Gifts exhibition marks Hanoi’s 1000th birthday

A ten-day exhibition of gifts, which were presented to the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi, opened on October 6 in Cultural Friendship Palace, in Hanoi. 

More than 200 presents made by 84 individuals and organisations across the nation and around the world were placed ondisplay.

All the gifts were sent to Hanoi through a programme called “Hearts for Thang Long-Hanoi” to mark the capital’s 1000th birthday.

Remarkbly at the event are the art works “Hanoi’s encyclopedia” by the Vietnam Association of Craft Villages, which set the nation’s artwork record, a Vietnamese map made by 1.000 golden dragons and a ceramic turtle by artist Tran Do from Bat Trang ceramic village.

Other gifts such as Kim Dong Theatre, Statue of Uncle Ho and Uncle Ton, and art programmes by international friends are introduced in their pictures.

The presents will be preserved in the Hanoi Museum, Hanoi Temple of Literature and Thang Long Imperial Citadel after the exhibition.

Vietnam’s only ice-skating rink opens in HCMC
Tuoi TreS. Iceskate, a 425 square-meter ice-skating rink on the third floor of the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Culture House at 4 Pham Ngoc Thach Street in District 1 opened last Sunday.

The country’s only ice-skating facility is kept at a temperature of 180C.

Structural components and rental equipment conforming to international standards, and worth around US$ 300.000, were imported from the US, according to center’s director Hoang Van Anh.

HCMC’s first ice rink opened in Ho Ky Hoa Park, in district 10 in 1997, but was closed shortly thereafter.

Use of the facilities costs VND50,000 (US$2.5) per person, per 90 minutes and it includes ice-skates rental.

Japanese film week promises exciting fare

Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” will be among eight films to be screened at a Japan film week to be held in Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang this month.

The movie, which has become a cult classic since being released in 1951, is about the rape of a woman (Machiko Kyo) and the murder of a man (Masayuki Mori), possibly by a bandit (Toshiro Mifune).

At Kyoto's crumbling Rashomon gate, several people shelter from a storm and discuss the crime which has shocked the region.

It won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1951 and the won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1952.

The other films to be screened are “Happy Flight”, “Tony Takitani”, “Kamikaze Girls”, “Sansho the Bailiff”, the cartoon “5 Centimeters Per Second”, “Yunagi City, Sakura Country” and “Memories of Tomorrow”.

The program is sponsored by the Japanese consulate in HCMC and the Japan Foundation.

“It will provide an opportunity for people to further understand the Japanese land, people, culture and society, from traditional to modern, through films,” the consulate said in a release.

The films will be shown from October 8 to 14 at BHD Star Cinema in HCMC’s district 10 and from 22nd to 24th at Hoang Hoa Tham cinema in Nha Trang.

Free tickets are available at the consulate in Nguyen Hue Street, HCMC, and the venue in Nha Trang.

Vietnam TV all set for 1st travel channel

Vietnam Television will launch its first travel channel on VCTV-TH, its cable network this week in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

VCTV-TH, to be broadcast from 6am to midnight, hopes to educate the public about the nation’s history and culture, conservation of nature, and tourism development, and attract investments in these fields.

It will have local and international content.

A 30-minute travel news capsule will initially be broadcast thrice a week before becoming a daily feature.

There will be only seven other shows daily, introducing various tourist destinations in Vietnam.

“Vietnam in Me” (Vietnam trong toi) will focus on the culture, history, geography, and characteristics of various regions.

“Bamboo Sticks” (Dua tre) will feature journeys to discover the cuisines of various lands.

“Weekend Destination” (Diem den cuoi tuan) will take viewers to the country’s most beautiful landscapes.

The channel has plans to broadcast overseas to foreign audiences in future, Nguyen Manh Cuong, deputy director of the General Department of Tourism, said.

Phuong Nam Cultural Corporation book fair opens in HCMC

More than 4,000 foreign publications, mostly of medicine and economics, are on display at selected city locations as part of Phuong Nam Cultural (PNC) Corporation’s book fair that opened in Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday.

McGraw-Hill publishing house’s selection include marketing, finance-credit, business administration, foreign trade, and accounting publications with popular titles such as “Strategic Bond Investor: Strategies and Tools to Unlock the Power of the Bond Market”, “Appreciative Leadership”, “Bond Portfolio Investing and Risk Management”, “Carrots and Sticks Don't Work”, “Competitive Selling: Out-Plan, Out-Think, and Out-Sell to Win Every Time”, and “Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned From Google”.

They are on shelf on the second floor of Saigon Center, 65 Le Loi Street, District 1.

The event also showcases 2,000 new medical reference publications from various publishing houses like Elsevier, Lippincott and McGraw Hill including Harrison's “Nephrology and Acid-Base Disorders”, Rutherford's “Vascular Surgery”, Williams’s “Hematology” and, Ferri's “Fast Facts in Dermatology”.

Medical titles are on display at the bookstore of the HCMC Medicine and Pharmacy University.

The book fair, which PNC hopes to organize twice every quarter, offers discounts of 10-50 percent.

The fair ends on October 15.

S. Korean, Vietnamese musicians to play in HCMC

The Ho Chi Minh City Ballet and Symphony Orchestra (HBSO) will host South Korean soprano Cho Hae Ryong and pianist Noh Hae Ry who will join clarinet Dao Nhat Quang, cello Nguyen Tuan Anh, pianist Pham Dieu Thao of Vietnam for a concert on October 9 at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House.

The event repertoire includes Pie Jesu by A. L. Webber, Fantasy Piecies Op.73 for clarinet solo by R. Schumann, Radeet oblakov letuchaia griada Nimfa by N. Rimsky – Korsakov, Ballade for Cello & Piano by Nguyen Manh Duy Linh of Vietnam and Trio for clarinet, cello & Piano by L. I. Beethoven.

Tickets are on sale at 3 Phan Van Dat Street, Ben Nghe Ward., District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Festival events bring young people to Hanoi
The ASEAN+3 youth festival and “Peaceful melody” art festival opened on in Hanoi on the evening of October 6 with the participation of 65 youths from 13 countries and 3,000 youths from the capital city.

The event aims to popularise the ASEAN+3 countries’ national images, people and longstanding cultures and introduce Vietnam’s images, people and the capital city to the world.

The festival is a bridge between the youths of Vietnam and those of ASEAN+3 countries to share experiences in many areas, creativity and solidarity for the benefit of an internationally integrated ASEAN.

At the ceremony, the exhibition on ASEAN+3 cultural ties with Thang Long-Hanoi opened, introducing the unique cultures of ASEAN+3 to visitors. The event will last till October 9.

Hanoi Museum makes debut
An inauguration ceremony for Hanoi Museum was held in Hanoi on October 6 to mark the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi.

The event was attended by Vietnamese leaders and representatives from UNESCO, international organizations, embassies of some countries in Hanoi and the capital city’s citizens.

On display at the museum were thousands of objects from different stages of Vietnam’s history and photos introducing the images of Hanoi in the past and at present. A bonsai exhibition was also held during the event.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Pham Quang Nghi, Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee emphasized Hanoi Museum is an outstanding cultural work reflecting the images of Hanoi in the integration and renewal process.

This is a beautiful museum with modern and unique architecture and a cultural wonder of the capital city and the nation, he said.

At the ceremony, the National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong said the museum’s managers should classify antiques quickly, tap the museum’s potential in research activities and introduce local and international visitors to Vietnam’s history, and Thang Long – Hanoi. Mr Trong also urged the museum’s managers to preserve antiques to help future generations learn more about Vietnam’s history.

The museum is located near the My Dinh National Stadium on an area of nearly 54,000 m2 with a total investment capital of VND2,300 billion.

 Russia hosts seminar on Thang Long-Hanoi
A seminar themed “the traditional and modern features of Vietnam’s urban culture” was held in Russia on October 5 to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi.

The event was organised by the Eastern Museum in Moscow in coordination with the Vietnamese embassy.

Political counsellor Le Thanh Van reviewed the development of modern Vietnamese culture and emphasised the significance of the event, mentioning the key activities during the capital’s 1,000th birthday celebrations.

He also highlighted Vietnam-Russia cooperation in recent times.

The delegates discussed events in Hanoi during the ten days of anniversary celebrations and said they hoped the capital will continue to develop well.

Mr. Socolov, a researcher from the Eastern Institute, in Vietnamese said, “I have been very impressed by Hanoi’s old architecture which reminds me of a black-and-white film, Hanoi today has achieved a lot of in architecture, industry and culture, I’m very glad to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and wish Hanoians and the Vietnamese people good health and happiness.” 

Vietnamese urban culture interests Russia
The State Museum of Oriental Arts of Russia on October 5 held a seminar focusing on traditional and modern features in Vietnamese urban culture on the occasion of the 1,000 anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi.

At the seminar, Le Thanh Van, political counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy, delivered a speech on several aspects of cultural cooperation between Vietnam and Russia, underlining the significance of the cooperation between the two countries and their museums.

The seminar was well oriented, matching benefits of the two nations’ people in expanding and boosting traditional friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries, Van said.

He pointed out three measures to strengthen bilateral ties in culture: increasing the exchange of delegations and cultural experts; organising art, cultural exhibitions and seminars; and encouraging students to research culture in each country.

Ten speeches were presented by Russian experts from the State Museum of Oriental Arts, the Institute of Oriental Studies, and the Institute of Asian-African Studies , focused on the development of Vietnamese contemporary culture, Dong Son civilisation, Vietnam ’s city architecture and Southeast Asian culture.

Notably, first proofs on the construction of the One-Pillar Pagoda, languages in advertising boards in Hanoi and the capital city’s culture during 1964-1965 were discussed at the seminar.

Advertising is a strong element of culture, said Irina Samarina, a lecturer of the Russian State University for the Humanities and an expert of the Language Institute under the Russian Academy of Science, who showed images and advertising language she collected in Hanoi to express her love for the city.

VME hosts exhibition on Southeast Asia
The exhibition A Glimpse into Southeast Asia will be held at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (VME) from October 4, 2010-November 5, 2011. 

On display are 42 items on three different themes including Indonesian costumes, glass and lacquer paintings.

The glass paintings depict the ancient Indian epics the Mahabhrata and the Ramayana as well as Islamic and Indonesian people’s daily life.

The exhibition aims to introduce and promote a complete image of Southeast Asian people at the museum’s new Kite Building, which will open to the public soon.

The new building show visitors the cultural diversity and unification of the region and explore the differences and similarities of each ethnic group.

The Kite Building reflects Vietnam’s efforts to preserve and introduce regional cultures for mutual understanding and will serve as a venue for traveling exhibitions from the museums in the region.

Displays at the Kite Building will be divided into five main themes including textiles and costumes, daily life, social life, performance arts and religions and beliefs.

The current exhibition is greatly indebted to the help of French museology expert from Quai Branly Museum Christine Hemmet, graphic designer Patrick Hoarau, and materials master Francoise Dalex.

Dr. Vi Van An, Head of the Museum’s Southeast Asian Department, said that most of the exhibited items focus on unique weaving skills and products that are popular both in Southeast Asia and Europe such as the clothing of the Ga’dang, an ethnic minority group from the Philippines.

There are also nine lacquered artifacts from Myanmar, some of which are hundreds of years old.

Since 2006, the VME has collected more than 2,000 items, 8,000 documentary photos and 30 video tapes from 9 countries in the region including Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Laos and Myanmar; other are obtained from some individual foreign collectors.

Ha Long Bay to become new World Wonder of Nature
The Director of New7Wonders Foundation, Jean-Paul de la Fuente discussed the possibility of Ha Long Bay becoming a new World Wonder of Nature with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism during his visit to Hanoi for the capital city’s 1000th anniversary on October 4. 

He highly valued how the Vietnamese people have voted saying that Ha Long Bay has great chance of winning the competition.

Ha Long Bay is still high in the foundation’s final rankings.

African music to be performed in Vietnam
The youth troupe Soweto from South Africa will organise music shows in Hanoi and Thai Nguyen on October 6 and 8. 

Their unique music features drums, xylophones and bronze trumpets to go with hip-hop and folk dance performances.

Vietnamese audiences will also have the chance to enjoy favorite South African songs.

Southeast Asian cultures on show
As many as 42 objects related to Southeast Asian cultures are being displayed at an exhibition that opened in Hanoi on October 4 in the presence of the Swiss, French, Swedish and Indonesian diplomatic corps in Hanoi.

The exhibition, “A glimpse of South East Asia”, which presents costumes, lacquer art and Indonesian tribal art paintings on glass, is part of a Southeast Asia Corner project - a virtual museum on the regional cultures.

The project aims to enrich public knowledge of the diverse and vibrant Southeast Asian culture.

It is also expected to help visitors discover the similarity and difference between nations in the region, said organizers from the Vietnam Ethonology Museum, which will house the Southeast Asian Corner.

Since 2006, the museum has collected over 2,000 objects, 8,000 documentary pictures and more than 30 video tapes from the other nine members of the Southeast Asian Nations, namely Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Laos and Myanmar.

Under the project, a building called ‘Kite’ is being built to showcase fabrics and costumes, daily life, social life, performance art and religion of the regional countries.

Russian reporter emotional about Hanoi
Russian reporter Sergey Aphonin had an article titled “Hanoi in my heart” in October’s first edition of the Russian news agency Itar-Tass’s fortnightly publication, Tassovets, on the 1,000th anniversary of Hanoi.

Aphonin wrote about Hanoi’s traditions and customs and reviewed its achievements in the national construction and defence.

He said “I used to live in Hanoi when the capital city was being targeted by bombs and rockets”. Those heart-breaking scenes made him think of the great struggle waged by the people of the former Soviet Union against fascism.

He said Vietnam had become his second home and concluded in his article that 1,000-year-old Hanoi is hospitable, hardworking and optimistic and has a unique culture. Hanoi, the heroic city, is