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President To Lam and delegates visit the press works exhibition area. Photo: Trong Tung - VietNamNet

President To Lam delivered a keynote speech at the 18th National Press Awards 2023, the highest award of the Vietnamese media, held in Hanoi on June 21.

In his address, President Lam extended Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s greetings and best wishes to all generations of journalists and media workers, both at home and abroad, on the occasion of the 99th anniversary of the Vietnam Revolutionary Press Day.

He praised the press for upholding the role as a sharp weapon of the working class, the flag of the revolution and contributing importantly to the cause of national liberation and reunification in the past and the Doi Moi (renewal) and national construction and defence at present. Generations of journalists have joined hands to develop the Vietnamese journalism that is truly the voice of the Party and the people, a reliable bridge between the people and the Party and State; and between the Party, State, people and international friends over the past 99 years.

Congratulating winning journalists and teams, he highlighted their works as a symbol of the press sector's achievements as Vietnam approaches the centenary of the Revolutionary Press Day.

The leader highlighted the press’s role as a tool for national and social progress, urging journalists to uphold high ethical standards and master modern media technologies.

He called on them to be well-informed, honest and dedicated, while preserving Vietnamese cultural values and shaping social conduct.

This year's awards saw a record number of entries, with 1,905 submissions. A total of 10 first, 26 second, 45 third and 41 consolation prizes were awarded./.

Researchers discuss solutions to water security in Mekong region

A joint effort by the Institute of Human Studies (IHS) under the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences and the Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET) Young Professionals (SYP) brought together researchers and scientists for a seminar on water security in the Mekong region.

Held on June 21 in a hybrid format, the event focused discussions on this critical issue.

Opening the seminar, IHS Director Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoai Le said it was a great opportunity for young people to exchange ideas and propose solutions to improve water security, adding that it also fostered collaboration among institutions, paving the way for sustainable partnerships and development.

Dr. Phan Thanh Thanh from SYP said the Mekong faces declining water levels and pollution, requiring closer regional cooperation and comprehensive, sustainable solutions to protecting water resources.

He proposed strengthening international and regional collaboration, enforcing water management policies based on advanced technology, and raising public awareness about water conservation.

Discussions at the event focused on improving water management systems, monitoring water quality, and adopting advanced technologies. Participants also called for measures to mitigate the impacts of climate change, such as promoting sustainable agriculture and building flood control infrastructure.

In 2022, the IHS and SYP conducted a project on air pollution in craft villages. A year later, they held a seminar on the role of the youth in environmental communications./.

Party chief’s book on Vietnam’s cultural values debuts

A book on building and developing an advanced Vietnamese culture rich in national identity, authored by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, was unveiled at a ceremony in Hanoi on June 21, which coincided with the 99th anniversary of the Vietnam Revolutionary Press Day.

The book was edited and published by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Su That (Truth) National Political Publishing House, the Communist Review Magazine, the Vietnam News Agency, and other relevant agencies.

Divided into three parts, the book is a collection of 92 writings, speeches, talks, excerpts from interviews, and letters by the Party chief, with the earliest piece dating back to 1968. The contents reflect his profound concern over building, preserving and developing the Vietnamese culture with traditional and modern elements to contribute to national construction and development.

It also includes over 90 documentary photos capturing moments of the Party leader in cultural activities, working trips to localities and cultural sector units, and engaging with artists and intellectuals nationwide.

The e-version of the book is available at https://sachquocgia.vn.

Following the debut ceremony, the book will be translated into multiple foreign languages to help promote Vietnam's cultural values on a global scale./.

Vietnam ranks third at 2024 Asian Youth Chess Championship

Vietnam's youth chess team ranked third after securing 10 gold, 16 silver, and 15 bronze medals at the 2024 Asian Youth Chess Championship held in Kazakhstan from June 9-21, the Vietnam Chess Federation announced on June 21.

Of the 41 medals won by the team, 10 gold medals went to Ly Kha Han in female individual U8 blitz chess; Dinh Nho Kiet - boy individual U16, rapid chess; Tran Le Vy - female individual U12, standard chess.

The gold medals in the women's team event were grabbed by Ly Kha Han, Nguyen Vu Bao Chau, Nguyen Khanh Han (U8 blitz); Mai Hieu Linh, Nguyen Ngoc Hien, Ho Ngoc Vy (U16 blitz); Nguyen Hong Nhung, Nguyen Le Cam Hien, Vu My Linh (U18 blitz); and Nguyen Binh Vy, Nguyen Ngoc Hien, Mai Hieu Linh (U16 rapid chess).

The gold medals in the men's team event were secured by Nguyen Quang Anh, Nguyen Luong Vu, Hoang Minh Hieu (U10 blitz); Phan Tran Khoi Nguyen, Nguyen Truong An Khang, Nguyen Quang Anh (U10 rapid chess); and Dinh Nho Kiet, Tran Ngoc Minh Duy, Do An Hoa (U16 rapid chess).

The championship brought together over 640 young players of 32 teams from different countries and territories competing in age groups ranging from U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18. It featured the three categories of rapid chess, blitz chess, and standard chess for both genders.

The Vietnamese team had 48 contenders, covering all age groups and categories. This tournament attracted seven international grandmasters./.

World media spotlights Russian President’s Vietnam visit

The international media continued their articles on the state visit to Vietnam by Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 19-20.

British daily newspaper The Guardian.com posted an article titled “Russia and Vietnam agree to strengthen ties during Putin state visit”. It wrote that during the visit, Putin and Vietnamese President To Lam signed 11 memorandums for cooperation in areas including civil nuclear projects, energy and petrol cooperation, education, and disease prevention. Putin told reporters the talks were constructive and that both sides had “identical or very close” positions on key international issues.

The France24.com site also provided the similar content in the article “Putin signs cooperation deals with Vietnam as he seeks to bolster Asia ties”.

Meanwhile, German broadcaster DW quoted Putin as saying that strengthening its comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam was one of Moscow's priorities, and Russia was ready to cooperate with Vietnam on energy and security. Its article wrote that Vietnam is the third country Putin has visited since being sworn in for his fifth term in May, after China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

China's South China Morning Post also ran an article on the love that the Vietnamese people have for the Russian leader.

In its story, Al Jazeera, the first independent news channel in the Arab world, said that Vietnam and Russia have had diplomatic relations since 1950, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of a treaty establishing “friendly relations” between them. During his visit, the Russian leader affirmed strengthening strategic partnership with Vietnam is one of his country’s priorities.

On this occasion, the US’s The Washington Post and Associated Press (AP) also ran articles highlighting the Russian President’s visit./.

HCM City Opera House to host classic music night

he Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will present a classical music concert, featuring works by great composers Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Richard Strauss at the Saigon Opera House on June 29 night.

The concert, led by Vietnamese conductor Le Phi Phi, will see the performance of two HBSO solists, namely soprano Pham Khanh Ngoc and clarinetist Hoang Ngoc Anh Quan.

The concert will begin with “Festmarsch” in Es-Dur for Orchestra, op.1. It was performed for the first time when Strauss was 16 years old. It will be followed by "Romance for clarinet and orchestra" performed by clarinetist Quan, and “Four Last Songs” by soprano Ngoc.

Closing the music journey, audiences will be treated with Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.

Born in Hanoi, Phi graduated from the Vietnam National Academy of Music and the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire with degrees in piano and orchestra conducting.

After graduation, he became the permanent conductor of the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra from 1993 to 2000. He has also conducted numerous concerts around the world./.

Central beach city expands international exchanges

The central city’s centre for International Co-operation and Foreign Affairs Services (CIFA) signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on co-operation and hosting international events, cultural exchanges, investment and tourism promotion with partners from Korea, Singapore and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Đà Nẵng City.

Vice chairman of the city’s people’s committee, Trần Chí Cường said this puts the city at the heart of the country’s global integration drive, as well as expanding its foreign influence.

Cường said CIFA will help support international organisations and businesses in Đà Nẵng, along with the central and Central Highlands region, contributing to the city’s foreign activities, as well as building links with international partners and friends.

Following the signing of the MoUs, CIFA, in co-operation with Pax I&D company from Korea, Sporting Insight Asia from Singapore and the Japanese businesses community in central Việt Nam, will promote a series of cultural and tourism events, highlight investment opportunities and shed light on international exchange programmes.

In the past few years, Đà Nẵng has opened liaison offices in Tokyo and Yokohama to boost tourism, trade and investment.

Russia, Laos, China, Japan, South Korea have also opened general consulate offices in Đà Nẵng.

A new joint visa application centre for Belgium, Germany and Italy, and a joint United Kingdom and Australia centre have been opened, while Spain and Poland also started honorary consul offices in the central city.

The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) set up office in Đà Nẵng, while South Korea’s Trade-Investment Promotion Agency has been working on investment links between Korea and Đà Nẵng.

Đà Nẵng has been designated as a favourite international destination for Meetings Incentives Conferences and Events (MICE) as well as for golf tournaments and wedding exhibitions, since it successfully hosted APEC in 2017. 

Multi-dimensional perspectives on the ancient land of Lục Nam – Bắc Giang

A scientific seminar on one Việt Nam's most ancients lands discussed how important it was in terms of the politics and spirituality of the country and how it should inspire further study.

Under the banner 'Follow the Footsteps of Buddha Emperor - Lục Nam in the Cultural Space of Tây Yên Tử' academics and representatives of the Department of Culture discussed the importance of what had formally known Kinh Bắc Land.

Held in Bắc Giang, the seminar was organised by the Institute of Philosophy under the Việt Nam Academy of Social Sciences, in collaboration with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Bắc Giang Province.

According a report quoted by Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyễn Tài Đông, Director of the Institute of Philosophy, the ancient land of Lục Nam District (formerly Kinh Bắc Land), is a geo-ecological area. This land is located in the northwest of the Yên Tử range, with a series of Buddhist relics from the Trần - early Lê dynasties such as Am Vãi Pagoda, Bát Nhã Pagoda and Khám Lạng Pagoda.

Đông hopes that through the seminar, research directions, implementation plans and multi-dimensional perspectives on the geography, history and culture of Lục Nam can be found and a database about Lục Nam (including Hán - Nôm (Chinese script - Vietnamese ideographic script) documents, ancient maps, archaeological documents and investigation documents on customs and religious practices) can be built.

At the conference, delegates discussed and proposed research orientations, implementation plans and multi-dimensional perspectives on the geography, history and culture of the Lục Nam region.

Dr. Trần Anh Dũng, from the Việt Nam Archaeological Association, said that there are 187 Buddhist relics in Bắc Giang, Tây Yên Tử, while Lục Nam District has 74 relics. Dũng suggested systematising the documentation of the Trúc Lâm Tây Yên Tử pagoda system in Bắc Giang Province to evaluate its historical and cultural value, as well as researching the similarities and differences of Trúc Lâm Tây Yên Tử with other Trúc Lâm systems in Việt Nam.

Dr. Nguyễn Anh Thư, from the Department of Cultural Heritage at Hà Nội University of Culture, stated that the Yên Tử mountain range was one of the most important political, socio-economic and spiritual cultural centres of ancient Đại Việt. During the Trần Dynasty, Vĩnh Nghiêm Pagoda in Bắc Giang was the abbot of three patriarchs of the Trúc Lâm Zen Sect, the headquarters of the Trúc Lâm Buddhist Church and the first monk and nun training school in Việt Nam.

Thư emphasised the need to promote archaeological planning in the Tây Yên Tử region and to map the distribution of archaeological relics of the Lý – Trần dynasties in Bắc Giang to preserve and promote the value of monuments.

Concluding the seminar, the Deputy Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Bắc Giang Province, Đỗ Tuấn Khoa, affirmed that the opinions of researchers, experts, and managers at the discussion were valuable contributions, which help to clarify historical issues across Lục Nam and Tây Yên Tử lands. 

New book on the history of modern Vietnamese writing

A book has been launched to help all bookworms and lovers of literature understand more about the formation and development of modern Vietnamese writing.

The book entitled Histoire de l'écriture romanisée du vietnamien (1615-1919), History of Romanised Vietnamese Writing, was first published in France in 2022. It is developed from the doctoral thesis of Phạm Thị Kiều Ly who studied for her PhD in 2018 at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University, and won the 2020 award for the most excellent thesis from GIS Asie (Academic Network on Asian Studies).

"It can be said that her research is the most comprehensive work ever on the history of formation and development of the modern writing system of the Vietnamese national language," said Trần Quốc Anh, Associate Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology from Santa Clara University.

Ly currently works at the School of Interdisciplinary Sciences and Arts at the Việt Nam National University, Hà Nội.

Her thesis included research and work from documents written in Latin, Portuguese and Italian, from archives in Lisbon, the Vatican, Rome, Madrid, Avila and Lyon.

"I have experienced different feelings while researching," Ly said. "Happy to find the documents, stressed and anxious when I had to get started on my thesis."

The book covers a timespan of more than 300 years, from 1615 when Jesuit priests came to the country to teach Christianity, studied the Vietnamese language and created the romanised Vietnamese script. So the work can also be considered in a context of how writing developed alongside the general context of missionary work around the world.

It charts the changing role of modern Vietnamese writing, from the beginning when western priests helped change the Vietnamese written language to make their missionary work easier.

The author has written a history of religion and politics of Việt Nam, from feudalism to colonialism, including histories of journalism, culture and education, from different periods.

The book cover is illustrated with individuals who have made important contributions to the process of the formation and development of modern Vietnamese writing. It is also published to commemorate the founder of modern Vietnamese writing, French missionary Alexandre de Rhodes, who arrived in Việt Nam 400 years ago.

Long An approves new tourist destination

The Mekong Delta province of Long An has approved the Vàm Cỏ Farm stay in Bến Lức District as a new provincial tourist destination.

Only 30 kilometres away from HCM City, the farm stay is situated along the Bến Lức River, covering an area of 2.5 hectares.

The venue offers a series of activities such as farming, camping, swimming, boat travelling, fish catching, fruit picking, folk games, and specialty dishes.

The farm stay also hosts performances of the tài tử and vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes), genres that originated in southern Việt Nam more than a hundred years ago.

Lê Thị Hồng Thủy, deputy director of the province’s Tourism Promotion Centre, said, “The recognition of Vàm Cỏ Farm stay as a provincial tourism destination aims to offer new tourism products and services to attract tourists.”

The province now has four provincial tourism destinations, including the Phước Lộc Thọ Ancient Village in Đức Hoà District, the Tân Lập Floating Village in Mộc Hoà District, Chavi Garden and Vàm Cỏ Farm Stay in Bến Lức.

The province has asked all tourism areas to preserve and develop tourism resources, encourage the local community to participate in providing tourism services for tourists, and ensure environmental hygiene.

The destinations also must maintain order and security to ensure safety for tourists.

Thủy emphasized that: “Long An always keeps its eye on the tourism sector, encouraging local tourism businesses to focus on developing new products and upgrading current products to provide the best services to visitors.”

She added that the province also offered favourable conditions for tourism agencies to create package tours at preferential prices to attract tourists.

Long An is popular for eco-tourism with tours of rivers, agriculture, craft villages and medicinal plant farming.

The province has 125 historical, cultural, architectural, artistic, landscape and archaeological sites recognised as provincial and national heritage sites.

It also has speciality dishes such as sour fermented pork, canh chua cá chốt (sour and sweet naked fish soup), fermented fish hot pot, and grilled snake-head fish.

The province received about 800,000 tourists, including 8,500 foreigners, in the first half of the year, an increase of 50 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Its tourism revenue reached VNĐ410 billion (US$16 million) in the period, up 50 per cent year-on-year. 

Tourism links grow between Thanh Hóa and Red River Delta

The People's Committee of Thanh Hóa Province has held a conference with the People's Committee of Bắc Giang Province to link tourism development in Thanh Hóa with provinces and cities in the Red River Delta region, including Bắc Giang, Hà Nội, Hải Phòng, Quảng Ninh, Hà Nam and Ninh Bình.

The conference was an opportunity for tourism industry insiders in the provinces to work together to connect Thanh Hóa's tourist destinations with Red River Delta provinces and cities, and vice versa. It also increased exchanges in tourism management, investment attraction and tourism product building experiences.

At the conference, delegates affirmed that Thanh Hóa Province and the Red River Delta region both have favourable conditions for developing unique tourism products and services, attracting domestic and foreign tourists. Thanh Hóa, known as the 'miniature Việt Nam,' has rich resources of national and international value. These have helped the province develop its tourism in a variety of domains like beach resorts, cultural-historical-spiritual tourism, community ecotourism and adventure tourism.

This year, Thanh Hóa has started operating new tourism service products, including Sea Square, Sun World Sầm Sơn Water Park and the Flamingo Linh Trường Marine Ecotourism and Resort Project complex, along with more than 145 other attractive cultural, sporting and other tourism-related events.

The provinces and cities in the Red River Delta are identified as priority tourism markets in Thanh Hóa's development strategy, as the potential for growth is still significant. Thanh Hóa regularly organises and participates in events, conferences, seminars and fairs to link its tourism development with the Red River Delta region.

According to the Vice Chairmen of Thanh Hóa and Bắc Giang Provincial People's Committees, the Red River Delta region has many tourism resources, including world heritage sites recognised by UNESCO. Close and methodical cooperation in developing tourism between Thanh Hóa and the region is essential to maximise the advantages of each locality.

To effectively create these links, the Director of the Việt Nam National Tourism Administration suggested focusing on researching and implementing specific activities as part of the campaign 'Vietnamese people travel to Việt Nam – I love Việt Nam,' as well as introducing domestic tourism stimulus packages, coordinating destination promotion activities and exploiting cultural values in developing tourism. Associations and businesses should also be more closely linked, developing a chain of innovative, high-quality tourism products.

At the conference, a tourism cooperation agreement was signed between the Thanh Hóa Provincial Tourism Association and the Tourism Association of the Red River Delta provinces and cities.

Khánh Hòa to renovate Diên Khánh ancient citadel site

Khánh Hòa People's Committee has just assigned the Development Projects Management Board of Khánh Hòa province to be the investor of the Diên Khánh ancient citadel repairs.

The project is set to cost nearly VNĐ167 billion (over US$6,5 million) and is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2024.

The project has an investment scale of 12 categories, including the restoration and preservation of the original earth area of the citadel, of 2,500 square metres, the top of the citadel which is more than four metres wide and the paved walkway which is 2.6 metres wide.

The citadel construction will include repairing roads running close to the citadel, an arch bridge spanning the moat, renovating small parks, embellishing bridges at the city gates, dredging and clearing trenches and waterproofing.

According to the leaders of Diên Khánh district People's Committee, the total land area of the Diên Khánh ancient citadel is more than 251,768 square metres. The project will clear about 55,451 square metres of ancient citadel land, more than 39,000 square metres of land for union organisations and more than 105,250 square metres of land currently used by households.

After the project investor hands over the landmark pile, the locality will clear the site for the construction unit to begin their work.

Nguyễn Thanh Hiến - Director of Khánh Hòa Development Project Management Board - said that the project now has a draft drawing design and verification is underway.

At the same time, the management board has submitted plans to the Department of Heritage (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) for comments.

Regarding site clearance compensation, the consulting unit is making a map inspection report to submit to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment for appraisal.

After that, the board will work with the Land Fund Development Center and Diên Khánh District People's Committee to issue a decision on land recovery and carry out compensation and site clearance for the project.

The board is also expected to organise contractor selection by September this year.

"The design step has been submitted to the Department of Heritage for appraisal because this is a national historical relic, the renovation must be based on the principle of preserving the original value," Mr Hiến said. 

Hạ Long aims to become City of Festivals

Hạ Long City in the northern province of Quảng Ninh wants to become the City of Festivals and the City of Flowers.

The festivals will help fulfill the city wish to become Việt Nam's tourism hub, according to Nguyễn Ngọc Sơn, Deputy Chairman of the city municipal People's Commitee.

"Hạ Long has rich and unique cultural and historical tourism potential with 96 historical cultural relics and scenic spots. Hạ Long Bay was named by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1994, 2000 and 2023," Sơn said.

The city has 13 festivals including traditional ones which have been revived, alongside more modern events. Under the project, festivals including New Rice Festival of Tày Ethnic Group, Lôi Âm Pagoda Festival, Cái Lân Temple Festival and Long Tiên Pagoda Festival will be restored.

"This will be an important target aimed at preserving and developing traditional cultural values and non-intangible cultural heritages in the province," said Sơn.

The city also wishes to designate the Đền Đức Ông Trần Quốc Nghiễn Festival and the Lê Thái Tổ Temple Festival as the national non-intangible heritages, in 2025 and in 2027.

Another project, becoming a City of Flowers will be carried out in two phrases. Between now and 2025 it will invest VNĐ43 billion đồng (US$1,690,000) into building and upgrading flower streets and Hạ Long Flower Park.

In the next phrase, from 2026 - 2030, Hạ Long will build new parks and flower gardens - this is estimated to cost over VNĐ270 billion.

It is important to carry out the two projects as a part of its goal of developing tourism in Hạ Long City by 2025, with a vision to 2030, to boost the local social economy, both in the city and in Quảng Ninh Province as well, said Sơn. 

Industry lacks theatrical scripts, say experts

The theatre industry lacks quality scripts that meet the demands of young people, say experts from the HCM City Theatre Association.

“Although the number of skilled and professional writers has increased in recent years, we are have few in theatre,” said theatre director Tôn Thất Cần at a camp for theatre scriptwriters organised by the association in Ninh Thuận Province last week.

The camp included young authors and veteran directors and scriptwriters from drama stages and theatres in the region, and cultural authorities as well.

It also included a seminar highlighting the role of scriptwriters in promoting the development of Vietnamese theatre. Training in art schools, and universities and colleges in cinema and theatre were also discussed.

Cần shared his experience on how to encourage and help young writers involve in creating good scripts for theatre, espeically traditional theatre such as cải lương (reformed opera) and tuồng (classical drama). He has been successful as a director and scriptwriter, and also is the association’s deputy chairman.

He suggested the association should open more writing camps that target young artists. These camps should be managed by well-known scriptwriters, directors and producers who train the participants to write dramas that meet the style of each stage.

“We should offer new solutions to develop our industry,” said Cần.

In recent years, many theatre plays have repeatedly been re-introduced on stage in HCM City and southern provinces.

Cải lương performances, for example, have been performed again and again, including famous plays written by cải lương gurus such as late artists Trần Hữu Trang, Hải Triều-Hoa Phượng and Viễn Châu.

Due to a lack of quality scripts, producers have chosen to reboot old plays staged in the 1950s-70s. They are willing to use old scripts as that is considered to be the only solution to keep the theatre alive.

Despite audience support for these performances, relying on old scripts should only be a temporary solution, according to People’s Artist and theatre director Trần Ngọc Giàu.

“Young playwrights haven't written about contemporary cultural and artistic life. They need help from theatre experts to improve their writing,” he said.

According to the People’s Artist, theatre director and actress Trịnh Kim Chi of the private TKC Drama Stage, cultural authorities need to come up with long-term solutions to help change the industry. “They should work with relevant agencies to build a human resources plan for theatre,” she said.

“Writers with potential should receive sufficient training and stronger support from theatres to produce quality plays,” added Chi.

Chi’s theatre offers Khát Vọng Ngày Mai (Aspiration for the Future), a new drama play with new concepts and techniques this month.

The 120-minute show features a group of young engineers and workers in HCM City who are helping to build the first train for the city’s Metro Line No. 1 from Bến Thành Market in District 1 to Suối Tiên Theme Park in District 9.

The play’s script is written by young artist Trần Văn Hưng of HCM City.

It won first prize for best drama script at a national writing contest launched by the HCM City Theatre Association in co-operation with HCM City Writers’ Association.

Trà Vinh to build memorial house for cải lương guru

Trà Vinh Province has launched a project to build a memorial house for late theatre scriptwriter Viễn Châu, a guru of cải lương (reformed opera). 

The People’s Committee of Trà Vinh Province will build the house to honour the career of Châu, a leading scriptwriter of cải lương - a traditional genre of southern theatre which began in the early 1920s in the Mekong River Delta region.

The house will be built on 11,300 square metres of land in Đôn Xuân Commune in Duyên Hải District. 

The construction will cost VNĐ70 billion (US$3 million) and come from different sources, including funds raised by cải lương artists and fans at home and abroad. 

It is scheduled to start this year. 

“The memorial house for cải lương guru Viễn Châu will welcome visitors who are keen to know about the artist’s life and career, and his contribution to the development of Southern theatre,” said Lê Thanh Bình, deputy chairman of Trà Vinh’s People’s Committee. “It will also encourage local people, particularly youngsters, to learn more about their history, culture and traditional arts.” 

Châu was born in 1922 in Trà Vinh Province. 

He wrote and composed 2,00 vọng cổ (nostalgia) songs and 70 cải lương plays. 

Vọng cổ songs, which feature the character of southern people, are used mostly in cải lương plays.

His highlighted plays include Chuyện Tình Lan và Điệp (Love Story of Lan and Điệp), Sau Bức Màn Nhung (Behind the Velvet Curtain) and Tình Mẫu Tử (Mother's Love), all in praise of Southern women and their character. 

His vọng cổ songs combine traditional tunes and western music. 

As a music player, Châu travelled around the country and to many countries, such as Italy and France, to perform and introduce cải lương to the world. 

He also worked for several art schools to train theatre students, including cải lương stars Lệ Thuỷ, Nhọc Giàu and Bạch Tuyết. 

In 2012, he was awarded the title People’s Artist, and Labour Order, third class, by the Government in 2014 for his contributions to the development of Southern theatre.  

He died in HCM City in 2016. 

“Late artist Viễn Châu was my great teacher. His life and career showed how cải lương is still alive after a century,” said People’s Artist Lệ Thuỷ, who has 50 years in the industry. 

Thủy won several top prizes at national traditional theatre competitions and festivals. She has performed in more than 300 plays, videos and films. 

Thailand looks to maritime tourism connectivity with Việt Nam, Cambodia

Thailand is seeking to cooperate with Việt Nam and Cambodia in opening a maritime route connecting islands near Trat province of Thailand with Việt Nam's Kiên Giang province and Cambodia's Sihanoukville province to promote investment, trade, tourism and tourism combined with meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE).

Trat Governor Natthapong Sanguanjit recently chaired a meeting on this initiative within the Cambodia-Vietnam-Thailand Economic Corridor (CVTEC) - Trat Business Roadshow 2024, with the participation of representatives from six provinces of the three countries, Chairman of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) Chamnan Srisawat, and Senior Vice President at the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) Puripan Bunnag, Thai media reported on June 16.

Chamnan said the TCT is accelerating the organisation of the CVTEC conference, with the TCEB as co-organiser and main sponsor, noting the goal is to promote the maritime route connecting the three countries in order to create “One Market, Three Destinations”.

It will not only function as a modern economic route but also an attractive tourist one with beautiful nature and culture.

Natthapong emphasised the significance of fostering tourism that links the eastern coastal regions of the three nations through this maritime route.

Within the framework of the meeting, representatives of the private and public sectors of the three countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly strengthen trade, investment, tourism and the MICE industry along this route.

TCEB Deputy Director Apichai Somboonpakorn said the TCEB believes Thailand is ready for this project, adding if successful, it will allow tourists to travel from Pattaya to Laem Chabang, and then on to Trat, Sihanoukville, and Kien Giang and vice versa.

Wiyada Suang, Vice Chairman of the Trat provincial Tourism Council, said the sea route will likely open during the peak tourist season in November this year.

Việt Nam ready for high results at FIVB Challenger Cup

Việt Nam will play the hosts in the opening match of the FIVB Challenger Cup 2024 which will open July 4 in the Philippines.

Việt Nam cruised into the world tournament after defending their title at the AVC Challenge Cup in May.

The Cup will be the fifth and final edition of the FIVB Women's Volleyball Challenger Cup, an annual women's international volleyball tournament contested by eight national teams. Acting as a qualifier for the FIVB Women's Volleyball Nations League (VNL), the tournament will be held at 6,000-seat Ninoy Aquino Stadium between July 4 and 7.

The tournament will be in a knock-out format, quarter-finals, semi-finals and then the final.

The Philippines will play its quarter-final match against the lowest ranked team, Việt Nam, No 34. The remaining six teams are placed from second to seventh positions as per the FIVB World Ranking as of June 17.

In the other matches, No 13 Belgium will play No 24 Sweden, No 15 Puerto Rico will see No 20 Kenya and No 16 the Czech Republic, who will face No 17 Argentina.

In preparation for the tournament, coach Nguyễn Tuấn Kiệt kept his 14-player line-up that triumphed at the AVC Challenge Cup, also in Manila.

They just completed an intensive training course in Vĩnh Phúc Province's Tam Đảo area and are now practising in Quảng Ninh, which hosted volleyball event of the 31st SEA Games in 2021.

Kiệt said the Quảng Ninh training course was really important for his players where they would improve their physique and sharpen their skills, before moving to the Philippines.

In the upcoming event, Kiệt will have his captain Trần Thị Thanh Thúy back in action, after an injury prevented her from performing at the AVC Challenge Cup.

The most successful national player, who will compete in the Turkish tournament in August, is expected to strengthen Kiệt's attacking force and help the Vietnamese advance further in this year's tournament.

In addition to Thúy, AVC Challenge Cup's Most Valuable Player Nguyễn Thị Bích Tuyền promised to continue shine at her first appearance at the FIVB Women's Volleyball Challenger Cup.

"I hope that Việt Nam can play well at this competition and go as far as possible, " said Tuyền." I also hope that we will get strong support from home fans."

In addition to claiming bragging rights, the champions will also qualify for the 2025 VNL 2025, set to be held from June 2 to July 27 and the 2025 world volleyball championship from August 22 to September 7.

Last year, Việt Nam qualified for the FIVB Challenger Cup for the first time, but the team were defeated 0-3 by host France in the opening match.

National U16 football team leaves for ASEAN boys' championship in Indonesia

The Vietnamese national U16 football team left for Indonesia on Thursday to compete in the ASEAN U16 Boys' Championships.

Việt Nam are scheduled to play their first match of the event against Brunei on June 22 at the Sriwedari Stadium.

The team have been drawn in Group B for the tournament, alongside Myanmar, Brunei and Cambodia. After their opener against Brunei, they will face Cambodia on June 25 and Myanmar on June 28.

Group C features some strong rivals, including Thailand, Australia, Malaysia and Timor Leste. The host nation, Indonesia, will defend their title in Group A against Laos, the Philippines and Singapore.

The top team from each group and the best second-place squad will advance to the semi-finals, with the final set to take place on July 4. In the 2022 competition, Việt Nam finished as runners-up after losing 1-0 to Indonesia in the final.

A total of 30 players, under the guidance of head coach Trần Minh Chiến, are making their final preparations for the upcoming event.

The tournament is an annual international football competition between the national teams of ASEAN Football Federation members, with occasional invitations extended to other Asian nations. Việt Nam have previously won the championship title in 2006, 2010 and 2017. 

Việt Nam, RoK step up cooperation in climate change response

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Lê Công Thành and Deputy Minister of the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Environment Hyoeun Jenny Kim co-chaired the first meeting of the Vietnam-RoK Joint Working Group on Climate Change Cooperation on June 20.

The virtual meeting came after both countries pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in 2021.

Thành highlighted Vietnam’s National Climate Change Strategy (2021-2030) with a vision to 2050, which outlines measures for adaptation and mitigation. He pointed to numerous international agreements, including the 2021 Framework Agreement with the RoK as crucial steps in tackling climate change.

Việt Nam’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2022 commits to a 15.8 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, he said, adding that the country is planning a pilot domestic carbon market in 2025, with full operation targeted for 2028.

Looking ahead to COP29, Việt Nam hopes for clearer guidelines on climate finance goals and the establishment of rules for bilateral cooperation on carbon credit exchanges under the Paris Agreement’s Article 6, he said.

He expressed Việt Nam’s desire to learn from the RoK's experience in developing its domestic carbon market and facilitating international carbon credit exchange, particularly for bilateral agreements.

Kim, for her part, highlighted the active participation of both sides in implementing the Framework Agreement, with the potential for further collaboration, especially on carbon markets.

Representatives from Vietnamese ministries presented proposals to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the field.

The Korean side also proposed projects on greenhouse gas reduction, including initiatives in non-fired brick production, rooftop solar power, biomass fuel use in industrial boilers, among others. 

Severe water shortages ravage parts of Quảng Bình Province

As the scorching summer heat intensifies, residents in several mountainous and coastal areas of central province Quảng Bình are facing a severe shortage of potable water.

In Tiền Phong Village, Trung Hóa Commune, Minh Hóa District, nearly 400 wells have run dry, forcing residents to rely on communal wells that are often difficult to access and have high iron content.

"Ninety percent of the villagers are facing serious water shortages," said Cao Thị Hoa Lý, a resident of Tiền Phong. "Since the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, we have had to collect water from the remaining wells for cooking and drinking, while relying on streams for bathing and washing."

To make matters worse, the cost of purchasing water for daily use is a burden for many families in the village.

The situation is similar in other parts of the province, with over 70 per cent of households in Trung Hóa Commune lacking access to clean water during the dry season.

"We have reported the problem to the district authorities and are hoping for a solution," said Cao Văn Chương, Vice Chairman of the People's Committee of Trung Hóa.

"In the meantime, we are asking for permission to use two reserve wells owned by the military to provide some relief."

Several coastal and riverside communities are also experiencing saltwater intrusion, further worsening their water supply situation.

In response to the crisis, the Quảng Bình Centre for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation has implemented measures to ensure a steady supply of water, including cleaning and maintaining wells and providing mobile water tanks to affected areas.

However, long-term solutions are needed to address the root causes of the shortage.

Bùi Thái Nguyên, Director of the Centre, proposes investing in large-scale water supply projects that draw water from sustainable sources such as freshwater lakes and dams.

He also urges the provincial and central governments to provide funding for the construction of water supply systems in particularly water-scarce areas, such as Ngư Thủy Bắc in Lệ Thủy District, Phù Hóa in Quảng Trạch District and Tân Hóa in Minh Hóa District.

Climate neutrality is most cost-effective scenario for Việt Nam’s green energy transition

Reaching the 2050 climate neutrality target is not only technically feasible for Việt Nam, but is also the most cost-effective scenario, according to a new report released on Wednesday and titled 'Việt Nam Energy Outlook Report - Pathways to Net Zero'.

The result of cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Danish Embassy in Việt Nam and the Danish Energy Agency, the report presents scenarios for developing the Vietnamese energy system over the next few decades.

It focuses on analysing realistic pathways for Việt Nam to achieve its net-zero commitment by 2050.

Nguyễn Tuyển Tâm, Head of the Planning Division under the Electricity and Renewable Energy Authority, said Việt Nam’s energy sector is the main source of air pollution today. In 2020, the total greenhouse gas emissions in Việt Nam amounted to 370.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, of which the energy sector accounted for 67 per cent of total emissions (247 million tonnes).

He said with expected economic growth of about 7 per cent annually, Việt Nam’s energy/electricity demand for socio-economic development will remain high.

“Electricity demand is forecast to increase by about 8-9 per cent in the next decade, so ensuring adequate and timely development of energy system infrastructure is a top challenge,” he said.

The energy sector remains the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, with 648.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2030, he said.

The 'Việt Nam Energy Outlook Report - Pathways to Net Zero' pointed out that an additional 56GW of renewable energy -- including 17GW of onshore wind and 39 GW of solar -- needs to be added by 2030 if Việt Nam is to stay on track for a carbon peak by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050.

The most beneficial and cost-effective way to support Việt Nam’s sustainable growth is through a massive expansion of solar and wind power as well as the electrification of transportation and industry, the report said.

It is critical to accelerate the green energy transition in Việt Nam now to avoid huge unnecessary costs. Any delays in the transition will be costly, not least from increased climate change impacts.

Kristoffer Bottzauw, Director General of Danish Energy Agency, said the report highlights the urgent need to change from coal towards sustainable development within decades.

Coal power capacity will peak at 28GW before 2030, with the electricity system increasingly dominated by an increasing renewable energy capacity. Coal power will be eventually phased out by 2050 in all scenarios, he said.

The phaseout of coal in the net zero scenarios, reaching a peak capacity even before 2030, underlines the fact that any new coal power plant commissioned now will be a net economic loss to Việt Nam when pursuing the net zero target by 2050, he said.

It is cost effective to start the green transition now, he added, reiterating that the Vietnamese energy sector will reach peak emissions by 2030.

To fulfil Việt Nam’s ambition to build 84GW of offshore wind by 2050 requires strong commitment and immediate action. The report recommends Việt Nam start designating offshore areas, preparing port infrastructure and strengthening the power grid.

Denmark’s Ambassador to Việt Nam Nicolai Prytz said: “Achieving Việt Nam’s net zero goal will require swift, intensified and sustained efforts. This is not just vital in terms of addressing a growing energy demand, but also for the attraction of FDI as access to renewable energy is becoming more and more crucial in investment decisions. Denmark is committed to continue supporting Việt Nam on this journey.”

The 'Việt Nam Energy Report - Pathways to Net Zero' is the fourth in a series of outlook publications under the Danish-Vietnamese Energy Partnership Programme, a long-term partnership between the two countries on the green energy transition.

Mass fish deaths in Kon Tum reservoir following heavy rain

Mass fish deaths have occurred in the Yaly Reservoir in the Central Highlands Province of Kon Tum's Sa Thay District following heavy rains.

Reports from the Sa Thay District People's Committee showed that as many as 25 tonnes of fish raised in over 20 cages on the reservoir had died by the end of June 20, with an estimated loss of some VND3.8 billion.

"We're raising mostly lentil fish here which are all about one year," a farmer said.

Initial investigations from local authorities showed that the fish might have died from lack of oxygen and the sudden change in water condition following heavy rains.

"We've taken water samples from the lake for further testing to find out the cause of the incident," the committee said. "Some teams have been sent to help people collect the dead fish to prevent environmental pollution."

Hanoi to build night food street

Hanoi will build a night food street around Hoang Cau Lake in Dong Da District.

Authorities of Dong Da District have announced plans to upgrade the area around Hoang Cau Lake.

The project's particular highlights will include the construction of an additional artificial peninsula that will serve as a venue for performances and the displaying One Commune One Products. Meanwhile, Mai Anh Tuan Street will be transformed into a culinary hub.

The renovation of Hoang Cau Lake will be combined with the restoration of Dong Da Mound historical site.

Many residents strongly support the project, saying it is necessary as many pavement sections around Hoang Cau Lake have deteriorated.

Viet Nam receives ARV medication from Australia amid shortage

The Ministry of Health has just received 65,000 bottles of the ARV medication for the treatment of HIV/AIDS from the Australian Government in co-operation with the World Health Organization (WHO).

At the reception ceremony on June 20, Minister of Health Đào Hồng Lan said they highly appreciated the swift support from WHO, the Government and the people of Australia for Việt Nam, to help prevent current shortages of the medicine for HIV/AIDS patients.

Minister Lan extended heartfelt thanks for this valuable and timely gift for people living with HIV in Việt Nam.

The Australian government has significantly contributed to HIV/AIDS prevention in Việt Nam through the 'Asia Regional HIV/AIDS Project' (2009-15), which helped curb the epidemic during its most severe phase, she said.

Additionally across other areas of health, co-operation between Australia and Việt Nam has been strengthened through the implementation of technical activities between professional units of the two countries.

Notably, during the fight against COVID-19, Australia supported Việt Nam with vaccines and a vaccination programme for children.

"We hope that the health co-operation between the two sides will be further promoted in health security, infectious disease prevention, scientific research/vaccine development and professional exchange," Minister Lan said.

At the ceremony, Nguyễn Anh Tú, the youth programme co-ordinator at the Việt Nam Network of People Living with HIV (VNP+), added: "For HIV-infected individuals, ARV medication is life itself. ARV medication has helped those living with HIV maintain good health and be able to study, work and contribute to the community and society more effectively."

Currently, Việt Nam has over 178,000 people living with HIV and undergoing ARV treatment. To maintain health and reduce new HIV infections, they would need continuous, lifelong ARV treatment.

Recently, the procurement of ARV in Việt Nam faced some difficulties, and the Ministry of Health is actively promoting the procurement of ARV medications from health insurance sources.

The minister stated that they are pushing for ARV medication procurement, having completed a first round in price negotiations.

From June to August, 14.5 million ARV tablets are expected to be supplied for patient treatment.

The remaining medications will be centrally procured at the national level to ensure continuous treatment for HIV patients. 

Northern region takes proactive measures against heavy rain

The National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control on Friday issued a directive to provincial committees in the northern region, asking them to be prepared for heavy rain accompanied by tornadoes, lightning, hail and strong winds.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting reported that the northern mountainous region experienced significant rainfall on Thursday night and Friday morning. 

Tân Lập Commune in Bắc Quang District, Hà Giang Province, experienced heavy rain with 435mm, and Nhất Tiến Commune in Bắc Sơn District, Lạng Sơn Province recorded 150mm. 

Forecasts indicate the region will continue to see scattered showers and thunderstorms, with heavy rain and the potential for tornadoes, lightning, hail and strong winds. 

The risk of flash floods, landslides in mountainous areas, and flooding in low-lying areas remains high.

The Standing Office of the National Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control has called on provincial committees to inspect affected areas and promptly deploy response, rescue and support teams to aid residents. 

Task forces should review residential areas along rivers and streams, as well as low-lying areas prone to flooding, flash floods, and landslides, to ensure water flow is unobstructed and to organise evacuations if necessary.

Localities are urged to closely monitor warning and forecast bulletins and regularly notify and guide authorities and residents at all levels. 

1,500 yogis perform in HCM City on 10th International Yoga Day

The 10th International Yoga Day was marked in Ho Chi Minh City on June 21 with 1,500 yogis performing basic yoga postures together in District 1.

The programme was jointly held by the Indian Consulate General in HCM City and the municipal Union of Friendship Organisations to form parts of the celebrations of the 52nd anniversary of the Vietnam-India diplomatic relations and the 77th Independence Day of India.

Opening the event, Indian Consul General in HCM City Madan Mohan Sethi said that this year’s International Yoga Day, themed "Yoga for self and society", aims to highlight the the spirit of oneness and harmony and social wellness.

The annual event is expected to enhance public awareness of effects of yoga in connecting people, balancing life, and maintaining mental and physical health, he said.

Vice Chairman of the municipal Department of Culture and Sports Nguyen Nam Nhan said that the International Yoga Day has been celebrated annually in HCM City since 2015, drawing a large number of locals, contributing to promoting cultural exchanges, friendship and cooperation between residents of the city in particular and Vietnamese people as a whole with Indian people.

Nhan said he hopes that the event will continue to serve as a cultural bridge for the two peoples, helping further spread the popularity of the sport in the city and Vietnam, thus contributing to improving the wellness of people.

Yoga is a 5,000-year-old traditional cultural sport of ancient India, combining physical, mental, and spiritual activities to achieve harmony of body and mind. In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 every year as the International Yoga Day.

This year, the day is scheduled to be marked in 40 cities and provinces across Vietnam./.

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