Art & Entertainment Headlines December 18

Asian Records recognises 10 more Vietnamese dishes

The Asian Records Organisation (ARO) has included ten more Vietnamese culinary specialties in its latest Asian Records listings. The dishes, all closely tied to specific Vietnamese regions, will now be promoted in mass media throughout the region.

The Asian Records Organisation (ARO) has included ten more Vietnamese culinary specialties in its latest Asian Records listings. The dishes, all closely tied to specific Vietnamese regions, will now be promoted in mass media throughout the region.

The new specialties include Hanoi’s Cha Ca La Vong (fried fish), Hai Duong’s Bun ca ro dong (Vermicelli with anabas), Quang Ninh’s Cha ca muc Ha Long (fried Ha Long cuttlefish), Quang Nam’s Cao lau Hoi An (Hoi An noodles with barbecue pork, bean sprouts, and herbs), Binh Dinh’s banh canh cha ca (thick rice noodles with fried fish), Kon Tum’s goi la (fish and vegetable salad), Dinh Duong’s banh beo bi (savoury fern-shaped dumpling), Tra Vinh’s bun suong (mixed noodles), Tien Giang’s hu tieu (My Tho noodles with seasoned and sautéed beef), and An Giang’s bun ca (Chau Doc fish noodles).

ARO will present the certificates recognising the dishes at the 27th meeting of Vietnamese record breakers—part of a Ho Chi Minh City seminar on Vietnamese culinary tourism—in February 2014.

America’s Next Top Model’s judge joins VNTM finale

Jay Alexander, runway coach for leading models and judge on America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) for the past 18 seasons, will arrive in town tomorrow to prepare for his appearance at the finale of the third season of Vietnam’s Next Top Model (VNTM) on Sunday in HCMC.

The information was unveiled on Monday by the reality show organizer, Multimedia JSC. Alexander will be guest judge and catwalk trainer for finalists at the coronation night which will be broadcasted live on VTV3 at 9 p.m.

Additionally, British photographer Lee Powers who has taken pictures for American hip hop singer Kanye West and works for fashion magazines such as Esquire and Wired U.K., will be the main photographer in a photo shoot challenge for two finalists.

Previously, the organizer brought former supermodel/creator and host of ANTM Tyra Banks to the final show of VNTM in 2011.

New Yorker Alexander is also known as Miss J or “Queen of the Catwalk” for his professional and skillful runway coaching at thousands of fashion shows for Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Galliano, Nina Ricci and Zac Posen. He started his career as a model for Elite Model Management and appeared in a Jean Paul Gautier show in New York.

Especially, he has also helped contribute to the success of world-famous supermodels such as Banks herself, Naomi Campbell and Kimora Lee Simmons. Alexander has been invited to judge Next Top Model contests in Russia, the U.K, Canada, Finland, South Korea and Denmark.

Four finalists entering VNTM’s final round night are ladies Nguyen Thi Cha Mi from the northern province of Phu Tho and HCMC-based Mau Thi Thanh Thuy and male duo Vu Tuan Viet from the northern province of Hai Duong and Le Van Kien from the central province of Thanh Hoa. They will compete on a stage shaped like the pyramid constructed at Paris’ Louvre Museum. The winner will pocket a two-year contract worth VND1 billion and will be on the cover of F – Fashion magazine and net a cash prize worth VND200 million and a one-year contract worth VND300 million to be the representative for the latest Nokia cell phone.

Photos of Evita lure Hanoi visitors

A number of photos and books about Eva Peron, Ambassador of Peace, are on display in Hanoi from December 17-21, offering the public a glimpse of a legendary figure in Argentine politics on the occasion of the 40 th anniversary of Vietnam-Argentina diplomatic ties.

Usually referred to as Evita, Maria Eva Duarte de Peron (1919-1952) was the second wife of Argentine President Juan Peron and served as the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death.

She was adored by Argentine people for her fight for women’s suffrage and improving the lives of the poor.

Eva Peron has also become a part of international popular culture, most famously as the subject of the musical Evita (1976).

On the occasion, her autobiography “The Reason for My Life” was also introduced to visitors.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, Argentine film week and tango dance performances will also be held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Argentine Film Week in Vietnam

An Argentine Film Week opened at the National Cinema Centre in Hanoi on December 17 as part of activities to mark the 40th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

The festival includes wide ranges of films in various fields such as history, documentary, detection, animation, and comedy.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Argentine Ambassador to Vietnam Claudio Ricardo Gutiérrez said the Argentine cinema has won many international awards, including two Oscars for the film La historia oficial (the official story) , directed by Luis Puenzo , and El Secreto de sus Ojos (the secret in their eyes) , by Juan José Campanella .

Argentina annually produces about 150 films, and its theaters are estimated to attract nearly 39 million viewers in 2013.

He affirmed that Vietnamese audiences will not only have the chance to learn more about Argentine culture and customs but also discover the cultural similarities between the two nations.

Ngo Phuong Lan, Director of the Cinemas Department, recalled that El Secreto de sus Ojos proved a hit at the 2012 Hanoi International Film Festival.

She highlighted the results of cultural and art cooperation between Vietnam and Argentina which has contributed to developing the traditional friendship between the two countries.

The festival will also be held in Ho Chi Minh City from December 17-21.

Writing campaign to promote children’s literature

The Danish Writers Association and Kim Dong Publishing House launched a writing-for-children campaign in Hanoi on December 17.

The 2013-2015 campaign is in the framework of a Vietnam-Denmark project on fostering literature for children, while honouring authors and illustrators who have devoted their lives to the development of Vietnam’s literature for children.

Participants in this term’s campaign can submit stories under the theme “Go cua trai tim” (Knocking on the heart’s door) for those from 10-14 years old and cartoons themed “Ngay toi gap… (The day I met…), for children aged 3-6 years old.

The organising board will receive entries until April 30, 2015, and has raised the value of the first prize to 20-25 million VND (1,175 USD) to encourage Vietnamese writers and artists around the world to create outstanding works for children.

Addressing the launching ceremony, Danish Ambassador to Vietnam John Nielsen said that since its establishment in 2006, the Children’s Literature programme has organised a range of activities to support the development of literature for children in Vietnam.

During the 2012-2013 term, 12 readers clubs have been set up, five story-telling trains were organised for children in remote areas, and numerous seminars were held for authors nationwide to share their experiences in the field, he added.

The writing contest last year under the themes “Overcoming scares” and “Homeland’s festivals” drew more than 300 entries.

The ambassador voiced his pleasure that the new campaign will continue providing activities to help Vietnamese children access more books and stories.

Denmark is well-known among Vietnamese children for a string of fairytales. Works by renowned writer Hans Christian Andersen such as “The Little Mermaid”, “The Emperor’s new clothes” and “The Snow Queen” are attached to the childhoods of children across the country.

Heritage photos come to Lam Dong province

The Central Highland province of Lam Dong has became a stop-over of the 2013 Vietnam Heritage Photo Awards exhibition, after it toured 14 other localities nationwide.

Showcasing at the event beginning from December 16 are 120 best photos selected from more than 6,000 entries of 339 photographers to a contest, which was organised by the Vietnam Heritage Magazine under the Cultural Heritage Association of Vietnam and the Cultural Heritage Association of Ho Chi Minh City.

The photos feature the country’s tangible cultural heritage, ranging from architecture, sculpture and paintings to handicrafts and examples of intangible heritage such as music, dancing, festivals and rituals.

They reflected the beauty of Vietnam’s land and people, as well as the country’s traditional culture and unique cultural identities of its ethnic groups.

The event will last until December 30, contributing to celebrating the 120 th anniversary of Da Lat city and the 2013 Da Lat Flower Festival.-

Bear Prince, Magic Beans and more for Christmas

Ho Chi Minh City’s leading drama troupe, the IDECAF Stage, is preparing for musical dramas this Christmas with two works, “Hoang tu Gau va Hat dau than” (Bear Prince and Magic Beans) and “12 ba mu” (Twelve midwives).

Directed by Dinh Toan, “Hoang tu Gau va Hat dau than” is about a bear prince and the magical adventures and obstacles he encounters in his life. Despite the challenges that befall him, the prince continues to believe in love and offers help to others.

The 300 million VND (14,000 USD) production was first staged in September, and has attracted both parents and their kids. Its new version will be staged on November 20, featuring veteran performers Thanh Loc and My Duyen.

“The Christmas performances are our opportunity to make an impression and show drama lovers what we can do,” said up-and-coming theatre talent Toan.

“We’ve worked under a lot of pressure, so we hope we can dazzle our young audiences and their parents as well.”

Toan’s staff will display skills in music, dance, pantomime and circus tricks.

Last week, young audiences screamed and laughed at the opening show of “12 ba mu”.

Directed by Vu Minh, the comedy has a mixture of traditional and modern styles.

It soon became so popular that ticket buyers had to stand in long lines at the box office.

According to IDECAF’s art director Thanh Loc, costume designers and specialists in sound and light have added a realistic element to the play through beautiful costume, accessories and interior designs suited to the play’s theme.

“Hoang tu Gau va Hat dau than” and “12 ba mu” are staged every night, from December 15-24, at 8pm at Ben Thanh Theatre, 6 Mac Dinh Chi street, District 1.-

Vietnam Fashion Fair 2013 to open in Hanoi

Vietnam Fashion Fair 2013 will take place in Hanoi from December 19-25 and showcase garments and textiles, footwear and beauty products at more than 400 booths from 200 enterprises nationwide.

The fair will display the enterprises’ new products and designs for Christmas and 2014.

The textile businesses will take advantage of the fair to prove their interest in domestic consumers, in the context that garment-textile exports in 2013 reached approximately 20 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 18 percent.

Visitors will have a chance to browse the leading brands across the country, such as Nha Be, Garment 10 and Viettien.

The fair, organised by the Vietnam Expo Centre in coordination with the Vietnam Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) and the Vietnam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (LEFASO), will also facilitate young fashion designers to display their products and ideas.

Many Stone Age objects found in Central Highlands

Experts of the provincial museum of the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong has so far discovered 35 archaeological sites dating back to the Palaeolithic Era (Old Stone Age), Neolithic Era (New Stone Age) and the Early Metal Period.

Director of the museum Nguyen Anh Bang said that the sites are located in Cu Jut, Dak R’lap and Dak Mil districts, and excavations are being carried out at a number of them.

Since early eptember, the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology and the museum have conducted an excavation in Cu Jut’s Dak Wil commune, unearthing 40 pieces of pottery, and 248 stone utensils and tools from the Neolithic Era (about 5,000 years ago).

Another dig earlier this year revealed more than 200 stone objects.

This year, the museum has also found 26 antiquities of M’Nong and Ede ethnic people, such as earrings, drums, gongs, bronze and ivory objects.-

My Son Sanctuary restoration project completed

Management, storage of artefacts, and technical and personal skills training have been challenges for Quang Nam Province, along with the managing board of My Son Sanctuary, in conservation and protection of heritage sites.

The Director of the University of Polytechnic of Milan’s Lerici Foundation, Mauro Cucarzi, spoke at the Safeguard My Son World Heritage site 2003-13 project completion on December 17.

The project, which helped restore G towers, including G1, G2, G3 and G5, at a total cost of over US$1.6 million and funded by the Italian Government, paves the way for a study of brick production skills of Cham people in the past centuries and as an example of conservation and protection of Cham towers throughout the country.

It needs to update the classification periodically and every new entry of material must registered in the inventory, according to the same methodology, Cucarzi said.

The opening the G Group monuments to the public in June, after 10 years of restoration, was a great effort by government authorities, policymakers, international donors, civil society and the media.

“Over 10 years of work, the Vietnam-Italy-UNESCO tripartite partnership has yielded significant results: the restoration of Group G monuments, a standard documentation of archaeological research, and archaeological excavations of artefacts, said UNESCO’s representative and head of the Hanoi Office, Katherine Muller Marin.

The project also helps build My Son risk maps and geographic information system (GIS) monuments, research in material characteristic and building techniques of the ancient Cham builders, she said at the meeting.

She added that it also promotes sustainable tourism development, museum space, capacity building and documentation of lessons learned for production of guidelines for archaeological studies and conservation of Cham monuments.

Quang Nam, home to two World Heritage sites and one Biosphere Reserve, has been a focus of UNESCO support during the past decade.

Group G, which was built during the first half of the 12th century, was selected from the various monuments due to its unique characteristics. The group is located on an elevated area unaffected by seasonal flooding and has never been restored, except for some minor archaeological research in the early 1990s.

Group G, which had likely been originally constructed in one phase, presents an excellent model of how a Cham sacred area is, with typical sacred Cham decorations.

Viet Nam water puppetry to perform in France

Vietnamese puppeteers leave for France today to debut their water puppet performances of the Andersen tales in Europe.

Nine artists from the Viet Nam Puppetry Theatre will perform 10 shows from December 26-30 at Quai Branly Museum in Paris.

According to the theatre’s vice director, Nguyen Tien Dung, each 70-minute show consists of The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid and The Steadfast Tin Soldier, based on the popular stories by Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75).

“It’s our great honour to perform at the Quai Branly Museum. It will ensure us an opportunity to perform in other places in France, as well as in Europe,” Dung said.

“Due to the conditions, we have to make due with half the number of performers, which means nine of us are in charge of the whole load, normally designed for 18,” said the head of the art troupe, who is also a key puppeteer who will perform two main, and supporting roles, during the shows in France.

“Thus, we need to co-ordinate harmoniously to control puppets during the shows.”

Directed by Ngo Quynh Dao, who also created the 100 puppets used in the shows, the performances are also receiving support from Jean Luc Larguier from France’s Interarts Lausanne.

Lan Song Xanh Music Awards honors outstanding artists

The 16th Lan Song Xanh (Green Wave) Music Awards honored composers, singers and music bands who have made outstanding contribution to Vietnamese music in 2013, at the Lan Anh Music Stage in Ho Chi Minh City on evening of December 16.

Winners of the ‘Most Favorite Musician’ award included Huy Tuan, Duong Khac Linh, Nguyen Hong Thuan, Pham Thanh Ha, Tu Nguyen, Trinh Thang Binh, Vu Trung Duc, Mr.Siro, Hoang Ton and Wanbi Tuan Anh.

‘Top 10 Favorite Singers’ awards were voted by audiences and went to Dam Vinh Hung, My Tam, Tuan Hung, Ho Ngoc Ha, Thanh Bui, Hien Thuc, Cao Thai Son, Uyen Linh, Noo Phuoc Thinh and Dong Nhi.

In ‘Best Single of the Year’ category, singer Ho Ngoc Ha won for hit song ‘Hay Thu Tha Cho Em’ (Let’s Forgive).

‘Most Effective Sound-Mixing Musician’ award went to composer Nguyen Thanh Binh for the song ‘Tinh Yeu Mau Nang’ (Love the Color of Sunshine).

The music band V. Music was honored with ‘Album of the Year’ award for Toi Yeu Thanh Pho Toi (I Love My City) and young music band 365 was awarded ‘Favorite Music Band’.

Young singer Dinh Huong, the second winner in ‘The Voice Vietnam 2012′, received the ‘Promising Female Singer’ award, voted by reporters.

The ‘Promising Male Singer’ award went to singer Quoc Thien, who was a winner in Vietnam Idol 2008 contest.

This year, the organizers do not award the ‘Singer of the Year’ award because no singer won in the selections.

The results of each music category is to base on 50 percent audience votes. The rest is based on results from Phuong Nam Film Company, music website, Vinaphone, Youtube and iTunes.

This is the first time that the organizers gave more than three consolation prizes, including for music video with most views on Youtube; the song with most listening time on music website; and the song receiving most copyright protection.

The music video with most views on Youtube was given to ‘Anh Nhớ Em’ (I Miss You) by singer Tuan Hung. The song with most listening time on music website was given to ‘Lang Nghe Nuoc Mat’ by composer Mr.Siro.

The song receiving the most copyright protection was given to ‘Ky Uc Ngot Ngao’ (Sweet Memories) by composer Phuc Truong.

The annual Lan Song Xanh (Green Wave) Music Awards are organized to honor singers and musicians who have made outstanding contributions to Vietnamese music during the year.

The Awards were first launched in 1997 by Voice of Ho Chi Minh City.

Comic drawings taunt negative acts and call for positivity

Forty comic drawings by 40 comic artists have come on display at the HCMC Association of Fine Arts in District 3.

Visitors will have a chance to review many events of the year via ironic images from negative cases in politics, education, economy and medicine to social crimes and immoral acts.

Some drawings focus on modern insecurities such as the economic woes affecting every aspect of human life, pushing some people into difficulties, poverty and some to evil. Artists also sneer at the unscrupulousness and greed of people who only care about themselves and how they look and what people think of them.

The show also brings much laughter to visitors, asking them to smile and stay positive to lead a happy life.

The exhibition runs until the weekend at the association, 218A Pasteur Street in District 3.

French Year finishes up in town

The French Year in Vietnam, which began in April, wrapped up with a visual/3D show by French artists of the Spectacularies and Allumeurs d’Images at Reunification Palace and a France-Vietnam gourmet festival ‘Le bon marche’ at September 23 Park in District 1 with the participation of thousands of locals and foreigners.

The two events were the perfect ending to a series of around 100 political, economic and cultural activities to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and France.

Next year there will be The Vietnamese Year in France. Here are two snapshots at the events taken by.


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