I have the habit of talking to old people every time I do research on the climate and the environment. To me, they are living records of what really happened, having directly experienced the natural disasters that have swept through our lands. After the 2016 drought, I did a study on the people of the Mekong Delta and their adaptability to climate change. In every province and city I went, Ben Tre, Ca Mau, Can Tho, Tien Giang and Tra Vinh, the elders shared the same worries, without exception. Something bad is coming, and it’s imminent. The Mekong Delta has always been blessed by Mother Nature. Lush plantations, abundant fish and shrimp are just some of the few things the Delta gives us. It is Mother Nature herself who breathed life into the people here. They are vivacious and carefree, unchained and untamed, just like the Delta itself. Not anymore. Such blessings are now relics of a distant past, showing themselves only in the people’s verses of songs and lines of poetry. … [Read more...] about Dammed, doomed: the Mekong Delta story
Mekong delta where to stay
Tac Say Church in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu, commonly dubbed as Father Diep Church, has been in existence for nearly one century and linked to the life of Truong Buu Diep, a highly respected Vietnamese Catholic priest who is believed to have died in 1946 while protecting his followers during the war. Tac Say Church in Bac Lieu Province is where the remains of priest Truong Buu Diep are buried and remembered Located in Tan Phong Commune, Gia Rai District and right on National Highway 1A towards the country’s southern tip of Ca Mau, the church was constructed in 1925 during the French colonial time. It has undergone several times of restoration thanks to contributions by generous Catholic followers nationwide to make it the largest and most striking cathedral in the Mekong Delta as witnessed today. The church has served as not only a worshipping place for parishioners to practice their religious beliefs but also the resting place of Priest Truong Buu Diep, … [Read more...] about Visiting Mekong Delta’s century old church
Banh khot Banh khot is the closest relative to banh xeo and many restaurants in southern Vietnam serve them as a pair. Unlike banh xeo which is fried on a large pan, banh khot is cooked in small round molds, with other ingredients like pork, mung beans, shallots and coconut milk added on top. The rim should be slightly burnt to add flavor to the tasty treat. Like banh xeo, the cake is eaten by being rolled in fresh leaves and dunked in fish sauce. The southern dish has at least two versions. The Mekong Delta’s banh khot is softer, thicker and usually more yellow due to the addition of turmeric power. Vung Tau’s banh khot is flatter and crunchier and is white, with shrimps and shrimp powder on top. Banh can Banh can is exactly the Mekong Delta’s bank khot without turmeric and coconut milk. The little rice pancake originally came from the Cham people in Ninh Thuan Province but has gradually become a specialty of south central Vietnam. The best banh can be found … [Read more...] about Five siblings of ‘banh xeo’ and where to find them
HCM CITY (VNS) — After don ca tai tu (southern amateur singing) was recognised as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage icon, artists, cultural managers and researchers felt pressured to protect and develop this music. Phan Nhut Dung, who teaches music at HCM City Theatre and Cinema University and is also chairman of Southern Folk Music and Renovated Opera Club at the city's Labour Palace, said that the duty of all Vietnamese people, especially teachers of the arts, has become more important since UNESCO listed the folk music as being part of the nation's intangible heritage. "We have to do something to preserve the art, not by protecting it in museum," he said. Dung also said that, presently, all clubs in the city had a lack of folk instrument players because club members spend short periods learning how to play instruments. Rather, they tend to learn more popular modern instruments, such as the guitar, he said. Besides, students, who study at the college, often return to the … [Read more...] about Southern music fights to stay hip
The Mekong Delta seems to have a lot of things to do to prepare for the hosting of next year's Vietnam National Tourism Year with "Miet vuon song nuoc Cuu Long" ( Mekong waterways) programme. Can Tho and Mekong River Delta provinces are hectically preparing to welcome travellers under the 'Mekong waterways', the official destination for the 2008 National Tourism Year. The Deputy Chairman of Can Tho Province, Head of the Organisation Board for 'Mekong waterways' 2008 Pham Phuoc Nhu, said that this would be a big and significant event as it coincided with many other important events, the 5 th anniversary of young city Can Tho's establishment, and the opening of many works (Can Tho airport, Rach Mieu bridge). This is the first time a southern province hosts the Vietnam National Tourism Year. Expensiveness, pollution may trip travelers up Hoang Thi Binh, Deputy Director of the Ho Guom Tourism, Investment and Import-Export Company (Inserimex), related that she once travelled to the … [Read more...] about Can ‘Mekong waterways’ attract travellers?