The cruise ships that frequent Viet Nam from September to May bring thousands of well-heeled foreigners to these shores. Besides being big spenders in the main, the most noticeable characteristic of these visitors is that seven out of every ten are elderly people. Why is that? The inhabitants of wealthier countries have a burning itch to travel and see the world, an itch that many have the money to scratch. Trouble is, they often don't have the time until they retire, hence the preponderance of old people on the cruise liners. Whether they are paying their own way or benefiting from the generosity of doting children, the retirees who decide to spend several weeks at ease on the high seas view it as the ultimate experience for anyone in their golden years. Whether the reality matches the prospect is beside the point. So what do Vietnam's older generations think about the idea of an ocean cruise? Is exotic travel their utmost desire upon retirement? Certainly the traditional … [Read more...] about Family or Fun in the Sun?
Big happy family
It's a simple act but it should be honored: 126 houses are being handed over to underprivileged women and children in Da Nang City. The city's charity association that aims to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and children should be applauded for their efforts to help those most in need with a roof over their heads and a place to raise their families. According to Nguyen Thi Van Lan, the chairwoman of the support of the Da Nang Association for Disadvantaged Women and Children, about 87 families have been relocated to their new homes and another 39 families would be able to resettle by the end of the month - under the city's low rental program for disadvantaged women. "Though the women aren't being granted ownership of these houses, they will have more freedom and be able to build their lives there," Lan said. The women benefiting from the program have many different stories. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lan, a resident of Da Nang's Thanh Khe District, used to live in a … [Read more...] about Little homes, big hearts
VietNamNet Bridge - The story of two couples in the central provinces of Binh Thuan who divorced but got married a second time has caused tongues to wag in the province. Nearly 20 years ago, Mr. Tran Van Truong, 38, married Ms. Cao Thi Nhan, 37. They lived in Cat Hai commune in Phu Cat district of Binh Thuan province. … [Read more...] about Binh Thuan: Two couples are happy after swap
Tug of war: Parents and children take part in outdoor activities at Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Ha Noi on Viet Nam Family's Day, June, 28. Family's Day has been celebrated annually since 2001 as a way to remind family members of the need to take care of each other to build up a happy family. — VNA/VNS Photo Family ties: A girl draws a picture of her family during the "Happy Family" Festival at 23/9 Park, HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Trang Duong As the country changes in the midst of globalisation, families are having to adjust with shifting values, Vu Thu Ha investigates. It was not easy for Nguyen Bich Son to decide to move out of his parent's house and start a new life six months after getting married. He faced his parents' dissatisfaction and the challenge of having to find a house and pay rent. But Son, 27, is typical of a growing number of young people willing to make sacrifices for independence, to move away from the constraints and thinking of their parents … [Read more...] about Families grapple with changing times
A small stage, which can be easily assembled, and mini puppets are all the items Phan Thanh Liem uses to perform water puppet shows. Liem is a member of his family's seven generations that is preserving water puppetry in the northern province of Nam Dinh. His father, the famous puppeteer Phan Van Ngai, made chú tu (a humorous farmer) puppet, which is displayed in France's Louvre Museum. Ngai also helped create the mobile water puppetry stage. Liem once dreamed of bringing this traditional form of art to the general public. More than a decade ago, participants were interested in Liem's smaller-sized pool and little puppets when he introduced them. He then ended the research phase and concentrated on creating his new water puppet stage. Liem's new stage includes a small semi-circular pool, which is made of wood and corrugated iron, and the puppets, of course. It does not occupy much space for performances and also saves water. Furthermore, it only needs one performer. … [Read more...] about Big idea for little water puppets