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US helps renovate 300-year-old house

The US embassy has given US$40,000 to authorities in the northern province of Vinh Phuc to enable them to restore a traditional dinh (communal house) built nearly 300 years ago.

US helps renovate 300-year-old house

The US embassy has given US$40,000 to authorities in the northern province of Vinh Phuc to enable them to restore a traditional dinh (communal house) built nearly 300 years ago.

The restoration project will help fix the severely degraded old structure in Cam Gia Village, in An Tuong Commune, Vinh Tuong District.

The communal house, built in 1811, has eight compartments, with an altar located in a private space to worship the village's two guiding spirits: Cao Son, the spirit of the mountains, and Quy Minh, the spirit of the land and water. Both are said to be descendants of Lac Long Quan and Au Co, the founders of ancient Viet Nam.

In and around the dinh there are many patterns carved in timber. They represent the transitional period between architectural styles of the Later Le dynasty (1533-1789) to the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945). Over time, many of the pillars have been eaten by termites, affecting the carved patterns.

According to Nguyen Thi Nhung, vice chair person of Vinh Tuong District's People's Committee, the restoration project needs a total budget of VND3 billion ($142,800).

She said the locality would soon complete the restoration draft plan and submit it to provincial leaders and the culture ministry. The locality will also mobilise other sponsors and local support so that the project can begin in November and be finished by September 2015.

At the same granting ceremony held at Cam Gia Village, Duong Thi Tuyen, vice chairperson of Vinh Phuc Provincial People's Committee, guaranteed that the province would carry out the project in accordance with heritage laws and international practices.

The Ambassador's Fund was established by the US Department of State in 2001 to help less developed countries preserve cultural heritage and to demonstrate US respect for other cultures.

The fund has backed more than 800 cultural preservation projects in 120 countries world-wide, totalling $46 million, including 13 in Viet Nam.

Short film series to be presented in HCM City


Ten short films in the series Berlinale Shorts Go Abroad of the International Film Festival of Berlin will be screened at Cafe Thu Bay coffee shop this weekend.

The animation and feature works are from the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Cuba, Japan and France.

All films will be shown in the original languages with English and Vietnamese subtitles.

The screening will begin at 7pm at 19B Pham Ngoc Thach Street in District 1. Entrance is free.).

Translated royal diplomas on display

The central city's museum is displaying a translation of 12 royal diplomas that Emperor Tu Duc conferred on Pham Phu Thu, a high-ranking mandarin of the dynasty.

The translation was completed in three months by Deputy Director of the museum Huynh Dinh Quoc Thien. The translated versions of the old royal documents will help reveal information, and the contribution to the country and the Nguyen dynasty by the mandarin.

One of the royal decrees was written by Emperor Tu Duc, the fourth emperor of the Nguyen dynasty who reigned from 1847-83, in honouring the service, talent and virtue of Thu after he passed away.

The translation also includes two poems that the Emperor presented to Thu when he was made the chief of Hai An (formerly Hai Phong city) in 1876.

Thu (1821 to 1882), who was born in Dien Phuoc district in Quang Nam province, was one of the mandarins who promoted the reforms of the country in the late 19th century.

The museum also introduced royal diplomas from kings of Canh Hung, Thieu Tri and Khai Dinh which were presented to communes in Ha Nam and Ninh Binh provinces.

All ancient documents were translated from the Han (Chinese script) into Vietnamese by the city's Han Nom (Chinese script and Chinese-transcribed Vietnamese) centre.

Electronic music and visual art party at Cargo

Saigon O High, a performance of electronic hip hop music and live visual art, will be held at Cargo Bar on August 23.

The highlight of the show is Mike Ago, a music technology researcher who holds a Masters degree in music technology from Stanford and is pursuing a PhD. He began his career as an underground hip hop producer and DJ in Chicago.

He will be accompanied by local artists Jase Nguyen, Demon Slayer and Lon. Live visual art performances will be presented by Live Audio Visual.

The show will start from 9pm at 7 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street in District 4. Tickets cost VND150,000 ($7).

Ancient trees recognised

The Viet Nam Association for the Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) has recognised the Bodhi (Ficus Religiosa) trees in a temple in Phu Yen Province's as Heritage Trees.

The head of the provincial department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ho Van Tien said the trees, which were in the temple in Hoa Tri commune of Phu Hoa district, are 21m tall and 3.8m in diameter with a 12m perimeter. They were planted 190 years ago.

This is the second lot of old trees in the province to be recognised by the VACNE after 20 mango trees which were planted in the Tu Quang Pagoda 220 years ago.

VACNE has recognised 25 species of trees in the Song Hong (Red River) Delta as Viet Nam Heritage Trees.

Abstract finger painting exhibition in Da Lat

An exhibition entitled ‘Da Lat and me’ is showcasing 23 oil finger paintings by painter Vo Trinh Bien at Hoa Binh Exhibition Centre in Da Lat city, Lam Dong province.

The paintings resemble pieces of Da Lat with an abstract style, which feature the emotions of Vo Trinh Bien. Painter Bien expressed his hope that his works would offer visitors new experiences.

Painter Bien came from a poor family in Quang Ngai Province and matriculated at Da Lat University more than 20 years ago. He studied literature and worked part time to earn a living.

When painter Bien first began painting 15 years ago, he used a more conventional approach, utilizing palm paintbrushes. Then, nearly 10 years ago, he had the idea of painting with his fingers instead. He said that finger painting is fascinating.

This art form has hidden nuances different from those of standard painting methods. For example, the artist can change a colour’s shade by applying different amounts of pressure with his fingers.

Bien has held 15 solo exhibitions including the following titles: Mat Na (The Mask), Pho Toi (My Street), Giai Dieu Cua Truc (Melody of the small bamboo), Dong Chay (The stream), Nhung Sac Mau Ky Uc (Colours of memories), Dau An Thoi Gian (Marks of time), Than Phan (Fate), 31 Ngay (31 Days), Thang Long Ngay Ay (Thang Long Then), Nang (Sunshine) and Vu Dieu Mua Xuan (Dance of Spring).

This is his seventeenth exhibition and will run until August 20.

Event promotes ASEAN cultures

Hundreds of people from ASEAN countries are expected to attend an event featuring ASEAN cultures between November 18 and 23.

The activity will be held at the Viet Nam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Son Tay District, 40km to the west of Ha Noi's centre.

Entitled ASEAN Great Solidarity – A Vision, an Identity, a Community, the festival will include various tourism promotion exhibitions, traditional food, costumes, handicrafts and arts.

Around 100 people from seven ethnic groups throughout the country, including Mong, Thai, Cham, Gia Rai, Gie Trieng and E De, will participate in the festival.

According to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan, the event will be an opportunity for ASEAN members to introduce their countries, people, distinctive cultural values and their efforts at preserving and bringing into play the cultural values of ASEAN countries in general, and of Viet Nam in particular.

Son Tay District to host ASEAN cultural festival

Hundreds of people from ASEAN countries are expected to participate in an event featuring ASEAN cultures between November 18 and 23.

The event will be held at the Viet Nam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Son Tay District, 40 kilometres to the west of Ha Noi's centre.

Entitled "ASEAN Great Solidarity – A Vision, an Identity, a Community," the event will include various tourism promotion exhibitions, traditional food, costumes, handicrafts and arts.

Around 100 people from seven ethnic groups throughout the country, including Mong, Thai, Cham, Gia Rai, Gie Trieng and E De, will participate in the festival.

According to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan, the event will be an opportunity for ASEAN members to introduce their countries, people, distinctive cultural values and their efforts at preserving and bringing into play the cultural values of ASEAN countries in general, and of Viet Nam in particular.

Charity run gathers young athletes

A charity run for Vietnamese students and young athletes from all over the world will be held at My Dinh Stadium, Ha Noi, on August 24.

The Connecting VietYouth event is expected to gather around 500 participants who will also take part in various musical activities.

All proceeds from the event will be sent to needy children in northern remote mountainous regions to prepare for the new school year.

The event is the first of its kind initiated by the Vietnamese Students Association in the UK, the Global Shapers Community – Hanoi Hub, Vietnamese student associations in the US, Australia, France, Switzerland and Singapore, and university associations throughout Viet Nam.

Runners can register online at

Weekend of classical concerts at Manzi

Manzi Art Space will present two marvellous evenings featuring famous American pianist Anne Chamberlain and leading opera singers sopranos Dao Thi To Loan and Ryoko Bohmuki this weekend.

The evening will include songs by Schumann, Mozart, Schubert, Strauss and Mendelssohn.

The concerts will start at 8pm on Saturday and Sunday at 14 Phan Huy Ich Street. Tickets on the door: VND150,000 (US$7)

Hanoi Urban Flea Market offers new and old

Shopaholics are invited to the Hanoi Urban Flea Market at Hanoi Rock City on Sunday.

The market will open from 9am-5pm, with a variety of new and second-hand goods on sale.

Whether you are clearing out the attic, leaving the country or just looking for a day out, the market is an ideal place for all those who want to sell or simply browse with friends in an open-air atmosphere.

Hanoi Rock City is located at 27/52 To Ngoc Van Street.

Blockbuster documentary on poverty screened

The 1985 documentary Chuyen Tu Te (Living as One Should) by veteran director Tran Van Thuy will be screened on Sunday at the Heritage Space.

One of Thuy's most distinctive productions, the film is about the fate of poor people and social conflicts.

When it was presented at the Leipzig International Film Festival in 1985, the foreign press hailed it as "a bomb from Vietnam that exploded in the city of Leipzig". The film won the festival's Silver Dove award.

Following the screening, a small talk will be held about Thuy's 2013 book, The Story of Thuy, which recounts all the joys and troubles he went through during his career.

The film will be screened in Vietnamese with English subtitles from 8pm. The talk will be in Vietnamese with English translations. Entry fee: VND80,000 (drink included).

Heritage Space is on the second floor, Dolphin Plaza, 17 Tran Binh Road, My Dinh.

Saigon HOG joins Bike and Motor Sport Federation

Harley-Davidson Motor HCMC Club (Saigon Harley-Davidson Owners Group – abbreviated to Saigon H.O.G) has been inducted as an official member of the HCMC Bike and Motor Sport Federation.

Speaking at the inducting ceremony on Sunday at the showroom of Harley-Davidson’s official dealership at 800 Nguyen Van Linh Parkway, District 7, Nguyen Thanh Phuong, president of Saigon H.O.G, said this event has an important meaning to the club.

“As an official member of the federation, Saigon H.O.G can now join bigger events organized by the federation, and do meaningful social activities,” Phuong said.

Established on August 10, 2013, Saigon H.O.G is the only motor club in HCMC that is validated by Harley-Davidson and authorized to use the logo “Harley Owners Group”. There are 60 members in the club who own bikes from Harley-Davidson – from small bikes like Sportster, Dyna to bigger ones like Softail, V-rod or special models like Touring, Trike and CVO.

Book fair to emphasise reading culture

A book fair with the theme Hanoi – The City for Peace will be held at the Thang Long-Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre to raise awareness about the capital's reading culture.

During the one-week event from September 26 to October 2, the fair will present thousands of books divided into several sections.

Books published between the end of the 19th century and the 1970s, including the resistance war against the French (1945-54), will be featured in the Hanh Trinh Cua Sach (The Journey of Books) section.

Several publications, documents and images about the life and career of President Ho Chi Minh will be on show in the Chu Tich Ho Chi Minh Va Thu Do Ha Noi (President Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi Capital) section.

The event will also include discussions on Thang Long-Hanoi's culture and reading habits as well as exchanges between authors and readers.

The Thang Long-Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre is located at 19C Hoang Dieu street.-

External cultural strategy to 2020 discussed

Domestic and foreign managers and researchers in culture and arts have gathered in northern Ninh Binh province to discuss on how to specify the Vietnam’s external cultural strategy to 2020 with a vision towards 2030.

Addressing a workshop on international experience in building the strategy on external cultural relations on August 13, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan affirmed that culture is the spiritual foundation of society, serving as the nation’s inner strength to ensure sustainable development and firm protection of the country for the goal of wealthy people, a strong, democratic, equal and civilised country.

“It’s a crucial task for building the culture and people of Vietnam in comprehensive development toward the true, the good and the beautiful, deeply imbued with the national identity, democracy and science and human values,” he said.

Poul Bache, Director of the Danish Cultural Agency, noted that external cultural services aim at expanding cultural exchanges, absorbing the quintessence of the mankind’s culture to enrich the national culture. It also helps developing the potential of the national culture in order to actively participate in the international cultural integration and exchange while supporting other types of diplomacy used in international relations.

There are a national news agency, 977 printed newspapers , 67 radio and TV stations, 74 online papers and magazines, 336 social networking, 1,174 websites in Vietnam . They actively contribute to promoting Vietnam ’s image to the world and introducing the world’s culture to Vietnam , said Le Van Nghiem, director of External Information Department under the Ministry of Information and Communications.

Participants suggested developing professional media publications while focusing on personnel training in the cultural diplomacy and combining cultural diplomacy with other affairs relating to overseas Vietnamese and politic and economic diplomacies.

They also discussed how to strengthen ties with countries and territories, promote the image and people of Vietnam to the world, and absorb the world’s quintessence to enrich the national cultural identity.

Title honours artists in intangible cultural heritage

The title of “meritorious artist” will be granted to individuals who make great contributions to preserving and upholding the national intangible cultural heritage values for the first time in 2015.

The honoured artists are those who work in the genres of spoken language, scrip, folk philology, folk performance art, social and religious habits, traditional festivals and folk knowledge, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said on August 12.

Vietnam is home to a number of the world intangible cultural heritage, including Nha Nhac (royal court music), Central Highlands gong cultural space, Quan Ho (love duets), Ca tru (ceremonial singing) and Hung King worshipping rituals.

Hanoi to attach plates to historic revolutionary relics

The Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will attach plates of historical and revolutionary significance in the 1946-1954 period to 15 relics to welcome the 60 anniversary of Hanoi Liberation Day (October 10).

The relics record the victories of the army and the people during the nine-year anti-French resistance war such as the Xuan Tao Fortress in North Tu Liem district, Tu Tong Pier and Ho Ao Sen Park in Tay Ho district, Thach Cau Doi Pagoda in Long Bien district, in Tay Ho district, Co Do Communal House in Ba Vi suburban district.

On this occasion, Hanoi also repaired and improved eight other revolutionary relics.

The city has asked investors and constructors to speed up the progress of the projects to ensure that they will be completed in September.

The city will manage, protect, repair and preserve the relics while communicating and promoting their values. Districts and towns will organise tours to the relics for students to study the significant historical events and to instil their pride and patriotism.



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