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Auto testing centers nationwide resume operations

Vehicle inspection and registration centers reopened nationwide on January 27, to meet the high demand of auto owners after the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet, according to Vietnam Register.

As the demand for auto testing remains high, Vietnam Register decided to reopen auto testing centers throughout the country right after Tet, the traditional national holiday.

Vietnam Register urges car owners to visit any auto testing center on their way back to work from their hometowns to avoid long waits.

Car owners need to check their vehicles to ensure they meet technical safety standards and environmental protection conditions before coming to the auto testing center.

Vietnam Register has made effort to reduce congestion at operational auto testing centers with various measures, including increasing work hours, working on weekends and deploying experienced personnel to assist overwhelmed centers.

However, many auto inspection and registration centers still saw long lines of vehicles waiting for safety testing before the Tet holiday.

Before Tet, local police suspended multiple auto registration and inspection facilities in the country after their irregularities were detected.

Poetry Day to take place next month at Thăng Long Citadel

The Việt Nam Poetry Day will be held next month in Hà Nội's Thăng Long Imperial Citadel with new activities.

It is the first time this annual cultural event will take place in the citadel, which is a UNESCO World Heritage of Việt Nam, after 18 years being held at the Quốc Tử Giám (Temple of Literature) and three years of hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Nguyễn Quang Thiều, President of the Việt Nam Writers' Association (VWA).

With the theme "Nhịp Điệu Mới" (New Rhythm), the 21st event carries the wish that after the country has overcome the pandemic, life returns with a "new rhythm, momentum and confidence" along with the recovery of the whole economy, culture and society to approach a "future full of hope for good things", Thiều said.

The day is organised by the Việt Nam Writers' Association in collaboration with the Thăng Long Imperial Citadel Management Board.

It is expected to open on the occasion of the new year's full moon celebration which falls on January 15 of the Lunar calendar or February 5, 2023 with more events organised in new and attractive ways, organisers announced at a recent press conference.

All activities have been designed and staged by a creative team including general director and artist Lê Quý Dương and two other artists, Phạm Hà Hải and Lê Đình Nguyên, who are in charge of fine artistic works.

The main event of Poetry Day is planned to take place on the full moon night to increase the effect of sound, light and theatrical values. Poet Hữu Việt, Head of the Young Writers Department, is in charge of the entire script for the event.

Within the framework of Poetry Day, there will be activities such as a seminar hosted by the VWA at the great hall of the citadel with the participation of poets of many generations to discuss important issues of contemporary poetry. Other activities will also be held including poetry readings, chatting about poetry, and visits to and exchanges at the Poetry Memory House (PMH).

The event's general director said at the press conference that the audience will walk on a Poetry Road to enjoy 100 beautiful verses of Vietnamese poetry written on dó papers which have been shaped into fans and butterfly wings.

At the end of Poetry Road, the audience will enter the Poetry Memory House, which displays special artefacts of famous poets through many periods of Vietnamese literature provided by the Vietnam Literature Museum. Next to the PMH is the Poetry Shop, where poets and poetry lovers will interact with the public, read poetry and talk about Vietnamese poetry.

Parallel to Poetry Road is Book Road, with about 40 booths of publishers and book companies, where visitors can purchase literary works, such as anthologies of classical and contemporary poetry.

In the central area in front of Đoan Môn gate is a Poetry Stage with an area of ​​about 350 sq.m including a 100sq.m glass floor, where the Night of Poetry will take place. On the citadel wall will hang two large panels on which will be printed a "divine poem" by Lý Thường Kiệt and another poem themed "Nguyên Tiêu" (First Full Moon Festival) by President Hồ Chí Minh.

Some 21 poems/poetry authors will appear on the stage on the full moon night of the programme. The public will also have a chance to see images of famous poets from the period of New Poetry to Resistance War Poetry such as Nguyễn Đình Thi, Chế Lan Viên, Huy Cận, Xuân Diệu, Hoàng Cầm, Lê Đạt and Chính Hữu.

Next will be the reading and performances of poetry by poets of the anti-American generations and those from 1975 to the Đổi Mới (Renovation) period. The last performances will be for young poets. Interspersed with poetry reading, famous artists will perform songs with music created from poems that are loved by the public.

Ngoc Linh ginseng helps Central Highlands locals out of poverty

Growers in the Central Highlands provinces dreamed of escaping poverty when they planted Ngoc Linh ginseng which has made an economic contribution to improving local farmers’ living conditions.

Ngoc Linh ginseng helps Central Highlands locals out of poverty ảnh 1

Customers find out information of Ngoc Linh ginseng at a fair

After Ngoc Linh ginseng (Panax Vietnamensis or Vietnamese ginseng) in the Central Highlands Province of Kon Tum’s Tu Mo Rong District fell ill and died, people were immediately provided with seedlings and instructions on new planting techniques.

Tu Mo Rong upland District, where the Ngoc Linh ginseng was first discovered, is the Ngoc Linh ginseng cultivation basket with an area of about 1,200 hectares.

The herbal plant is identified as the one helping local inhabitants out of poverty because many households have seen their income increase from growing and selling ginseng, even some growers getting rich.

However, in March 2022, Ngoc Linh ginseng suddenly fell ill and died. Scientists and agriculturalists jumped into studies by taking samples to find the cause of the disease to prevent it. Thanks to their concerted efforts, after about three months, no more ginseng plants died. Currently, people are trying to reinvest in ginseng gardens with the local government’s full support.

Residents in Mang Ri Commune in Tu Mo Rong District, which was once the revolutionary base of the Kon Tum Provincial Party Committee, are busy taking care of the newly planted ginseng garden. Resident A Chung in Long Hi 2 village in Mang Ri Commune said that in March, his ginseng garden had 100 dead ginseng plants.

So worried about where to get money to buy seeds for reinvestment that he nearly fell ill, but the district distributed 48 seedlings free of charge to the family in October.

He immediately replanted seedlings in the family’s garden. Moreover, agriculturalists came to his house to instruct how to grow and take care of the herb. He is delighted with the support, hoping that the ginseng seedlings will help the family get out of poverty.

Similarly, resident A Thuat in Mang Ri Commune felt elated at receiving five ginseng plants from the local government. He said that when the ginseng plants grow up, he will collect the fruit and then incubate it and multiply it.

Mr. Nguyen Minh Tri, Vice Chairman of Mang Ri Commune People's Committee, said that 532 households in the commune all grow ginseng. To support ginseng growers, the bank is coordinating with the commune to do a charge-off.

In addition, 126 poor households and social policy beneficiaries whose ginseng plants were dead will be given 5,985 ginseng seedlings for re-planting. Locals are very excited because they are given the opportunity to grow ginseng again.

Huynh Tan Kiet, a land-agriculture officer in Dak Ha Commune, was seen running to the forest to give guidance on taking care of ginseng. He went to the ginseng gardens where the one-year-old ginseng plants under the canopy of an ancient forest in October have now grown green.

Mr. Kiet went to the ginseng bed of Mr. A Nang to tell the old grower ginseng care techniques and measures to protect the plants from pests.

Mr. A Nang disclosed that he really wanted to grow ginseng but didn't have money to buy seeds. Last October, the government gave him 25 ginseng seedlings. The old man believed that his ginseng would grow well under agriculturalists’ guidance and assistance to help his family escape poverty.

According to Mr. Vo Trung Manh, Chairman of the People's Committee of Tu Mo Rong District, the district has petitioned the provincial People's Committee to ask ginseng growing companies to give free ginseng varieties to local inhabitants.

Correspondingly, Ngoc Linh Kon Tum ginseng production plant, a major hi-tech processing factory combined with a seed and research center has given 10,000 seedlings worth VND3 billion to local dwellers in the district. These ginseng seedlings are given to poor households, social policy beneficiaries that have dead ginseng as well as poor households that grow ginseng for the first time. In the near future, the district will continue to call for the support of seedlings from companies to provide ginseng varieties for locals to develop their own ginseng gardens.

The district agriculture sector will send staff who will offer technical assistance to owners of these newly planted ginseng gardens as well as closely monitor the growth and development. In October 2022, the People's Committee of Dak Ha Commune received 663 ginseng seedlings from the District People's Committee distributing them to 21 poor households.

According to the Kon Tum Provincial Forest Protection Department, to ensure the survival rate of ginseng seedlings, the Department recently issued the cultivation file of Ngoc Linh ginseng for districts to popularize it. In addition, staff of the Kon Tum Provincial Forest Protection Department also directly went to Tu Mo Rong District to talk about techniques of care and prevention of pests and diseases in Ngoc Linh ginseng.

More than 1,140 babies born in Hanoi during seven-day Tet holiday

There were a total of 1,142 newborns delivered during the seven-day Lunar New Year (Tet) festival from January 20 to January 26, according to the latest report by the Hanoi Department of Health.

The department reported that the capital’s healthcare facilities maintained round-the-clock operations throughout the holiday and provided emergency aid to nearly 2,000 patients, including 868 victims of traffic accidents, 920 cases involving daily accidents, and six cases caused by firecrackers.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC Hanoi) also said that the epidemic situation in the capital remained stable during the holiday.

The CDC Hanoi also implemented quarantine requirements for 506 international flights carrying 68,779 passengers. However, no cases of infectious diseases, such as Ebola, A/H7N9, or A/H5N6, were detected during the reviewed period.

Two Lao men arrested for drug trafficking

Border guards from Vietnam’s central province of Nghe An on January 26 announced that they have busted a drug trafficking ring led by two Lao men.

Two Lao men are arrested for transporting drugs into Vietnam on January 25.

The two men, aged 32 and 21, were arrested in Pieng Cooc Village, Mai Son Commune, Tuong Duong District at noon on January 25 while transporting meth pills into Vietnam.
Police seized 12,000 meth pills, 12 kilos of opium, two knives, and some other objects.

The men told the police that they bought the drugs from Laos, then transported them through the border gate into Vietnam during the 2023 Tet Lunar New Year holiday and intended to sell in the country.

Police are further investigating the case.

Nearly 19,500 surgeries performed during seven-day Tet holiday

Hospitals across Vietnam conducted 19,435 surgeries during the seven-day Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, up 11.4% from the same period last year, reported the Health Ministry’s Department of Medical Service Administration.

Check-ups and first aid were given to 381,216 patients in the period, up 38.2% year-on-year, it said. Of the patients, 173,351 had to be hospitalised, up 38.9%.

As of 7am on January 27 - the sixth day of the Lunar New Year, nearly 127,400 patients have been receiving under treatment at medical establishments nationwide.

During the seven-day holiday from January 20-26, healthcare facilities provided emergency aid for over 3,440 cases due to fighting, and 30,000 patients related to traffic accidents, up 10.4 percent. 

The number of emergency cases related to food poisoning, firecrackers and explosive materials also increased, with 813 patients due to food poisoning and digestive disorder, accounting for 0.2% of the total number of examinations and emergencies.

There were 13,950 medical examination and emergency cases relating to labour accidents in the period, including 23 deaths.

NA Chairman extends Tet greetings to Institute for Legislative Studies

National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on January 27 visited the Institute for Legislative Studies under the NA Standing Committee on the occasion of Tet (Lunar New Year).

The top legislator stressed the significant role of the institute whose operations are associated with law-making, the most important function of the NA, as well as the attention NA leaders have paid to the institute.

He hailed the institute for its performance in 2022, with various workshops and seminars organised, and scientific projects rolled out in the year, saying its reports are useful to NA leaders and agencies.

Emphasising legislative tasks set for 2023, including considerations over the draft revised Land Law, the Chairman asked the institute to make preparations early and from afar.

The institute needs to review 137 legislative tasks of the 15th legislature, the leader said, asking it to reform organisation and operations, and raise proposals to contribute to raising operational quality and efficiency of the NA in the time ahead.

Lao mission in Geneva joins Vietnamese counterparts on Lunar New Year festival

Ambassador Latsamy Keomany, Head of the Lao Permanent Mission to the UN, WTO and other international organisations in Geneva, has extended best wishes to Vietnamese Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai and staff on the occasion of Tet (Lunar New Year) festival.

Ambassador Latsamy Keomany congratulated Vietnam on its success in enhancing its position in international relations and on the country's election to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the second time.

He highly appreciated the efforts of the Permanent Representative of Vietnam to Geneva in participating in UN mechanisms and forums. 

For her part, Vietnamese Ambassador Mai warmly welcomed Ambassador Keomany, his spouse and staff of the Lao mission who came to extend Tet greetings, while emphasising the solidarity and closeness between the two delegations in the locality.

The diplomat said officials and staff of the Vietnamese delegation will accompany and work closely with the Lao counterparts in Geneva to fulfil the two delegations' missions at the UN and other multilateral forums.

Vietnam underlines consistent promotion of gender equality in all aspects

Ambassador Le Thi Hong Van has reaffirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy of raising women’s position and promoting gender equality in all aspects, while attending recent events marking the International Day of Women in Multilateralism.

The events, comprising a global dialogue on countering online gendered disinformation and an intergenerational dialogue, were held by UNESCO in Paris on January 25.

As a key speaker representing the Asia-Pacific region, Ambassador Van, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to UNESCO, underlined the country’s consistent policy of highly bringing into play women’s role and great potential in national development and safeguarding, raising women’s position, and promoting gender equality in all fields, from politics, economy and culture to society.

Women’s role and contributions have also continually been upheld during the ASEAN Community building process, she noted.

Van went on to say that the role of Vietnamese women has been increasingly affirmed in terms of politics and diplomacy. Many have been holding leadership positions of the Party and State, thus substantially contributing to strong improvements of the country. In particular, Vietnam has posted a rate of women in UN peacekeeping operations higher than the UN’s targeted figure, and many of them have shown excellent performance, helping enhance mutual understanding, friendship, and cooperation among peoples of different countries.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022, Vietnam scored 0.705 on a scale of 1 to rank 83rd among the 146 countries, climbing four places from 2021.

The diplomat also shared Vietnam’s initiatives and efforts to boost cooperation in gender equality promotion and women empowerment as the ASEAN Chair in 2020, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020 - 2021, and the Chair of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

At the events, participants highly valued Vietnam’s active contributions and growing stature in the international arena, describing the country as a typical demonstration of the promotion of women’s role and engagement in the agendas on women, peace and security.

Gender equality is one of the two global priorities of UNESCO. At the 41st session of its General Conference in November 2021, the organisation adopted Resolution 41C/57 declaring January 25 as the International Day of Women in Multilateralism.

Festival marks 234th anniversary of Ngoc Hoi-Dong Da victory

A festival was held at the Dong Da Culture Park in Hanoi on January 26 (the fifth day of the first lunar month) to mark the 234th anniversary of the Ngoc Hoi-Dong Da victory over Chinese invaders.

In 1789, under the leadership of Emperor Quang Trung (also known as national hero Nguyen Hue), Tay Son troops defeated 290,000 Qing invaders, liberating the imperial city of Thang Long and regaining national independence and freedom.

Since then, the fifth day of the first lunar month has become the traditional day marking the historic victory. The Ngoc Hoi–Dong Da victory has also gone down in Vietnamese history as an immortal and epic struggle for national construction and defence.

Dong Da Mound reportedly witnessed fierce battles between Emperor Quang Trung’s soldiers and the Chinese invaders 234 years ago.

The festival is designed to uphold the country’s cultural values, while educating young generations about the tradition of patriotism and national pride.

At the event, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Tran Sy Thanh and leaders of departments, sectors and localities, and local people offered incense in tribute to Emperor Quang Trung.

Woodcarving masterpiece of old communal house in northern Vietnam

The over 300-year-old “cua vong”, a piece of furniture serving as a screen that separates the main worship hall from the external space, of Diem Communal House in Bac Ninh city is a masterpiece of the art of wood carving combined with red lacquer trimmed with gold in the Le Trung Hung (Revival Le) Dynasty.

The communal house of Diem village in Hoa Long ward of Bac Ninh city is one of the tourist destinations in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

Built in 1692, it is dedicated to Tam Giang Saints, who were Truong Hong and Truong Hat, who accompanied King Trieu Viet Vuong in the fight against the Liang invaders in the 6th century.

It was recognised as a national treasure in January 2020.

The Diem Communal House boasts typical architectural features of a communal house in the Red River Delta. But what makes it special is a giant and magnificent screen called “cua vong” with sophisticated carvings.

Located inside “dai dinh” (the main hall of the communal house), this screen dates back more than 300 years and is 7 metres in height and 3.9 metres in width. It is completely covered with red lacquer trimmed with gold.

The screen has four main parts which are arranged on top of each other and decorated with sophisticated and vivid carvings, making it an imposing but also meticulous artwork.

The four main parts have different themes but are still harmoniously connected with one another. They feature carvings of the Four Mythological Creatures (dragon, kylin, tortoise, and phoenix) or daily work activities, as well as those expressing the aspiration for fertility and prosperity.

The top section of the “cua vong” is carved with images of the sun and clouds. The lower section gathers sophisticated decorations, with highlights being the sculptures of four fairies standing on clouds and looking down. The next one stands out thanks to eye-catching dragon carvings. Meanwhile, the bottom part with carvings of sacred animals covers the altar.

Among hundreds of carvings of mythological creatures, only those of the tortoise can be easily seen while the remainders are merged with other details, challenging the imagination of viewers.

The “cua vong” of the Diem Communal House has a complex structure but also a balanced and harmonious layout with vivid patterns, which illustrates the high aesthetic capacity of artisans in the past. It is remarkable for not only its size or carving techniques but also its unique themes reflected in lively details and decorations.

The screen is an original object that has outstanding technical and aesthetic values compared to others in Vietnam. Given this, it is viewed as the most typical demonstration of the art of wood carving in the Le Trung Hung (Revival Le) Dynasty (1533 - 1788).

Situated in a village on the banks of the Nhu Nguyet River, the Diem Communal House - a national architectural and artistic relic site - and its valuable antiquities are the cultural essence of the land of Kinh Bac and also one of the precious cultural treasures of the nation.

Apart from the Diem Communal House, Hoa Long ward of Bac Ninh city is also home to many other old communal houses, temples, and pagodas.

The “cua vong” of the Diem Communal House is one of the two national treasures of Bac Ninh province recognised in January 2020. The other is the 12 stone steles recording doctoral laureates at “Van Mieu” (Temple of Literature) in Bac Ninh city. These stone steles, 1.1 metres high, 0.75 metre wide, and 0.09 metre thick, were made in 1889.

Paris peace accords brings spring of freedom to nation: former Deputy PM

The signing of the Paris Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam on January 27, 1973, had brought a special spring to the northern region, when for the first time in the resistance war there was no air-raid siren and no evacuation, former Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan told Vietnam News Agency during a recent interview on the occasion of the agreement's 50th signing anniversary. 

Khoan, who is also former Secretary of the Party Central Committee, recalled the circumstances around the negotiations for the agreement, which could be said to be the longest peace talks in history. The process lasted from 1968 to 1973 with more than 200 public sessions, 45 high-level private meetings, and thousands of interviews and rallies.

On January 23, 1973, the Paris Agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam was initialed by two special advisers Le Duc Tho and Henry Kissinger. On January 27, 1973, the Foreign Ministers of the four parties, including the US, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam and the Republic of Vietnam, officially signed the Paris Agreement.

According to Khoan, a major advantage for Vietnam in the negotiation process was the national solidarity power and support of people worldwide, including the Americans. However, the difficulties facing the country were the huge losses in its struggle against a powerful country like the US, and the disagreement among fraternal socialist countries. 

According to him, the negotiation on the Paris agreement left many lessons for Vietnamese diplomacy. Though not directly engaging in the treaty talks, he personally drew four lessons, including gathering and combining the national strength with epochal and international power, consistently maintaining one's stance, staying persevere and being wise.

Asked about the role of culture in diplomacy, Khoan said Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap had told visiting US Secretary of Defence McNamara that Vietnam’s victory is attributable to culture, not military power. Vietnam’s national power was underpinned by patriotism and solidarity spirit. Moreover, the Vietnamese people are ready to set aside the past and look toward the future.

In Khoan's view, every Vietnamese should be an ambassador conveying the quintessence of the national and diplomatic culture when meeting with foreign friends.

He said he still remembered the festive atmosphere in the Lunar New Year’s festival following the signing of the treaty. The international community, leaders of countries and overseas Vietnamese all shared the joy with Vietnam.

Nội Bài and Tân Sơn Nhất airports continue to experience high passenger numbers

Nội Bài Airport in Hà Nội and Tân Sơn Nhất Airport in HCM City are still recording high passenger numbers, despite the official end of the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. 

Statistics revealed that there were over 540 flights at Nội Bài International Airport, 169 domestic and 376 international, on Friday. The total number of passengers during the day was estimated at 86,000. 

During the holiday period, the highest number of flights and passengers was recorded on January 18, with 550 flights carrying 92,500 passengers. 

It is expected that these figures will continue on the rise until Sunday this week. 

Reports from Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport said that the facility recorded nearly 150,000 passengers on Friday, a record since the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday began.

A representative from the airport said: “According to the plans and data from airlines, the growth in the number of passengers will continue for the next two days.”

There were 916 flights, 459 departures and 457 arrivals, at Tân Sơn Nhất on Friday. 

Regarding road transport, Hà Nội Transport Station JSC said that during the peak Tết period from January 11 to 26, the capital city’s major coach stations - Giáp Bát, Mỹ Đình and Gia Lâm - saw over 23,489 operating vehicles, an increased of 170 per cent compared to last year.

The stations also added 989 more coaches in response to the rising demand. 

The total number of passengers recorded during this peak period was 239,602, nearly five-fold the number last year. 

The number of coach passengers peaked on January 19, with 29,957 people across the three coach stations.

Hoàng Sa exhibition centre affirms national sovereignty

Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos have always been sacred integral parts of Việt Nam, and the country has historical evidence and a fully legal basis for affirming its sovereignty over the two island chains following international law. Now, an exhibition centre is displaying the evidence.

The Hoàng Sa exhibition centre, located on Hoàng Sa Street, Sơn Trà District, in the central coastal city of Đà Nẵng, displays and archives historical documents, exhibits and images which testify to Việt Nam’s legitimate sovereignty over the two archipelagos.

Since being put into operation in March 2018, the exhibition centre has popularised and affirmed Việt Nam’s sovereignty over Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagos, thereby promoting the spirit and will to protect the homeland’s territory among the people.

Built on a total area of 1,296 sq.m, the centre holds special political significance as it displays information, documents and images evidencing Việt Nam’s exploration, establishment and protection of the country’s sovereignty over Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagos.

The centre has the shape of the sovereignty seal in the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802 – 1945), which is meant to show that Việt Nam established and exercised sovereignty over Hoàng Sa very early. Notably, that King Minh Mạng of the Nguyễn Dynasty put the seal on a document setting up the Hoàng Sa flotilla was one of the important landmarks in the establishment and exercise of this indisputable sovereignty.

Exhibits are showcased on five topics, namely the geographical location and natural conditions of Hoàng Sa, Hoàng Sa in Việt Nam’s ancient documents before the Nguyễn Dynasty, Hoàng Sa in documents during the Nguyễn Dynasty, evidence of Việt Nam’s sovereignty over Hoàng Sa from 1945 to 1974, and evidence of the sovereignty since 1974.

Each picture, document, map and exhibit displayed at the centre is valuable in terms of historical and legal foundation proving Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagos. It also has sacred treasures strengthening the pride and the will towards the preservation and protection of the homeland’s islands of over 100 million Vietnamese people living inside and outside the country.

For example, plate No. 24 inscribed with part of the 10th volume of “Đại Nam Thực lục Tiền biên” (Early Chronicle of Đại Nam) displayed at the centre says: “In the sea off the coast of Vĩnh An Commune of Bình Sơn District, Quảng Ngãi Province, there are more than 130 sand banks … stretching for several thousands of miles called Vạn Lý Hoàng Sa – the eternal yellow sand bank. On these sand banks, there are fresh water and seafood like sea cucumber and hawksbill turtle… In the early period of the dynasty, a Hoàng Sa flotilla was set up with 70 members from An Vĩnh Commune. Every year, they begin sailing in March and reach the bank in about three days to seek natural produce and then return to hand over the produce in August.”

A map compiled in the Lê Dynasty (18th century), a part of “Thiên hạ bản đồ” (a map of Việt Nam’s air and land territories), is also on display at the Hoàng Sa exhibition centre.

It includes a description of “Bãi Cát Vàng” (Yellow Sand Bank) offshore Quảng Ngãi Province in Nôm script (the Chinese character-based old Vietnamese script) in a footnote above the map.

“Yellow Sand Bank is about 400 miles in length and 20 miles in width in the middle of the sea,” it said.

“Every year in the last month of winter, 18 boats go there to collect gold and silver. It takes one day and a half to go from Đại Chiêm or Canh Sa estuaries to the beach.”

The exhibits have introduced to a large number of Vietnamese people and international friends valuable information about exploring, establishing and protecting Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa and Trường Sa archipelagos, especially the Hoàng Sa archipelago.

The centre officially became a tourist destination of Đà Nẵng City, attracting many people to visit and study since December 2019. 

The unique Gióng festival of Hà Nội

Many people have flocked to Sóc Temple in Hà Nội for the start of the Gióng Festival on Friday, the sixth day of the first lunar month.

The festival is held annually around the capital to commemorate Saint Gióng, a local hero who sacrificed his life to defeat foreign invaders.

This year, the Sóc Sơn District People's Committee will host the Gióng festival at the Special National Monument of Sóc Temple for three days, from January 27-29.

It is celebrated with processions, rituals and performances.

The parade is held as a part of the Gióng festival, which draws in a lot of visitors and locals.

Bamboo flowers, betel, and areca are offered to Saint Gióng and then presented to visitors.

Models of elephants and horses are offered during the ceremony.

The organisers of this year's Gióng festival touted the event's renewed emphasis on entertainment as the festival's most notable change.

The festival set up various folk games, including stilt walking, balancing a bridge, breaking earthen pots and cooking competitions.

The Special National Monument of Sóc Temple also hosts various arts performances throughout the festival days.

Saint Gióng, one of Việt Nam's four 'immortal heroes,' is said to have been a little boy from Hà Nội's Phù Đổng Village who helped bring peace to the country by defeating the Ân invader in the 6th Hùng King Dynasty.

Legend has it that after defeating the enemy, he rode his horse to the base of Sóc Sơn mountain, took off his armour and rode an iron horse that took him on a heavenly flight.

To commemorate and praise the legendary hero Saint Gióng, Gióng Festival in Sóc Temple is a traditional festival held from the 6th to the 8th day of the first lunar month every year.

UNESCO recognised Việt Nam’s Gióng festival as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. 

Visitors flock to annual HCMC City Tết book fair

HCM City’s annual Tết Book Fair, held from January 19 to 26, welcomed more than 585,000 visitors.

Lâm Đình Thắng, director of the Department of Information and Communications, said: “The Tết Book Fair has become a familiar attraction in HCM City in the last 13 years, and this year’s event was the largest ever.”

He said the fair had various activities to promote the reading culture in the community and create an impression on foreign tourists visiting the city.

Held on Lê Lợi Street in District 1, the fair had 38 stalls that displayed more than 50,000 books in various fields from major publishers and distributors such as the HCM City Book Distribution Joint Stock Company (Fahasa), Phương Nam Books and the HCM City General Publishing House.

Visitors bought 41,285 books, stationeries, and souvenirs for more than VNĐ6 billion (US$254,600).

The biggest sellers were Đắc Nhân Tâm, the Vietnamese translation of How to Win Friends and Influence People by American writer Dale Carnegie, Cây Cam Ngọt Của Tôi, the Vietnamese version of My Sweet Orange Tree by Brazilian author José Mauro de Vasconcelos, and Võ Văn Kiệt - Trăm năm một chữ Dân (Late Prime Minister Võ Văn Kiệt – Contributions to the Country).

The event also featured discussions between authors and readers, and puppetry shows for children.

There were exhibitions on President Hồ Chí Minh’s cultural space, President Tôn Đức Thắng to mark his 135th birthday, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords, and publications to celebrate spring and the Tết holidays. 

HCM City aim to fill stands, finish in top three of V.League 1

HCM City Coach Vũ Tiến Thành has set an ambitious dual target of a top three finish in next season's V.League 1, and drawing absent fans back with an exciting style of play.

"I will select players to fit the team's style of play. Our goal this season is to be in the top three," coach Vũ Tiến Thành said.

As well as winning games, coach Thành wants his players to demonstrate a style of play that will convince fans to return to the stadium.

Last season, Thống Nhất Stadium only had around 2,000 spectators watching each match. The fans' indifference comes from the weak performances of the two teams (HCM City and Sài Gòn).

According to Thành, HCM City must show their ambition to play serious football, starting by developing youth training and then building a game style that suits the personality and culture to satisfy the fans.

In terms of youth training, HCM City signed a training cooperation agreement to receive 17 young players from the U21 team of Nutifood JMG Academy. It is hoped that this will be an abundant source of young talent for the team in the future.

"Last time, the teams in HCM City did not really participate in the training of young players. They do football with a business mindset. They are willing to spend a lot of money to bring back the stars instead of training people. Therefore, the inherent identity also fades away,” expert Đoàn Minh Xương said.

“It is necessary to change the previous mindset and training model. It is the promising young talents who are the factor that helps build the image of city football sustainably. If we do not plant trees, it is difficult to pick fruit," Xương added.

For the first time in six seasons, HCM City only has one side in V.League 1. Sài Gòn FC were relegated after finishing bottom of the rankings in the 2022 season.

HCM City have changed their squad drastically after successfully staying up. In the 2021 season, after a similar shakeup, Sài Gòn FC dropped into the relegation race. Most of the current HCM City club players lack experience in V.League 1.

However, coach Thành has faith his team will play well this season because of his success with the Sài Gòn FC in the 2020 season when their modest squad won an unexpected bronze medal. 

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes


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