Vietnamese model makes debut appearance on Vogue UK
Hoang Thuy was selected from hundreds of international models to take part in a fashion show for Palmer Harding – a famous brand for ready-to-wear.
The models’ unique Asian beauty stood out and immediately caught the attention of foreign fashion designers.
After her performance at Central Saint Martins, Hoang Thuy was invited to several high profile shows at London Fashion Week.
“Star Academy” debuts Vietnamese edition
The VTV6 channel of Vietnam Television Station (VTV) will broadcast a Vietnamese edition of Star Academy – a highly successful television talent show based on the
Spanish format produced by Endemol.
Currently broadcast in more than 50 countries, Star Academy has discovered over 100 music talents and is receiving worldwide acclamation.
In Vietnam, the VTV6 channel will air 93 episodes at 19:55 daily as from mid-March 2014.
Twelve chosen contestants will gather in the same house for training and their daily activities and singing capacity will be aired on the reality show under the guidance of a
panel of judges consisting of famous musicians and singers.
Contestants, aged between 16-30, can register to take part in the show by submitting a short clip showing their music talent by March 1, 2014.
Pilgrims worship Mother Goddess at Phu Day festival
A wide variety of cultural activities and traditional folk games also take place during the six-day festival, which officially begins on the third day of the first lunar month.
However, the festival is actually open to public all year round, but is most crowded in the first lunar month.
The festival is the cradle of “hau bong” (also known as “hau dong”) – an age-old spiritual ritual of the Vietnamese people, which is indispensable in the worshipping practise of the Mother Goddess religion.
Local residents consider Phu Day festival a good opportunity to earn a living by selling local products and specialties including handicrafts, food, and bonsais.
Popular cheo actress releases first album
Thanh Tuyet, a hugely popular actress among those who love cheo (traditional opera), has released her first album, a blend of old songs.
As is her style, Tuyet’s voice on the album is strong and sweet, with no artificial modulations.
“Cheo is like a river that runs in my soul,” explained Tuyet, who said her voice becomes stronger and more powerful when she performs traditional music.
While many young artists think cheo needs adjustments in performance and script, Tuyet wants to maintain the traditional styles.
“I don’t think we should to reform the country’s traditional dramas, and cheo in particular,” she said. “Changing cheo is difficult because its form is based on old stories. The rules of cheo should be maintained.”
Tuyet’s art isn’t as fashionable as pop stars, but she’s more popular. She was selected to work for the Cheo Army Theatre in Ha Noi, one of the region’s leading traditional theatres, after graduating in cheo from the Ha Noi University of Cinematography and Theatre.
With her beauty and strong voice, Tuyet has participated in national traditional music festivals and won several top prizes.
The 24 year-old hopes that her album, Nam Canh Khac Khoai, will better connect young people with cheo.
“I sing cheo with my soul, my blood and my passion,” she said.
Children show their view of life through photos
The photos are the result of a two-month training course conducted by South Korean artists for local primary school children. The children were encouraged to tell stories about themselves, their wishes, thoughts and life around them.
Titled “Can Gac Anh Giua May Ngan Pho Nui” (Photo Attic Amidst Mountain Fog), the project is a collaboration between the centre, the Korea International Cooperation Agency and the Education, Korea Culture and Arts Development Institute.
The exhibition will run at the centre, located at 49 Nguyen Du Street, till Wednesday.
German authors create photo book on hectic HCMC
Waibel is a senior researcher and project leader in urbanism at the Department for Geography of the University of Hamburg and Hilbert is a scientific coordinator at the Vietnamese-German University of HCMC.
The book invites the reader on a fascinating journey through the familiar and lesser-known aspects of the bustling city to witness its vibrancy and dynamism from a
comprehensive perspective. In the book they describe HCMC as an economic hub and biggest urban agglomeration of Vietnam which has recently emerged as the country’s first mega city.
The vibrant metropolis is rapidly changing against the backdrop of globalization, but has preserved some rural character in many of its small alleyways. For many people, the
mega city is a place of hope for a better future. But the question remains whether these dreams will be fulfilled if the number of inhabitants continues to rise by the millions and climate change floods entire city districts.
The large-sized publication with an attractive format contains over 600 photos targeting a wide audience. It is based on many years of academic work and other work funded by the German National Ministry of Education and Research within the initiative “Research for Sustainable Megacities of Tomorrow”. A series of conferences in cooperation
with the Goethe Institute have also been organized recently, which deal with sustainable urban development, green housing and green growth.
During the launch, Waibel and Hilbert will highlight the rationale behind the photo book. A talk show will also take place featuring the attendance of Hung Do Phu, Dean of the Faculty of Urban Planning of HCMC University of Architecture, who will host a talk on the challenges of sustainable urban development in Vietnam.
The book can be purchased after the talk, and there will be three complimentary copies disbursed to winners of a lucky draw. A series of selected photos illustrating the recent urban development of Vietnam’s first mega city will be exhibited.
400,000 visitors flood Con Son-Kiep Bac relic site
As many as 400,000 pilgrims have flocked to the Con Son-Kiep Bac historical site in the northern province of Hai Duong since the first days of the Year of the Horse.
According to the head of the site’s management board Nguyen Khac Minh, the relic area welcomed at least 15,000 visitors a day. Particularly, more than 50,000 visitors arrived in the area to attend the 2014 Con Son-Kiep Bac spring festival from February 13-16.
Con Son-Kiep Bac was recognised as a national heritage site in 1962 and a special national heritage site in 2012.
Last year, the Con Son-Kiep Bac spring and autumn festivals received national intangible cultural heritage status.
Covering an area of more than 8 hectares in Chi Linh town, the Con Son-Kiep Bac historical site is closely associated with the lives and careers of Tran Hung Dao and writer Nguyen Trai (1380-1442), who was recognised as a Great Man of Culture of the World.
He died on September 5, 1300 at the age of 70. A temple called Kiep Bac was built in Hai Duong province to remember him.
The Kiep Bac temple festival is held annually to commemorate and pay tribute to national hero Tran Hung Dao in the eighth month of the lunar year (from September 8-13, 2014).
This year’s Con Son – Kiep Bac spring festival marked the 680th death anniversary of Huyen Quang Ton Gia (1334-2014), the third progenitor of Truc Lam Zen Buddhism, and honoured Zen Buddhism’s great contribution to the unity of religions and national protection as well.
Vinh Phuc province readies for Tay Thien festival
Tay Thien Site, one of the most favourite tourist attractions in Tam Dao district, Vinh Phuc province, has geared up for the 2014 Tay Thien festival, said Diep Xuan Tu, head of the Tay Thien Site management board.
Located 90 km from Tam Dao, Tay Thien Site is well-known with beautiful of forests, streams, waterfalls and grottoes.
The Tay Thien Festival on the 15th day of the second lunar month, which falls on March 15 this year, is expected to attract a wave of visitors.
Tu also said facilities at the site have been improved to serve the festival.
In recent weeks, the Tay Thien Site has welcomed tens of thousands of tourists every day and the number may double that amount during the festival, added Diep Xuan Tu.
Dang Thi Thu Trang, Deputy Director of the Lac Hong – Tay Thien Joint Stock Company, said tourists are attracted to Tam Dao in summer for its cool weather, while in spring, they come to pagodas and temples to satisfy their spiritual demands.
She added that this year, to serve tourists’ demand, her company has increased the capacity of its cable car line in the Tay Thien Site by over 30 percent from 2013. It has also added 10 electric buggies to its existing fleet of 20 vehicles, along with upgrading tourism facilities.
Meanwhile, Vinh Phuc province has also ordered authorised agencies and the board to step up managerial activities in order to ensure order and security for the festival, and diversify tourism products to draw more visitors to the Tay Thien Site.
The festival is held annually to commemorate Mother Lang Thi Tieu, who made great contributions to national construction and defence as well as the country’s peace and prosperity during the era of Hung Kings.
Apart from the Tay Thien Monastery, she is also thought to be worshipped at 71 other temples and pagodas in the local area.
Vinh Phuc is home to several popular tourist destinations, including the Tay Thien Site, Tam Dao Resort, Tam Dao National Park and Dai Lai lake. It also owns bountiful tangible and intangible cultural values through 1,000 relics.
Spring festival means free night of infidelity in Quang Binh
The Ma Coong ethnic minority in the central province of Quang Binh holds a spring festival each year on the January 16th of the lunar calendar called “beating drums,” inwhich married participants are allowed to have one adulterous night.
This is a fertility festival meant to ensure good crops and the health of the community. This year it has attracted more visitors than in the past, including some from as far away as Laos.
The festival includes a large banquet in honour of the deities, including wine, chicken, fish, sticky rice and other foods. After the offering, the festival starts. Participants
gather around wine pots amid the exciting atmosphere of beating drums and dancing.
The youngest and strongest men are selected for beating the drums, which must have holes in the skins by dawn to show the enthusiasm of the participants. The sooner holes appear in the drums, the sooner couples can disappear into the nearby forests.
Late into the night only elderly people and children are left beside the wine pots.
Married people are allowed to go with other partner after the drums are beaten to tatters. From then until the next morning this is not considered adultery, and husbands and wives do not become jealous.
Dinh Puon, 33, and Y Mim, 27, decided to get married after the festival some years ago. This year, he spent one night with a woman who had loved him before. His wife, Y Mim, said she was not jealous of this because it is permitted by the deities.
Over years, the festival has seen many changes, but its core values have been maintained, mainly that of fertility.
Vietnamese traditional music introduced to American students
The exchange, themed “Vietnamese traditional music and American modern music”, took place with the participation of over 40 members and professors of the program “Semester at sea”.
Thanh Bui has introduced Vietnamese musical instruments such as Dan tu (traditional Vietnamese stringed musical instrument), sao (flute), Dan tranh (16-chord zither), Dan bau (monochord), Guitar phim lom (guitare espagnole moderne), and song loan (percussion instrument).
After each musical instrument was played by instrumentalist on stage, young Americans were extremely excited and curious about how to play as well as the very special sound of Vietnam’s instruments.
In addition, with the aim of helping young Americans understand more about Vietnamese music and show Vietnam ‘s national music identity, Thanh Bui also told the foreign guests about specific characteristics of traditional music in each region, such as Hue’s imperial ceremonial music and songs, northern folk-song, southern ca tai tu and “Don ca tai tu” (Southern amateur music).
Moreover, overseas Vietnamese singer has also brought the colours of developing modern music in Vietnam when he and four contestants of The Voice Kids show perform the song “My kool Vietnam”.
In particular, the combination of two songs “Co la” and “Marry you” performed by Huu Dai made American students clap constantly. The young American also expressed their admiration for the ability and creativity of Vietnamese child artists.
After the program, the students of the program “Semester at Sea” also tried to play Vietnam’s traditional instruments under instruction of musicians. A member said that
playing these musical instruments was very difficult but also very exciting so she would will learn more about them.