Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hello and welcome to VOV’s Letter Box, our weekly feature dedicated to our listeners throughout the world. We are Mai Phuong and Ngoc Huyen.

A: First on our show today, we’d like to wish you, our dear listeners throughout the world Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We’d like to thank you for supporting our broadcasts and websites and look forward to receiving more feedback from you.


B:Christmas and New Year is coming near and this week, we received lots of greeting cards, letters and emails from you. Thank you very much. We were impressed by an e-card from Miss Rokeya Khatun of Bangladesh with a picture of big, powerful horses which, according to Vietnamese notions, are a symbol of a very good and prosperous year to come.

A: From England, Gerry Newmann sent us a lovely Christmas card with best wishes. Gerry, we also wish you all the best for Christmas and New Year. We greatly appreciate the greeting cards we got from Shri Bhagwan Sharma and Rajendar Kuma of India, Shamim Ahmed Sonju of Bangladesh and Abdulkaroom Ahmed Ali from Egypt.


B: Jayanta Chakrabarty of India sent us an email with warm season greetings. He wrote: “I’m pleased to send this report on your English language broadcast which I heard on the Voice of Vietnam website. It is indeed a pleasure to listen to your programs, which are interesting, informative and absorbing. Please keep up the good work. My thanks and best wishes to all staff members of the VOV English Service”

A: Jayanta continued: “I also take this opportunity to wish you and your loving family and to all the beautiful members of the Voice of Vietnam team and to their near and dear ones a Very Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the coming New Year”.

B: Thank you very much for your warm seasonal greetings. Although Vietnam is a predominantly Buddhist country, Christmas here is still one of the four main annual religious festivals, along with the Lunar New Year, the mid-autumn festival, and Buddha’s birthday. Christmas in Vietnam is a huge event and Christmas Eve, which is regarded as more important than Christmas Day in Vietnam, is a grand party which the fun-loving and sociable Vietnamese, whether a Christian or not, celebrate with gusto.

Hang Ma street in Hanoi in the Christmas season

Hang Ma street in Hanoi in the Christmas season

A: Decorations are set up during December at Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City and Saint Josep’s Cathedral in Hanoi. There are also twinkling lights decorating trees on the street and house fronts, making many places quite Christmasy. Many shops have signs advertising Christmas sales, and in Hanoi the piercing cold is a wonderful motivator for people to dress up in Christmas attire.

A: On Christmas Eve, the Christians in Vietnam usually attend a Midnight Mass as in the western world, and then return home to a spectacular Christmas dinner with chicken soup, porridge and the well-heeled tuck replacing the traditional turkey and Christmas pudding. The family gathers together, prays for blessings and practices the spirit of giving and sharing.

B: In large cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, people gather in the city center where the cathedral stands and cars are not allowed. Children in Vietnam are greatly excited because they believe in Santa Claus. They put their shoes in front of their doors on Christmas Eve, expecting to have their shoes stuffed with goodies from Santa’s bulging sack on the morning of December 25th.

Royal city shopping center in Hanoi

Royal city shopping center in Hanoi

A: The weather in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi is getting cold these days and it’s really Christmas weather. If you wish to have a new Christmas experience, come to Vietnam and enjoy a Merry Christmas with us.

B: In an email he sent to us this week, Ratan Kumar Paul reported listening to our program from November 20th to 26th on the frequency of 7280 khz with SINPO rated all 4s. Ratan said he was interested in learning more about football in Vietnam and popular football clubs in Vietnam.

A: Football was introduced to Vietnam in 1896 by the French. It was first introduced in the south and later spread to other parts of Vietnam. The Vietnamese learned the game from the French and then created their own teams. On July 20, 1908, the first Vietnamese football teams with Vietnamese players played their first match, and the Phú Mỹ team defeated Chợ Đũi 2-nil. In 1928, Vietnam picked its best team to compete in its first tournament in Singapore.

Vietnamese football team

Vietnamese football team

A: In the FIFA World Rankings, Vietnam’s highest standing- 84th- was in the first release of the figures in September 1998. The team is currently ranked 151st in the World, 27th in Asia and 4th in South East Asia, according to FIFA figures released in October, 2013.

B: The Vietnam National Football team, which represents Vietnam in international football competitions, was previously managed by the Vietnam Football Federation. At the end of the 2012 season, the team was transferred from the VFF to the VPF (Vietnamese Professional Football).

A: A popular football club in Vietnam is Hanoi T&T, which was founded in 2006. The club’s first success was its first place finish in the 2007 Season of the Vietnam Second Division. This achievement got them promoted to the Vietnam First Division .The team was then promoted to the V-League in the 2009 season. In 2010, Hà Nội T&T won the V-League.

B: Song Lam Nghe An Football club is another popular team. It is a professional football club based in Nghe An and now playing in V-League 1. In 2011, they won the V-league Championship.

A: Hoang Anh Gia Lai Football Club is a club based in Pleiku. Owned by Doan Nguyen Duc, a prominent Vietnamese businessmen, the club plays in the top division in Vietnamese soccer, V-League 1. The team signed an agreement with Arsenal F.C to open a youth academy in Pleiku, and is the main distributor of Arsenal merchandise in Southeast Asian.

B: On today’s show, we would like to congratulate Ashik Eqbal Tokon on being named the Active President of the VOV Spectators Association of Bangladesh. We are happy to learn that there is such an association in your country.

A: Once again, we’d like to acknowledge Otto Schwartz of the USA. Otto wrote: “I enjoy listening to the Voice of Vietnam, especially the cultural programs and those involving government measures to improve Vietnamese people’s lives. Vietnam, Vietnamese people and culture have been close to my heart and for a long time”.

B: We’d also like to acknowledge letters and emails from Sutomo and Tjang Pak Ning of Indonesia, Howard Barnett and Grant Skinner of England, Fumito Hokamura and Norizumi Taguchi of Japan, Michael Meyer of Denmark, Alan Fenix and Bob Nagal of the USA, Lorenzo Fedel of Luxembourg, Peter Ng of Malaysia, Siddharta Bhattachjee of India, and Hannu Kiiski of Finland. We greatly appreciate your listening. We’ll verify your reception reports and send you some QSL cards soon.

A: That’s it for today’s Letter Box. We welcome your feedback at: English section, Overseas Service, Radio Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at: [email protected]. You’re invited to visit us online at, where you can hear both live and recorded programs. Thanks for being with us. Goodbye.