Fans morn passing of famous cai luong artist

Minh Phung (R) is on the stage. (Photo: SGGP)

Minh Phung, a famous cai luong artist, died yesterday at Cho Ray hospital. Minh Phung, real name Ngo Van Thieu, came from My Tho, a city west of Ho Chi Minh City. He fell in love with vong co and cai luong (Vietnamese folk opera) and decided to follow his heart to become a performer. He was one of three famous Vietnamese folk singers and actors. Alongside Minh Vuong and Minh Canh, Minh Phung became famous in the 1960s and 70s. Having a beautiful singing voice and handsome looks Minh Phung had tremendous success in his early career. Regardless of which troupe he was with, Minh Phung was welcomed with open arms. His attractive looks and captivating voice quickly began to be noticed by audiences and troupe owners alike. The Kim Chung Company invited him to join them and gave him leading roles, acting alongside famous actresses such as Ut Bach Lan in the play 'Trinh Tiet Mot Loai Hoa'. He also performed with My Chau in 'Bich Van Cung Le Su', Dieu Hien in many Chinese-adaptations, … [Read more...]

Renewing cai luong (Vietnamese folk opera)

As part of an art project launched by the local Ho Chi Minh City Television to renew and revive cai luong (a modern folk opera indigenous to south Vietnam), the famous ancient play Ben cau det lua will be performed on October 7 at the HCMC Opera House. Cai luong artists Thanh Ngan (L) and Trong Phuc will perform in Ben cau det lua on October 7 at Ho Chi Minh City Opera House. The play, Ben cau det lua (literally 'Silk weaving by the bridge'), written by the late playwright The Chau and first performed in the 1970s, depicts a constant, loyal love between two people who are separated by social positions during the feudal period. Tran Minh is a diligent, outstanding student, who is engaged to Quynh Nga, the daughter of a chief district. However, the engagement was canceled by Nga's family right after Minh's fall into poverty. Thanks to Nga's loyal love, Minh passes the national examination and becomes a high-ranking official in the palace court and is offered marriage with Princess Bich … [Read more...]

Foreigners get a taste of Cai luong

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Several foreign visitors to the Hanoi Cai Luong Theater wore head sets the other night to watch the company's first ever cai luong opera translated into English, at Chuong Vang Theater on August 13. According to theater director Tran Quang Hung, the opera, Menh de vuong (King's Fate), was an effort to gauge foreign audiences' interest in cai luong, a form of traditional Vietnamese folk opera which has its roots in the Mekong Delta. … [Read more...]

Unique orchestral instruments from coconut timber

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Le Van, a musician and craftsman, and his close friend Vo Van Ba, 69, also a craftsman in Ben Tre Province in the Mekong Delta, have been so busy these days. Both are trying to make and perfect orchestral instruments from coconut timber for the upcoming traditional music performance in April. Ba (right) and Van are playing with two orchestral instruments that are made of coconut timberPhoto: Tuoi Tre Their plan has received strong support from the provincial department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and if all goes well, a unique traditional music concert using all coconut timber instruments will be organized on April 30 in Ben Tre to celebrate the country's unification day. Coconut timber instruments Coconut tree, the native plant of Ben Tre that gives it a distinct culture, is the main material in many modern industries, such as coconut pulp, coconut shell charcoal and coir, as well as coconut timber, a hardwood-substitute from coconut palm … [Read more...]

Unique orchestral instruments from coconut timber

Le Van, a musician and craftsman, and his close friend Vo Van Ba, 69, also a craftsman in Ben Tre Province in the Mekong Delta, have been so busy these days. Both are trying to make and perfect orchestral instruments from coconut timber for the upcoming traditional music performance in April. Ba (right) and Van are playing with two orchestral instruments that are made of coconut timber Photo: Tuoi Tre Their plan has received strong support from the provincial department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and if all goes well, a unique traditional music concert using all coconut timber instruments will be organized on April 30 in Ben Tre to celebrate the country’s unification day. Coconut timber instruments Coconut tree, the native plant of Ben Tre that gives it a distinct culture, is the main material in many modern industries, such as coconut pulp, coconut shell charcoal and coir, as well as coconut timber, a hardwood-substitute from coconut palm … [Read more...]

ART & ENTERTAINMENT IN BRIEF 30/8

The nonverbal language of cinematography Vietnamese film director Viet Linh, famous for many award-winning films, had a friendly meeting Friday with Ho Chi Minh City movie buffs and press at Hoa Sen University at 93 Cao Thang, District 3. At the event titled "The language of cinematography," the director said she wished to share her knowledge of how to enjoy a movie through its expressive language with the participants. The meeting opened with the screening of Cannes 2001 winner, "The son's room," an Italian movie. … [Read more...]

ART & ENTERTAINMENT IN BRIEF 18/8

Tradition of pack-horse races in northeast Vietnam Bac Ha District in the mountain province of Lao Cai in northeastern Vietnam is famous for its specialty food as well as its tradition of racing pack-horses. Participants in the horse-racing are the local farmers. Although they aren't professional horsemen, they are experienced in the art and select good horses and care for them as they prepare for the races. Thao Seo Lenh, who has participated four times, said that any rider expecting to enter the races needs to choose the right horse that is good in both tilling and as a pack-horse. … [Read more...]

Cai luong male artiste to perform with all female cast

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The 'Meritorious Artist' Vu Linh is in a hurry to complete final preparations for his show 'Nhat long - luc phung' ('One dragon-Six phoenixes') at Hung Dao Theatre, district 5, February 20. He is performing together with six female colleagues. The 'Meritorious Artist' Vu Linh (Photo: Tuoi Tre Newspaper) The idea came to Vu Linh when he thought of a show in which he can meet and perform together with all his female colleagues. The idea became came into fruition after he received word from overseas colleagues that they will come back for his show. The actresses are Thanh Thanh Tam, Phuong Hong Thuy, Thoai My, Thanh Ngan, Trinh Trinh, and Tu Suong. Several extracts from the popular 'cai luong' (modern Vietnamese folk opera) plays will be performed: 'Giu ao bui doi' ('Turn back to good life'); 'Lan va Diep' ('The love story of Lan and Diep'); 'Tuong cuop Bach Hai Duong' ('The uncatchable thief'); 'Luu Kim Dinh' ('Female General Luu Kim Dinh'); and 'Tinh su Duong Quy Phi' (Love story … [Read more...]

Preview concerts to heat up Mai Vang Awards 2008

Phuong Thanh rocks the show at Linh Trung 1 Industrial Zone in city (Photo: Nguoi Lao Dong Newspaper)

Before rocking the stage of Hoa Binh Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City on January 18, the Mai Vang (Golden Apricot) Awards 2008 has held a series of preview concerts. The annual Mai Vang Award 2008 will stage four preview concerts for university students and three shows for workers, from this month, at venues throughout Vietnam. Artists who have confirmed their appearance in the preview shows include singers Dam Vinh Hung, Quang Dung, Dan Truong, Phuong Thanh, Ho Quynh Huong, Ho Ngoc Ha, Cam Ly, Lam Truong and Duc Tuan, as well as "cai luong" (a form of modern Vietnamese folk opera) artists Thoai My, Kim Tu Long, Tu Suong and comedians Hoang Son, Cat Phuong and Minh Nhi. The first two preview concerts at the HCMC University of Technical Education in Thu Duc district on November 7 and at the Can Tho University in Can Tho city on November 14, were judged a roaring success. The final two curtain-raising shows for students will be held at the Ha Noi National University of Education on … [Read more...]

Fabrics and tailors in Vietnam: a practical guide

The dress for less than $20 (VND400,000)

A fast way to get immersed in the midst of Vietnamese culture is to visit markets. And you are in luck, because Vietnam has a lot of them. Everywhere you go there are markets, indoor markets, outdoor markets, river markets, flower markets, ethnic markets. Farbics at Hom Market at the corner of Pho Hue and Tran Xuan Soan. Once there, your eyes have to adjust to all those colours, your nose has to adjust to all those smells and your brain is probably working hard trying to figure out what everything is. Take a regular fruit stand, where I am unable to name half of the fruits; I never knew there were so many different mushrooms, let alone all the different sorts of rice. And what do they do with those turtles? The fish stand certainly looks really different from the fish stand at home. You want chicken? Wait, let me unplug it for you first. How many geese can there be in one basket? Do they sell that buffalo? That boat is gonna sink under the weight of all those melons. For some … [Read more...]

Press digest – February 1

NA Chairman holds talks with Saudi Arabian counterpart National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung and Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Consultative Assembly Abdullah Bin Mohammed Ibrahim Al-Sheikh on February 1 held talks to beef up parliamentary cooperation between the two countries. The two leaders showed their pleasure at the development of the two countries’ relations, and agreed to continue supporting each other at regional and international forums. They pledged to share more experience in legislative affairs and other important issues, while cooperating to build peace and boost prosperity for their people’s interests. Fatherland Front leader extends New Year wishes to top Buddhist monks President of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan visited Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue, Supreme Patriarch of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha, and other Buddhist dignitaries, in Hanoi on February 1 ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday. At the … [Read more...]

HCM City flowers markets bustling ahead of Tet

Apricot blossoms for sale in HCM City. Photo: talkvietnam.com

As many as 131 flower markets opened in Ho Chi Minh City on February 1 in a bid to meet big demand from locals ahead of the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival – Vietnam ’s most important holiday. Three are municipal-level markets arranged in the parks 23/09, Le Van Tam and Gia Dinh. The remainder are scattered throughout the 21 districts. Previously, a number of other markets started up along Tran Xuan Soan dyke, in Binh Dong wharf and at Binh Dien market. The markets offer more varieties of flowers such as apricot blossoms, marigolds, sunflowers, kumquats and others. These are transported from different areas. The municipal People’s Committee said the flower markets in the city will run until February 7. Source: VNA … [Read more...]

War veterans support their comrades

Members of the PVN Veterans’ Association visiting veteran Tran Xuan Soan (second from left)

PANO – Over the past time, the Veterans’ Association of the National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) has actively organized social welfare activities to support needy veterans and policy beneficiaries across the country. On the occasion of the coming Lunar New Year or Tet festival, they presented gifts to veteran Tran Xuan Soan in Thai Binh city, heroic mother Ha Thi Hai and veteran Nguyen Duy Ta, both in Vu Thu district, Thai Binh province. Deputy Chairman of the PVN Labor Union Tran Ngoc Dung held that the PVN Veterans’ Association and the Veterans’ Association of Thai Binh province have closely worked together in welfare programs. They have handed over several houses to the province’s poor households. Meanwhile, President of the PVN Veterans’ Association Phan Dinh Duc shared that they have regularly inquired after and supported their members in particular and their comrades in general. Last year, the association joined hands to raise funds for … [Read more...]

District authorities asked to prevent traffic gridlock at flower markets

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Under the guideline of Ho Chi Minh City authority, management board of flower markets must minimum traffic congestions in the areas of flower market in the city which are gearing up for Tet holidays. Local authorities are planned to launch three flower markets which is scheduled to be opened from February 1 to February 12 with spring flowers transported from other regions to the southern hub. At the city level, the three main flower markets are due to open in the 23-9, Le Van Tam and Gia Dinh parks. In addition, the city will have other 128 flower spots in districts. Among the selected areas, District 10 will have the most spots, 21. Next areas include Thu Duc District, Can Gio District, District 8, Binh Thanh District and district 7 which will host 19, 18, 13, 10 and 8 such markets respectively. In district 8, flower markets will be officially organized along the dyke of Tran Xuan Soan and Ben Binh Dong canals starting on January 24. Only flowers are sold at the flower markets … [Read more...]

Flower festival over Tet

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There will be special flower fairs over Tet.Flowers from different provinces will be on sale at special markets in Ho Chi Minh City.Farmers are preparing to bring their flowers into the city.Flowers on show will be both those that originally come from Viet Nam and those that originally come from other countries. HCM City (VNS) — The HCM City People's Committee will organise 131 flower markets in 21 districts to serve and entertain residents and visitors during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays which this year last from February 6-14. The city's three biggest markets will be located at September 23 Park with 900 plots, Gia Dinh Park with 700 plots, and Le Van Tam Park with 500 plots. There are 128 markets in central and outlying districts including Binh Thanh, Can Gio, Thu Duc, 7, 8 and 10. They will open from February 1 to 7. The flower mart at Binh Dien wholesale market and floating markets at Binh Dong and Tran Xuan Soan wharves will take place from January 24 to … [Read more...]

131 floral fairs to colour HCM City this Lunar New Year

According to flower growers in the Mekong Delta provinces of Dong Thap, Ben Tre and Can Tho, the need for flowers and ornamental plants for Tet will increase by 20-30 per cent.

The HCM City People's Committee will organise 131 flower markets in 21 districts to serve and entertain residents and visitors during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays which this year last fromFebruary 6-14. The city's three biggest markets will be located at September 23 Park with 900 plots, Gia Dinh Park with 700 plots, and Le Van Tam Park with 500 plots. There are 128 markets in central and outlying districts including Binh Thanh, Can Gio, Thu Duc, 7, 8 and 10. They will open from February 1 to 7. The flower mart at Binh Dien wholesale market and floating markets at Binh Dong and Tran Xuan Soan wharves will take place from January 24 to February 7. All the markets will offer flowers from gardeners in southern provinces and HCM City's suburban districts of 12, Thu Duc and Go Vap. According to flower growers in the Mekong Delta provinces of Dong Thap, Ben Tre and Can Tho, the need for flowers and ornamental plants for Tet will increase by 20-30 per cent. Traditional flowers … [Read more...]

Floral fairs colour HCM City for Tet

Flowery New Year: Tao Dan Flower Festival, HCM City's biggest flower fair, attracts thousands of local and foreign visitors every year. — File Photo

HCM City (VNS) — The HCM City People's Committee will organise 131 flower markets in 21 districts to serve and entertain residents and visitors during the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays which this year last fromFebruary 6-14. The city's three biggest markets will be located at September 23 Park with 900 plots, Gia Dinh Park with 700 plots, and Le Van Tam Park with 500 plots. There are 128 markets in central and outlying districts including Binh Thanh, Can Gio, Thu Duc, 7, 8 and 10. They will open from February 1 to 7. The flower mart at Binh Dien wholesale market and floating markets at Binh Dong and Tran Xuan Soan wharves will take place from January 24 to February 7. All the markets will offer flowers from gardeners in southern provinces and HCM City's suburban districts of 12, Thu Duc and Go Vap. According to flower growers in the Mekong Delta provinces of Dong Thap, Ben Tre and Can Tho, the need for flowers and ornamental plants for Tet will increase by 20-30 per … [Read more...]

HCMC to open 131 flower markets early February

An overlook of Nguyen Hue Flower Street last year (Photo: SGGP)

A total of 131 flower markets will be opened across Ho Chi Minh City to serve the lunar New Year festival which the first day falls on February 8, announced the city People’s Committee. Of them, three largest markets will be organized at parks namely September 23, Gia Dinh and Le Van Tam. The rest 128 ones will be opened in 21 districts, most focusing in District 10 with 21 spots, Thu Duc 19, Can Gio 18, District 8 13, Binh Thanh 10 and District 7 8 spots. Those along Tran Xuan Soan embankment, Binh Dong wharf and Binh Dien wholesale market will start sooner than others, on January 24. All these flower markets will be closed and return clean space on February 7. In addition, the spring flower festival at Tao Dan Park will also take place within 12 days starting February 2 to14. Entrance ticket will be VND 20,000 a person, children of less than 12 years old can enter the festival free of charge. This year, Nguyen Hue Flower Street will stretch along 720 meters from Ton Duc … [Read more...]