Motivational speaker offers inspiration

Twenty-one people with disabilities will be honoured at the Shining Vietnamese Fortitude Gala Night for their winning writing entries during ceremonies to be held today in HCM City and May 24 in Ha Noi.

As a special guest at the gala event, the Australian motivational speaker Nick Vujicic, who has no limbs, will speak at the event about fate and love.

The Shining Vietnamese Fortitude Writing Contest launched last November was organised by the Viet Nam Youth Federation Central Committee in co-operation with Viet Nam Television's Channel VTV6, the Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper and Hoa Sen Group.

The contest called for people to live with honesty, responsibility and perseverance.

Yesterday Vujicic visited Viet Nam for the second time and spoke to the media, presenting 30 wheelchairs to people with physical disabilities in HCM City.

He also introduced his fourth book, Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying (and Other Stuff That Keeps You Down), in which he describes a " bully defence system" that builds your strength from the inside out.

His best-selling books include Life Without Limits, Unstoppable and Limitless. All four of his books have been translated into Vietnamese.

His first visit to Viet Nam in May last year was met with overwhelming support.

The Shining Vietnamese Fortitude Gala Night will be held at the Phu Tho Sport House in HCM City's District 10 and at Ha Noi's My Dinh Stadium.  

Cham Island celebrates UNESCO recognition

Cham Island, 18km off the coast of Hoi An, will host a series programmes to mark the fifth anniversary of its recognition as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO from Friday to Monday.

The central city's Culture and Sports Centre said the island would also debut a new tourism rest-stop in Cam hamlet.

A photo exhibition of the Cham Island Marine conservation centre and the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes will be held.

The island management board will also complete a five-year campaign to ban plastic bags.

Cham Island with a population of 3,000 hosts about 100,000 tourists annually, 10 per cent of them foreigners. However, it is not yet connected to the power grid.

VN, Laos celebrate Ho Chi Minh's birthday with art show

Vietnamese and Lao artists have organised a fine art exhibition and exchange in Vientiane capital city, Laos, to celebrate the 124th birth anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh (May 19, 1890).

The event aims to display the land, people, cultural features of the two countries.

The Vietnamese works consist of 18 paintings and six sculptures.

The Lao Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Savankhon Raznontry, and Viet Nam's Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Manh Hung opened the show on Monday. —

HCM City to hold kite contest for enthusiasts

HCM City will host a kite competition this weekend at the Tieng Song Beach Eco-Tourism Centre in Long Hoa Commune, Can Gio District.

The event is expected to attract artistic kite makers throughout the country.

Eighteen kite clubs from the north, central and south regions will participate in two categories: artistic kite flying and Rokkaku fighting (Rokkaku, a type of Japanese kite shaped like a hexagon).

The competition will also feature kites with lights flying at night and kite making demonstrations.

Italian food and wine tasting in Hanoi

An Italian food and wine tasting event was held at the Sofitel Plaza Hanoi Hotel on May 20, introducing attendees to the unique versatility of Italian cuisine and its simple cooking style.

The event, sponsored by Cosmos International Co. Ltd, featured the finest of Italian cuisine which has always been known for its garlic, olive oil, tomatoes and the quality of the ingredients used.

Visitors were fascinated with grilled vegetables placed into jars with olive oil (pepper, artichoke, eggplant, mushrooms) and olives, pâté, plus many kinds of canned tomatoes, tomato sauce in jars (with bacon, basil, spices, cheese) made by leading chefs of Cosmos International Co. Ltd.

In particular, Cosmos brought to Vietnam wine from various regions such as Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, Apulia and Campania, introducing some famous brands like Chianti, Morellino, Prosecco, Moscato, Barbera, Chardonnay, and Limoncello.

Vietnam is now quickly becoming a dynamic wine market in Asia. France is Vietnam’s largest wine supplier, followed by Chile, Italy, Spain and USA.

In the first six months of 2013, Vietnam’s Italian wine imports increased to EUR1.2 million, doubling the previous year’s figure.

French guitarist performs in Hanoi

Young famous French guitarist Gabriel Bianco gave a solo performance at the French Cultural Centre L' Espace in Hanoi on May 20.

The 26-year-old artist is scheduled to amaze Ho Chi Minh City audiences at the city’s Institute for Cultural Exchange with France (IDECAF) on May 22.

During his tour, Gabriel Bianco will perform a number of works by well-known composers including Francesco Da Milano, Napoléon Coste, Niccolo Paganni, Johann Sebastian Bach, and John Duarte.

Gabriel Bianco, who began playing the guitar at the age of five, has performed all over the world. He has also won a wide range of awards at prestigious international competitions.

His first CD, released in 2009 by the Naxos label, received high acclaims from many different countries.

Art exhibition promotes Vietnam-Laos ties

A exhibition displaying fine art works by Vietnamese and Lao artists opened in Vientiane on May 19, contributing to furthering ties between the two countries in the field.

Jointly organised by the Lao Fine Arts Association under the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and the Fine Arts Association of Ho Chi Minh City, the event is also to mark President Ho Chi Minh’s 124 th birthday.

The exhibition’s opening was attended by Lao Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Savankhon Raznontry, Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Manh Hung along with a crowd of both countries’ artists.

Apart from works by Lao artists, the Fine Arts Association of Ho Chi Minh City is showcasing its members’ 18 paintings and six sculptures at the event, which feature country, people, cultural values and natural heritages of both countries.-

Hanoi to host national ca tru festival in August

A national ca tru (ceremonial singing) festival will be organised in Hanoi in August with the aim at preserving the UNESCO-recognised intangible cultural heritage.

Ca tru, also known as Hat a dao, was recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in October 2009.

It is an ancient type of music featuring female vocalists. It is a complex form of poetry found in the north of Vietnam using lyrics written in traditional Vietnamese poetic forms.

Ca tru groups comprise of three performers: a female singer who uses breathing techniques and vibrations to create unique sounds while playing the clappers or striking a wooden box, and two instrumentalists who produce the deep tones of a three-stringed lute and the strong sounds of a ceremonial drum.

Ca tru singing appeared in the north around the 15th century and thrived until the early 20th century. Since then, it has lost popularity to imports of modern recreational forms and cultural activities.

This kind of singing is now practised in 15 provinces and cities across Vietnam.

Activities mark 20 years of Ha Long’s UNESCO recognition

A ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of Ha Long Bay’s recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site will be held on October 14 by the northern coastal province of Quang Ninh.

The event will include various activities such as an international workshop, lectures and photo competitions on Ha Long’s heritage, along with exchange programmes between other world heritage sites in Vietnam, the organisers told the media in Ha Long city on May 20.

A yearbook on the 20th anniversary and a documentary film titled Ha Long Bay – 20 years of World Natural Heritage will be introduced to the public on this occasion, the organisers added.

In addition, a march will take place to call for the preservation and promotion of heritage values while an environmental day and writing and painting contests about the heritage sites will also be launched.

On December 17, 1994, the Ha Long Bay was officially listed as a World Heritage site with globally outstanding value in terms of natural landscape by UNESCO.

In 2000, the bay was additionally recognised for its special value on geography-geomorphology.

In 2009, it was ranked as a national special heritage site by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

In 2011, it surpassed 261 other landscapes around the world to be voted as one among seven new natural wonders of the world.

Da Lat exhibition shows Vietnam sovereignty over Truong Sa, Hoang Sa

An exhibition of artifacts clearly showing Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa Archipelagos opened at Lam Dong Museum in Da Lat May 19.

It features more than 100 photos, maps, publications, and artifacts.

There are ancient maps such as “Dai Nam thong nhat toan do” (Complete Map of Unified Dai Nam) published during the reign of Minh Mang [in Vietnam] in 1834, on which is written that Hoang Sa and Van Ly Truong Sa belong to Vietnam, and “Fuels And Power” published in the US in 1975 showing Hainan as the southernmost point of China.

The exhibition also has some ancient books and pictures showing the development of Truong Sa and Hoang Sa.

The exhibition will remain open until August 19.

‘The winner is’ TV reality show returns for 2nd season

The second season of the Vietnamese version of US music game show “The winner is” will start July 13.

The reality show is meant for performers of all kinds – soloists and groups of adults, kids, teens, seniors, families, and professionals – who go head-to-head in singing duels.

The winner will get a cash prize of VND300 million (US$14,200) and a recording contract with the Universal Music Group.

The event will be broadcast live on HTV7, Ha Noi 1, Giaitri TV, and DRT channels.

Nguyen Nhat Anh gifts his books to Truong Sa troops, residents

Best-selling writer Nguyen Nhat Anh has gifted a collection of his books to soldiers and people in Truong Sa Archipelago.

He also presented the collection of 94 works to Military Zone 7, which will donate it to a library on Con Dao Island this month.

Nguyen Nhat Anh is renowned as a writer of children’s books, and is also a teacher, poet, and a journalist at Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper.

He is regarded as one of the most successful writers of teens’ books.