremony in the Opera House in Hanoi, President Sang affirmed that Vietnam and Russia share a long history of relations and loyal friendship.

To Vietnamese people, Russia is an intimate and great friend, he said, stressing that Vietnam is always grateful to Russia for its priceless support and help to the country during its past struggle for independence as well as current national construction and development.

Underlining the importance of cultural cooperation between the two countries, President Sang said the Russian culture is familiar to many generations of Vietnamese people with melodies, songs and art works.

He said the event, which coincides with the 96 th anniversary of the Russian October Revolution and the Vietnam visit of President Putin, will make practical contributions to strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

This is also a chance for Vietnamese people and foreign friends in the country to learn more about the Russian culture, he added.

The Russian President said Vietnam-Russia ties are growing strongly in all fields, including investment, science and technology, and education. The cooperation is fuelled by a firm foundation of traditional friendship and deep mutual understanding, he stressed.

President Putin expressed his belief that bilateral ties will be further consolidated and developed for mutual benefit.

Many activities will be organised during the event, including an exhibition showcasing 200 artefacts featuring Russia’s handicrafts and traditional costumes of Russian women in the 18th -20th centuries and a display of 63 copies of art works from Russia’s State Museum of Oriental Art, one of the largest museums in Europe.

Photo exhibition recalls Vietnam-Russia historical ties


A photo exhibition featuring the relationship between Vietnam and Russia was held in the Opera House, Hanoi on the evening of November 12.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Truong Tan Sang attended the event.

Some 55 precious photos taken by reporters from the Vietnam News Agency and ITAR-TASS news agency fully reflect the friendship between the two countries over the last six decades.

Undergoing many historical ups and downs, the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership lifted since 2012 has flourished in all fields ranging from politics and economics to culture, education, technology-science and security-national defence.

Along with the development of the two countries’ relationship, the two state news agencies have worked closely together over the last 55 years in exchanging information to timely and vividly reflect political, economic and social activities in each country, contributing to cementing the time-honoured relationship and mutual understanding between the two nations.

Lacquer paintings explore daily life




The Color of the South, an exhibition of 137 works by six established artists, is on display at the HCM Fine Arts City Museum.

Four of the artists — Duong Sen (1949), Le Xuan Chieu (1956), Luong Khanh Toan (1955) and Nguyen Dang Khoat (1952), all aged between 57 and 64 — were born in North Viet Nam and later moved to HCM City.

Ho Minh Quan (1961) is from Hue and Nguyen Dam Thuy (1967), the youngest and only woman in the group, is from Ben Tre.

Her 23 large oil paintings reflect daily life and portray womanhood. Sen is a master of lacquer and has 33 works featuring the sea or life in the Mekong Delta.

Khoat uses bright colors in his 29 oil paintings about the North featuring memories of his childhood.

Toan has 10 40x60cm lacquer paintings depicting a variety of landscapes. He is not attending the show because of serious burn injuries caused while doing the works.

Making a lacquer painting may take months depending on the technique used and the number of layers of lacquer.

Each layer requires drying and polishing. When all the layers are applied the artist polishes different parts of the painting until the preferred colours show.

The paintings themselves are made using a variety of materials in addition to the lacquer: mother of pearl, egg shells, gold leaves, and silver dust, which are inlaid.

Chieu's 29 works straddle several genres — multi-media, lacquer, silk, wood carving, and pastel.

"Pastel and silk are delicate materials but when mixed they can create long-lasting works," Chieu said.

His works are about people living in the northern mountains.

Quan has 13 large oil paintings with a predominance of blues and greens that mostly depict young plants in spring.

This is the sixth exhibition by the group held annually in HCM City and Ha Noi.

The exhibition will run at the museum, 97 Pho Duc Chinh, District 1, until 18 November.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors attend Tea Festival


The 2nd Thai Nguyen Tea Festival closed on November 11 after nearly one week, attracting hundreds of thousands of domestic and foreign visitors.

Involved in the tea culture festival – the highlight of the event – were 73 domestic tea delegations and 6 foreign ones which showcased many high quality and unique tea products.

Other activities included a tea culture festival, a tea carnival, conferences on tea products and tourism promotion, the Miss Tea Land Contest, a photographic exhibition on Vietnam’s beautiful landscape and its famous Thai Nguyen tea, and special products of ethnic groups.

Participants had the chance to drink special tea from Japan, India, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea and enjoy art performances.

The successful organisation of the festival helped promote the value of tea products in Vietnam.

At the closing ceremony, the Vietnam Record Organisation presented a certificate of “Thai Nguyen- the most famous tea brand” to provincial leaders.

The Thai Nguyen provincial People’s Committee also gave certificates of merit to 30 outstanding craft villages and households and gold, silver and bronze prizes to winners of the Festival contests.

Hanoi Museum hosts weekly bazaar


Hanoi Museum and the Thang Long Antique Association have worked together to organise a bazaar every Sunday for the trading of second hand handicraft and fine art articles as well as antiques.

The bazaar will feature around 40 booths following the style of a traditional rural market in the Red River Delta.

The organisers will keep a close watch of goods put on sale to prevent fake and illegal goods. They will also provide visitors with consultation and help at their request.

Performances of folk music will be staged at the site besides displays of bonsai and ornamental plants to entertain visitors.

The municipal department of culture, sports and tourism hopes the bazaar will become a popular destination for visitors to Hanoi.-

Exhibition on Italy fashion


An exhibition on Italian fashion will open at the Italian Cultural Centre in Hanoi on November 14 to mark the 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Italy diplomatic ties.

The exhibition, organised by the Italian Embassy, will provide a chance for the Vietnamese fashion industry to learn experience from the world’s leading fashion industry.

The focus will be on fashion designs by Fernanda and Raniero Gattinoni for Hollywood movie stars, such as costumes worn by Ingrid Begman in Europe 51 (1952) and Castus flower (1969) and by Natasha – a character in War and Peace (1956).

The exhibition will also display a series of photos of world stars wearing Gattinoni costumes and other photos of Rome taken by photographer Paolo Belletti.

The event will run until November 20.

Japanese Contemporary Dancer to perform in Vietnam


Japanese Contemporary Dancer Moriyama Kaiji will perform in Hanoi on November 14- 15 within the framework of cultural exchange between Vietnam and Japan.

The dancer will introduce a Global Handwashing Dance to students of the Doan Thi Diem Primary School and exchange with other students of the Vietnam Dancers College in response to World Hand-Washing Day launched by UNICEF.

Born in 1973, the Contemporary and choreographer Moriyama Kaiji began his career at a musical theater company in Japan, and moved to the world of professional choreography.

Kaiji expanded his creative horizons into other fields. He has appeared in high-profile TV commercial films, and his first film project, Cha no Aji (The Taste of Tea), directed by Katsuhito Ishii, was the first Japanese film to open Director's Week at the 2004 Cannes Film.

He has performed successfully in Japan and abroad. His performances featuring the Japanese traditional culture always leave the audience with a deep impression.

Green heritage praised

Cultural activities will be held in Ha Noi to highlight the world's biosphere centres in Viet Nam between November 19 and 23.

A photo exhibition featuring natural heritage space is the key activity of the series at the Viet Nam Culture and Art Exhibition Centre, 2 Hoa Lu Street. Besides, music performances featuring folk arts in three regions of the country will take place at the centre.

Two conferences titled "Culture in Preserving and Developing Biosphere Areas in Viet Nam," "Economic Development from Green Heritage: Advantages And Challenges" and a workshop on traditional herbal medicine will be in the schedule.

There are total 8 world biosphere areas throughout Viet Nam including Cat Tien National Park in southern province of Dong Nai, Cat Ba Archipelago in northern city of Hai Phong and Pu Mat National Park in central province of Nghe An.

Thai Nguyen tea-most renowned tea brand nationwide

Vietnam Record Organisation recognised Thai Nguyen tea as the most renowned tea brand nationwide at the closing ceremony of the second International Tea Festival in Thai Nguyen on November 11.

Most worthy of note was an event introducing special tea products from Vietnamese localities and foreign countries such as India , Sri Lanka and the Republic of Korea as well as promoting the art of drinking tea and practices of Japan .

The biennial event has importantly contributed to promoting the unique values of tea products of Vietnam and Thai Nguyen province in particular and bringing the land and people here closer to international friends.

The second International Tea Festival attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors. On this occasion, the provincial People’s Committee granted certificates to 30 villages and households for their outstanding performance in tea production, processing and marketing.

Following the festival, Thai Nguyen province is scheduled to focus on suitable measures to further push the development of the tea sector.

Thanks to favourable natural and weather conditions, Thai Nguyen tea products are very popular in Vietnam and also exported to foreign markets. Thai Nguyen’s tea export value accounts for one third of the country’s total export value.

The three-day festivities featured a host of activities, including conferences on tea products and tourism promotion, exchanges between provincial leaders, scientists, farmers and tea processors, and various cultural and sports activities.-

Hanoi to host Canadian food festival

A Canadian Food Festival will be held in Hanoi from mid-November to mid-December to mark the 40th anniversary of Canada-Vietnam diplomatic relations.

The event will feature special dishes from Canada, including beef, lobster, oysters, scallops, snow crabs, black cod, salmon, halibut and mussels as well as Canadian wines and Ambrosia Apples.

The opening ceremony will be held in Seafood Express restaurant at the Royal City Shopping Centre on November 14 with the participation of Canadian guest chef Cameron Stauch.

Other participating restaurants will include Don’s Tay Ho, Hai Cang, Asahi Sushi, Seafood Express, Hoa An Vien, Capital Garden, Hai Dang Plaza and the restaurants of the Hilton hotel and Sheraton hotel.

On the occasion, a special discount on the Canadian food menu will be offered. Canadian wines will also be discounted at Warehouse and Camus wine shops. A 20% discount on Canadian Ambrosia apples will be offered at Always Fresh fruit shops from November 25 to December 15.

Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam David Devine said that the event provides a good opportunity for Hanoian people to enjoy the best Canadian culinary delights. He also wished that the dishes would be introduced widely into Vietnam’s fine dining culture and extraordinary culinary tradition.

Ha Giang’s ethnic cultural week to open later this month

The Cultural Heritage Tourism Week for Ethnic Minority Groups in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang will take place from November 22-26 instead of November 19-23 as previously scheduled.

According to the organising board, the opening ceremony, scheduled to be held at a stadium in Quang Binh district on November 22, will be broadcast live on VTV2.

Other districts selected for the five-day event include Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac and Dong Van, which are located in the Dong Van Stone Plateau – a member of the Global Network of National Geoparks.

The week aims to honour national intangible cultural heritage in Ha Giang and promote the province’s tourism products and potential to local and foreign tourists.

Visitors will have a chance to enjoy special art performances and the province’s traditional cuisine, as well as take part in folk games and a fire dancing festival of the Pa Then ethnic minority group in Tan Bac commune, Quang Binh district.

They will also learn how to weave local brocade products and visit the province’s well-known and beautiful sites such as the Dong Van Stone Plateau, Lung Cu flag pole and Ma Pi Leng Pass.-

Vietnam movie night in Belgium


A Vietnam movie night was held in Brussels on November 11 to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Belgium.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, Pham Sanh Chau said this is the first time Vietnamese films have been screened at Galeries Cinema – the most modern one in the centre of Brussels.

Vietnamese and Belgium audiences enjoyed seeing “Beauty Trap” - one of the highest-grossing films in Vietnam - directed by Nguyen Quang Dung.

A Belgium viewer said she was very surprised at Vietnam’s cinematographic prospect in recent years.

Documentary series follows legendary Ho Chi Minh Trail

The contributions of generations of soldiers who built and protected the legendary Ho Chi Minh trail during the American War are being honoured in a TV documentary series.

The 120-part series, Tro Lai Truong Son Huyen Thoai (Returning to the Legendary Truong Son Trail), helps young people understand the strategic reinforcements made on the Truong Son Trail for the front line in the great resistance war.

The film focuses on the sacrifices of young soldiers on the Truong Son Trail, the strategic road through jungles for supplying and transporting weapons, goods, food, and military supplies from the north to the south.

Produced by HTV's Television Film Studio (TFS), the film's first part aired on HTV9 last year after four years of filming. It quickly made waves among viewers, particularly students.

"Audiences can see Truong Son soldiers' love for the country and its people come alive again through the talks by veteran revolutionaries and researchers highlighted in our film," said Viet Binh, the film's director.

Binh and his three cameramen spent days travelling 5,000km and working at many of the spots where soldiers worked, including Central Highland provinces like Gia Lai, Lam Dong, Kon Tum and Dak Lak. They also visited central provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Nghe An, where fierce battles occurred.

"The use of live footage and detailed reports help the audience gain a deeper understanding of the country's greatest victories," said Binh.

The film's highlights include beautiful landscapes and scenes of daily life, including remote villages and local activities. The film is broadcast on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10.30pm on HTV7.

Finnish posters on show in Dak Lak


More than 100 Finnish posters are being displayed at an exhibition that opened in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak on November 11.

The exhibition, titled “100 Years – 100 Posters” from the Lahti Poster Museum’s collection, depicts the evolution of graphic design since the beginning of the 20th century and the development of Finland’s society and economy.

Visitors will have the chance to admire a broad array of pictures from sports, tourism and advertising to education, many of which are early adverts of well-known Finish companies such as Finnair, Nokia, Fazer and Sinebrychoff.

Organised by the Finnish Embassy in Vietnam and the Dak Lak People’s Committee, the five-day event is part of activities to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Finland.

A business conference will be held on this occasion with the aim of strengthening connectivity between Finnish businesspeople and Vietnamese partners and those from Dak Lak province in particular.

Live II photo exhibit at Metropole Hanoi

Two years since photo exhibition “Live”, the second edition “Live II” is back at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi until today featuring daily activities from all walks of life.

In addition to veteran photographers such as Do Anh Tuan, Duong Minh Long, Nguyen Viet Thanh, Doan Ky Thanh, Tran Viet Dung, Le Quang Nhat and Hoang Minh Tri, “Live II” draws the participation of amateur photographers including Truong Thi Mai Huong, Trinh Quoc Trung, Phan Minh Chinh, Nguyen Ngoc Khanh, and Duong Truong Giang with a fresh and creative look on life.

Fifty colored and black-and-white photos by 40 authors are exhibited at Live II, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, 15 Ngo Quyen Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

* A large collection of French magazines and newspapers are being displayed at Idecaf downtown HCMC until Saturday as part of an activity held by UNIPRESSE, French Magazine and Newspapers Subscription around the globe. UNIPRESSE opened a representative office in Vietnam in 1995. Idecaf is situated at 31 Thai Van Lung Street in District 1.

Japanese culture comes to Hanoi


The National Museum of Vietnamese History (NMVH) in Hanoi is set to host an exciting exhibition on Japanese culture from January 16 to March 9, 2014.

The event was announced at a ceremony in Hanoi on November 11 to sign a cooperation programme between the NMVH and the Kyushi National Museum (KNM).

NMVH Director Nguyen Van Cuong said the event is part of activities to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, contributing to tightening of bilateral ties.

Doctor Tanaka, a representative from the Cultural Office in Japan, explained how Japan considers the event very significant in terms of the 2013 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Asia.

KNM Director Miwa Karoku said the exhibition is an excellent opportunity to showcase Japanese art and archeological treasures. She said she hopes it will introduce international friends to the fascinating history of Japanese culture and encourage mutual understanding of cultural heritage among Asian countries.

The exhibition will also include a cultural exchange between Vietnam and Japan, a talk show on Japan’s contemporary culture, a fashion show of the national costume, folk games and a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

At the signing ceremony, Cuong presented a version of dragon head of the Ly Dynasty excavated at the Thang Long Royal Citadel in Hanoi to Kyushu Museum while the Japanese associates offered culturally valuable items to Vietnam.

Trio Maecheler performs in town


A concert from Germany’s Trio Maecheler will take place at HCMC Conservatory of Music at 8 p.m. on Friday.

They will perform works such as Médailles antiques (Philippe Gaubert), Subito (Witold Lutowslaski), Sonatina (Henri Dutilleux) and Tren pho xua Hanoi (Do Tuan). Trio Maecheler consists of Carin Levine, Anne Steckel and Stephan Rahn.

As a soloist, Levine performs at major international music festivals and has won numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious Kranichstein Musikpreis for the Interpretation of Contemporary Music. She collaborates extensively with many leading contemporary composers and is the author of Contemporary Music for Flute, a series of books on flute techniques.

Steckel is an established violinist on the international stage. She studied with Antje Weithaas at the University of Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin. As a member of the Kant String-Quartet she has played throughout Europe and Asia. She continues her studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

Pianist Rahn studied at the University of Music in Cologne and the University of Music Hanns Eisler in Berlin. In addition he studied Theory and Harpsicord as well as Sacred Music.

The concert is part of the Contemporary Festival 2013. HCMC Conservatory of Music is located at 112, Nguyen Du Street, District 1.

HCMC showcases Russian culture


The Ho Chi Minh Museum opened its doors for the cultural exhibition themed “Russian beauties – the country’s soul” on November 11.

The seven-day event, co-organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry for Culture of Russia, marks the Russian Cultural Day in Vietnam and is part of the 2013-2015 cultural cooperation programme between Vietnam and Russia.

The museum will exhibit nearly 200 artefacts including photos, embroidery, fine art handicrafts and Matrioshka dolls.

Nguyen Van Tinh, Director of the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, stressed the long-lasting relations between the two countries have developed fruitfully in various fields spanning politics, military, trade, economy, science and technology, art and culture.

He said the exhibition will contribute to improving and strengthening the cultural exchange  between Vietnam and Russia in the future.

As part of the  Russian Cultural Day in Vietnam, a series of activities including art performances, a Russian Film Week and a painting exhibition by famous artist Konstantinovich Rerikh will also be held.

Musician Phan Huynh Dieu celebrates 90th birthday


Tran Long An, Chairman of the Musicians Association in Ho Chi Minh City accompanied by other musicians visited and gifted flowers to fellow musician Phan Huynh Dieu on occasion of his 90th birthday on November 11.

Mr. Phan Huynh Dieu was born in Da Nang in 1924. He is well-known as one of the most outstanding musicians of Vietnamese music. He has made many contributions to the development of Vietnamese music and has been named ‘Gold Bird of Vietnamese music’.

Most of the songs by Phan Huynh Dieu are revolutionary songs and love songs such as " Cuoc doi van dep sao", "Hanh khuc ngay va dem", "Nhung anh sao dem", "Bong cay Konia", " Soi nho soi thuong", "Thuyen va bien", "Nho on Bac" and others.

During his musical career, Phan Huynh Dieu composed hundreds of songs with beautiful melodies and lyrics. Most of his songs were recreated from his poems.

For his great contribution to Vietnamese music, Phan Huynh Dieu was honored with the Ho Chi Minh Award.

Vietnam's largest gold bandana crafted by Phu Nhuan Jewelry Company


The Vietnam Records Book Center has certified Vietnam's largest gold bandana which was crafted by the Phu Nhuan Jewelry Company for display at the Vietnam International Jewelry Fair 2013.

Designed by the Phu Nhuan Jewelry Company, the gold bandana is considered Vietnam's largest bandana ever made with length of 130cm and width of 27cm. It was crafted in 3,000 parts with 2,880 gold pieces.

The surface of each gold piece is carved with beautiful patterns such as shapes of birds.

‘Keo Co’ folk game proposed for UNESCO recognition


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has asked for the Prime Minister’s approval for submitting the ‘Keo Co’ (Tug of War) folk game to UNESCO for recognition as an intangible cultural heritage.

According to the Ministry, the folk game is a unique intangible cultural heritage that is played in many countries in Asia and the Pacific.

‘Keo Co’ is an ancient folk game of Vietnamese ethnic minority groups such as Kinh, Thai, Tay, Nung, Giay and played by generations in the country.

The Ministry has asked the Prime Minister’s approval to cooperate with relevant departments together with Korea and countries in the region to nominate ‘Keo Co’ folk game for UNESCO recognition as an intangible cultural heritage in the world in 2015.

Exhibition features Kyoto crafts


An exhibition displaying KOGEI art works – typical handicrafts of Kyoto, Japan – opened at the Hanoi Fine Arts Museum on November 11.

The exhibition, entitled ‘Art of KOGEI, Spirit of Kyoto’, features the latest and most outstanding handicrafts created by the artists of Group KOGEI – KYOTO, which was founded in 2006 and consists of 25 artists and a researcher in cultural history.

The pieces on display are products used in the daily life of the people in Kyoto, which have been meticulously refined, such as ceramic tableware, vases, mother-of-pearl works, and lacquer ornamented boxers.  

Japanese KOGEI is the fine result of the proper combination of nature and human beings.

Kyoto’s KOGEI works are well refined by the senses, and have been improved through more than 1,200 years of restless innovations of techniques used to make them. The art form is considered the spirit of Kyoto’s culture.

Adressing the opening ceremony, the Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Hiroshi Fukada said that the exhibition is a good opportunity for Vietnamese people to learn more about Kyoto as well as the highly sophisticated handicrafts of Japan.

In addition to the exhibition, Japan also organises many other interesting cultural events during the ‘Japan Days’ (from November 1-23) including the Rock Concert on November 16 and the Japanese Film Festival from November 13-24, according to the Ambassador. He also expressed his hope that the events would contribute to promoting the friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries and two peoples.

The exhibition, part of activities to mark 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Japan diplomatic ties, runs until November 23.

Two Dao practices recognised as intangible cultural heritage


The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has recognised the Cap Sac ritual and Pao dung singing, two cultural practices of the Dao people in Tuyen Quang province, as national intangible cultural heritage.

The ‘Cap Sac’ is a ritual that announces the maturity of Dao men within the family. The Dao people perform the ritual for boys at the age of 13. The ceremony gives thanks the god of the forest, the water god, the god of new rice and the god of the earth, and announces to the gods that their son has grown up.

The ritual is held each year in November, December or January. It is considered an important rite in the spiritual culture of the Dao people.

Pao dung singing is a unique traditional art form of the Dao ethnic group. The singing highlights the beauty of the local landscape, lifestyle and love of people, and is usually performed in the springtime.

Tuyen Quang province now has four instances of intangible cultural heritage on the national list. The others are the Long Tong festival and Then singing.