Unique river tour

60799-img-7534

Rambling along rivers, visitors wallowed in the flow of the Northern water rice civilization’s culture. Left in them after two days in Hai Duong were special imprints of peaceful villages with rich heritage. Cultural flow A group of river tourists arrive in Thanh Hai commune (Thanh Ha) Marie Walker (American) put her small binoculars into her bag while her face was filled with joy after watching a 1-hour water puppetry show in Thanh Hai commune (Thanh Ha). The over 60-year-old woman who loved travel very much excitedly told me that she was completely pleased with the trip. "I love the idea of traveling along rivers because it suits my age. The life and culture of people living near rivers are often long-standing and very unique. For example, the water puppetry show we have just enjoyed is a product of Vietnam’s rice growing villages. Enjoying it here is very different from watching performances in the theatre or another less natural space," said Marie. Marie was … [Read more...]

Tet markets in Vietnam’s Hue City, then and now

Flowers bloom at a market along Hue City’s iconic Huong (Perfume) River. Photo:

Tet (Lunar New Year) markets in Hue City, which is Vietnam’s imperial capital, and its vicinity are nowadays reminiscent of their rustic, serene counterparts dozens of years ago. The markets are an alluring highlight among natives and tourists alike when they visit Hue City and the neighboring areas located in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue. The first day of the Lunar New Year falls on February 8 this year, but tradition states that festive preparations and the celebratory atmosphere begin one week before and end one week after that date. The bygone days Le Vu Truong Giang, a Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper contributor, reminisced over his excitement before trips to the local Tet market as a young boy. Before the 23rd day of the 12th month of the lunar year, on which red carp fish are bought and set free in a long-cherished Tet ritual as a means for 'Ong Tao' (the Kitchen Gods) to ride to Heaven, Giang would follow his mother to markets throughout the city and … [Read more...]

Southeast Asian Choreolab 2016 calls for applications

HA NOI (VNS) — One Vietnamese choreographer will have a chance to join colleagues from ASEAN countries at the Southeast Asian Choreolab 2016 from May 28 to June 5 in Malaysia. The selected candidate will live and work together to learn about contemporary dance with guidance from Japanese choreographer Akiko Kitamura, who is recognised as the most thrilling dancer in Japan. Kitamura was born in 1970 in Tokyo. After learning ballet and street dance in her youth, she studied dance theory at Waseda University and began to build a professional career as a choreographer in show business while still in her teens. She has choreographed many pieces for commercial films, fashion shows and plays. The Choreolab aims to provide a supportive environment for participants to acquire new choreographic tools, develop regional networks with their peers and increase their international understanding. — VNS … [Read more...]

Buying guide for Tet in Vietnam

60790-r6urncpl

In Vietnam if you have hundreds of relatives, small Tet gifts cost a fortune. In Australia you have ten relatives, huge New Year gifts cost a fortune. I should open a shopping mall, I’ll call it STIVICOM; I’ll make a fortune. I call this time of year, ‘the big shutdown’. Between now and Tet you’ll be lucky to find that helpful visa man – he’s busy buying votive paper. Opening a business? Building a house? Getting a visa? It’s now or never (well, at least until March) while the workforce sneaks off to prepare for Tet. Tell the teacher you have to visit your sick grandma in hospital? You’re lying – you’re heading to the paint shop to repaint the fence like dad told you to! It’s the worse time for stuff to break down or need servicing. It’s like magic; suddenly I need a new mouse for the computer as they have a lifespan of 60 days apparently. Just last week on a Sunday before starting a class at 9:00 am, my … [Read more...]

Folk painting villages – Preserving cultural identity on Tet holiday

Dong Ho folk painting. Photo:Internet

(Cinet)- Folk painting is a combination of traditional cultural values with ancient artistic methods that have been created through the labor of past generations. Some folk painting villages have maintained and developed cultural values of an indispensable Vietnamese tradition on Tet holiday. Folk painting is believed to bring purchasers good luck and prosperity. There are two types of Vietnamese folk paintings, Tet holiday paintings and worshiping paintings. The folk painting’s journey is the story of the Vietnamese traditional art from the past to the present. During the Ly Dynasty (12th century), there were many families who specialized in woodblock carving. By the end of the Tran Dynasty, they were also printing paper money. At the beginning of the Le So Dynasty, the Chinese technique of carving printing boards was adopted and improved. The History Museum and the Fine Art Museum in Hanoi still keep old printing boards as archives. Each style of painting is different. … [Read more...]

Folk and calligraphical paintings – Indispensable Vietnamese tradition on Tet

60784-bp36

(Cinet)-Folk paintings and calligraphical works have long been an indispensable Vietnamese tradition in Tet (Lunar New Year,) which is believed to bring purchasers good luck and prosperity.Calligraphical works With the Tet Lunar New Year round the corner, attendant will have the opportunity to learn how to draw traditional Tet best wishes like "Phuc – Good Fortune", "Loc – Prosperity" and "Tho – Longevity". Apart from gaining the knowledge, it can prove a great wide for attendants to do with their own hands, personalised valuable presents for the loved ones for the coming Tet. Calligraphical works are those featuring stylized words in Vietnamese, Chinese and even English or any other language that one’s heart desires. The words, which are mostly with educational and literary meanings, are written in a special kind of ink and with a brush. Those trained to write the words are called "ong do" (calligrapher,) who are usually senior in age and dressed in male … [Read more...]

Quang Ngai opens the spring fine arts exhibition 2016

60782-so0422016

​A fine arts exhibition celebrating 2016 Lunar New Year has just opened at Quang Ngai Union of Literature and Arts Association on 29 January. ​The exhibition has attracted 23 painters in Quang Ngai province with 37 paintings made of different materials including pastel, acrylic, oil, lacquer, wood, silk, graphics. Works on display bring visitors different feelings of spring and the upcoming Year of the Monkey. The annual event is jointly held by the Quang Ngai Union of Literature and Arts Association, the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the provincial Branch of Vietnam Fine Arts Association as part of the activities to celebrate Spring 2016 and mark the 86th anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (February 3, 1930-2016). The exhibition will last until February 23. Minh Th​ien … [Read more...]

Multinational lacquer preservation plan in works

Cultural symbol: Ha Thai lacquer village in Thuong Tin District in Ha Noi has preserved its traditional trade for more than 200 years. — VNA/VNS File Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has asked the Prime Minister to approve its participation in preparing a multinational dossier on traditional lacquer. If approved, the ministry will cooperate with the relevant ministries, organisations and local administrations to join South Korea and other countries in compiling a dossier on the trade of traditional lacquer. The dossier will then be submitted to UNESCO, proposing that lacquer be placed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Previously, the ministry received an invitation from the Cultural Heritage Administration of South Korea to participate in compiling the multinational dossier on traditional lacquer. The activity aims to preserve and promote the unique values of Viet Nam's traditional lacquer on an international scale, in addition to encouraging international cooperation in protecting intangible cultural heritage icons amongst Asian … [Read more...]

Vietnam could join RoK’s effort to seek recognition of lacquer

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) has asked the Prime Minister for permission to join the Republic of Korea (RoK) in compiling a multinational dossier seeking UNESCO’s recognition of the traditional craft of "son mai" (lacquer) as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage. If it is allowed, the ministry will work with relevant ministries, sectors and localities as well as the RoK and other countries that boast traditional lacquer techniques to design the dossier. On September 16, 2015, the RoK’s Cultural Heritage Administration sent a letter to the MCST to ask for coordination in building a multinational dossier seeking UNESCO’s recognition of the art of lacquer as part of the representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. The MCST cited the RoK as saying that China and Japan could also join in the compilation. The countries’ coordination aims to help preserve and promote the unique values of lacquer … [Read more...]

Multinational dossier on traditional lacquer compiled

Ha Thai lacquer village in Thuong Tin District in Ha Noi has preserved its traditional trade for over 200 years. — Photo VNA

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has asked the prime minister to approve its participation in preparing a multinational dossier on traditional lacquer. If approved, the ministry will cooperate with the relevant ministries, organisations and local administrations to join South Korea and other countries in compiling a dossier on the trade of traditional lacquer. The dossier will then be submitted to UNESCO, proposing that lacquer be placed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Previously, the ministry received an invitation from The Cultural Heritage Administration of South Korea to participate in compiling the multinational dossier on traditional lacquer. The activity aims to preserve and promote the unique values of Viet Nam's traditional lacquer on an international scale, in addition to encouraging international cooperation in protecting intangible cultural heritage icons amongst Asian … [Read more...]

Traditional Vietnamese market at Hanoi Sofitel Metropole

A spectacular dragon dance performed around the hotel’s pool.

(VOVworld) – Some of the most distinctive features of the Vietnamese Tet holiday were showcased at an event called "Cho Que", or a traditional Vietnamese market, at the Hanoi Sofitel Legend Metropole. The venue for the event was the hotel’s open-air courtyard. At Cho Que, vendors set up shops along the walkway bordering one side of the hotel’s inner sanctum. Dressed in traditional garb, vendors sold food and handicrafts. Other activities included a dragon dance, Vietnamese traditional music performances and a special Chung or square sticky rice cake making competition. The event drew many young Vietnamese as well as foreigners. Quynh Hoa … [Read more...]

Hanoi inhabitants busy readying for Tet holiday

The Ha Noi's calligraphy event is officially opened for Tet yesterday inside the Van Mieu–Quoc Tu Giam (the Temple of Literature). — VNS Photo Truong Vi

A few days before the Lunar New Year (Tet), the streets in Ha Noi have become much more animated as local inhabitants are busy preparing for the celebrations of the important festival. The sunshine came back to the city after several cold, rainy days, warming and cleaning the streets. The clement weather cheered up locals, who are now rushing to markets and shops to buy ingredients to cook traditional dishes, and ornamental trees to decorate houses. Many students go home as Tet vacation arrives. Vendors from different regions come to Ha Noi to sell ornamental trees and other goods. The stream of people moving around the city's streets during these days has caused traffic jams on the main streets of the capital, even during non-rush hours. Despite the global economic downturn, families have been preparing excitedly for Tet holiday, which lasts from February 7 to 14 this year. Many families have been too busy to make banh chung (square cake) or other traditional dishes that take … [Read more...]

Ha Noi inhabitants busy readying for Tet holiday

The Ha Noi's calligraphy event is officially opened for Tet yesterday inside the Van Mieu–Quoc Tu Giam (the Temple of Literature). — VNS Photo Truong Vi

HA NOI (VNS) — A few days before the Lunar New Year (Tet), the streets in Ha Noi have become much more animated as local inhabitants are busy preparing for the celebrations of the important festival. The sunshine came back to the city after several cold, rainy days, warming and cleaning the streets. The clement weather cheered up locals, who are now rushing to markets and shops to buy ingredients to cook traditional dishes, and ornamental trees to decorate houses. Many students go home as Tet vacation arrives. Vendors from different regions come to Ha Noi to sell ornamental trees and other goods. The stream of people moving around the city's streets during these days has caused traffic jams on the main streets of the capital, even during non-rush hours. Despite the global economic downturn, families have been preparing excitedly for Tet holiday, which lasts from February 7 to 14 this year. Many families have been too busy to make banh chung (square cake) or other … [Read more...]

Vietnam could join RoK’s effort to seek UNESCO’s recognition of lacquer

A lacquer painting of artist Nguyen Duc Viet. Source: ape.gov.vn

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) has asked the Prime Minister for permission to join the Republic of Korea (RoK) in compiling a multinational dossier seeking UNESCO’s recognition of the traditional craft of "son mai" (lacquer) as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage. If it is allowed, the ministry will work with relevant ministries, sectors and localities as well as the RoK and other countries that boast traditional lacquer techniques to design the dossier. On September 16, 2015, the RoK’s Cultural Heritage Administration sent a letter to MCST to ask for coordination in building a multinational dossier seeking UNESCO’s recognition of the art of lacquer as part of the representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. MCST cited the RoK as saying that China and Japan could also join in the compilation. The countries’ coordination aims to help preserve and promote the unique values of lacquer and bolster … [Read more...]

What’s on February 2016 (Daily updated)

60754-dfa42606df7f71948e08ec9602ddb109

EXHIBITIONSHanoi-Exhibition "Polyhedron" by Nguyen The Hung Opening: Feb 2, 6 pm Exhibition: Feb 2 - 28 L'Espace, 24 Trang Tien Street "Polyhedra" is an exhibition following the series of three collections "And the flowers fell from the sky", "Little Flowers" and "Lazy days". In his semi-abstract style, Nguyen Hung The assembles pictures cut, gold leaf or more traditional materials, such as DO paper glued on fabric. He composes great characters, dressed in brocade similar to those of the Thai ethnic group, held in majesty in a world filled with myriads of small vegetable seeds. Inspired by Buddhism and meditation of nature, Nguyen Hung The wants to discover, dig deep into the life on earth to find these seeds of love and hope, just waiting to sprout. The public will discover the new collection of Nguyen Hung The, new creations as well as older works, never exhibited but have been taken and reworked by the artist. Hanoi-Exhibition "Little Joy" by Artist Ly Hung Anh Until Feb … [Read more...]

Social News 2/2

60752-20160201152043-1

Hanoi cancels Phuc Tho Buffalo Fighting Festival A buffalo fighting festival in Phuc Tho District has been cancelled this year because of controversy over concern it promotes cruelty to animals. Nguyen Khac Loi, deputy director of Hanoi Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, signed the order banning the festival on January 27. The Phuc Tho Buffalo Fighting Festival attracted considerable local and international media attention last year when 76 fought, with the winning beast publicly slaughtered, ostensibly as an offering to deities, but the meat was sold at high prices. In response to widespread criticism about the cruelty of the event, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hoang Anh Tuan, asked localities not to organize events that might incite violence. Embassy brings detained fishermen home from Malaysia A delegation from the Embassy of Vietnam in Malaysia has visited the 86 Vietnamese fishermen being detained in the eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak. The … [Read more...]

Vietnamese folk paintings on show in Hanoi

The Saigon Times Daily The exhibits are 200 paintings and documents of private ceramics museums in the capital city. They include Dong Ho paintings of Dong Ho Village in Bac Ninh Province, Hang Trong and Kim Hoang paintings in Hanoi, folk paintings of Sinh Village located by the Huong River in Hue City, as well as glass paintings of the south. Lasting until February 16, the exhibition also shows images and documentary films about artisans and folk painting villages besides skills of making Dong Ho and Hang Trong paintings by local artisans and painters. The Hanoi Old Quarter Cultural Exchange Center is located at 50 Dao Duy Tu, Hoan Kiem District. … [Read more...]

State President kicks off Homeland Spring program

President Truong Tan Sang beating the drum open the program. Photo: Huu Duong

PANO – Hundreds of overseas Vietnamese people from different countries and territories gathered in the August Revolution Square in Hanoi on January 31st to join this year's Homeland Spring program. Present at the event were State President Truong Tan Sang, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and other representatives from ministries and branches. Delivering the opening speech, Minh underlined the overseas Vietnamese peoples’ contributions to the national construction cause over the past time, adding that in the coming years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would continue taking care of the Vietnamese expatriates as a non-separate part of the country. Meanwhile, State President Truong Tan Sang welcomed the Vietnamese expats to the program and briefed them on the country’s socio-economic and cultural achievements. He affirmed that overseas Vietnamese people have made great contributions to these results. The leader took this occasion to … [Read more...]

WHAT’S ON FEBRUARY 1-29 (DAILY UPDATE)

60746-20160201172340-1

Conference about children book by Jean Piaget Sat 20 Feb 2016, 9 am L'Espace 24 Tràng Tiền, Hà Nội You are invited to introductory conference on the book "Symbol formation in children: imitation, play and dream, image and representation" by psychologist Jean Piaget. Speakers: Nguyen Xuan Khanh and Hoang Hung, translators of the book Moderator: Chu Hao, Director of Knowledge publishing house This book examines how humans are born with ideas and images that populate his mind and become the source of thought and creative imagination. Language: Vietnamese Free entry. Contemporary Dance Workshop "Identity" with Huy Tran Mon 15 Feb 2016, 7.30 - 10.30 pm Kinergie Studio 7th Floor, 101A Nguyen Khuyen, Hanoi Let's explore contemporary dance with Huy Tran. Participants: Artists, dancers, students and everyone who is interested in creative movements and contemporary dance. With the theme 'Identity', the workshop includes special exercises that help improve the bodily and … [Read more...]

Photos: Vietnam’s folk paintings on display in Hanoi Old Quarter

Four girls (Sinh Village painting).

Surrounded by a crowd in a corner of the Centre of the Old Quarter's Culture Exchange, artisan Nguyen Dang Giap spreads colours carefully on different woodblocks to create a Dong Ho folk painting. Giap is the only member of his family that pursues this traditional job, which originates from the Dong Ho Village in Thuan Thanh District in Bac Ninh Province, about 30km east of Ha Noi. While explaining to curious viewers about the painting's natural materials, the old artist focuses on each step, which he has known by heart since he was young. The printing paper used for the paintings is made from the bark of the do (poonah) tree. It is soaked in water for months and then mixed with seashell powder (diep) and glutinous rice. Because of the texture of seashells and glutinous rice, the paper possesses an exotic and sparkling hard background and is able to retain colours used in the painting. Giap's demonstration is part of the on-going folk paintings exhibition Net Xuan (Spring's … [Read more...]