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DO AND DON’T DURING TET HOLIDAY IN VIETNAM

November 23, 2017 TruongQuy 0 Comments

Tet is the biggest and the most important holiday in Vietnam. It is a great occasion for families to gather together and enjoy relaxing times off. The days from Dec 30 to Jan 3 Lunar Year are the main days of festival: There are many customs in Vietnam dictating what to do and what not to do during these days. Being a traveler, you may choose to observe these rules, especially if you invited to a Vietnamese family during Tet.

DOs:

1/ Pay all the debts before Tet

Before Tet, people should return all the things that they have borrowed from others and pay all the debts they owed. It is believed that people should never start a new year with debts and borrowed things; otherwise in that year people would be stuck with debts.

2/ Lucky money

On the first day of Tet, adults (those who have already got married and have income) are supposed to prepare some “lucky money” to give the children and kids when visiting other’s homes as a symbol of luck for the coming New Year. People are also supposed to say best wishes to others. These activities are done with the expectation that luck and good things are brought to everyone.

3/ Gift-exchanging

Gift-exchanging is another common custom during Tet holiday, which is used mostly in business. The process of giving and receiving gifts help to enhance the relationships between clients and firms. The popular presents are cookies, chocolates, fruit baskets, wine, soft drinks or other kinds of treats. Usually, people can buy a pack of gifts in the shops which includes many different kinds of food. If you have a Vietnamese business partner, take this opportunity to enhance the relationships.

4/ Buy and Wear New Clothes

Tet is a special occasion that people wear new and beautiful outfits. The streets during Tet is full with colorful dresses, ao dai and other costumes. It is thought that colorful bright colors like red, yellow or blue can bring good luck and prosperity to people for the upcoming year.

5/ Smile

Another essential element of Tet is smiles. A smile can make everything seem more relaxing and enhance relationship among people. A smile can bring joy and happiness to you as well as people around you for the whole year also. During this Tet, people refrain themselves from getting angry or depressed and put an instant smile on their faces, hoping for a happy new year.

DONTs:

1/ Argue, swear and say bad things

If people usually wish greetings during Tet holidays, it is forbidden to say bad things like death or swear in this occasion. People also should avoid having arguments and shout at each other during Tet because it can bring them an inharmonic year. When having any conflict, try to calm down and keep it as peaceful as possible.

2/ Commit Cruelty

People also should not do cruel things like killing or hurting animals. Instead, they are recommended to set animals free. The most common animals set free in Tet holidays is birds. That is the reason why birds are sold during Tet holidays in pagodas. This belief is originated from Buddhism’s causality which states that if people do good things, they will be blessed with good luck.

3/ Sweep house

Another thing people should avoid doing is sweeping the house or emptying the trash bin especially on the first day of the new year. People believe that if you sweep the floor, all the luck and money will flow out of your house. So you can keep this in mind. When visiting one’s house in Tet, you should not drop anything onto the floor and make it dirty. Moreover, when you want to do something, it is a good idea to ask the home owner first to avoid unwanted problems.

4/ Wear black/white clothes

People are supposed not to wear white or black clothes on the first day of Tet. Usually, white and black are colors of funeral in Vietnam. As a result, wearing them on the first days of the New Year may symbolize deaths and unlucky things. Colorful outfits are recommended.

Source: Vietnamonline.com

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SUNFLOWERS BRIGHTEN UP THE LIVES OF VIETNAMESE YOUTHS

November 18, 2016 TruongQuy 0 Comments

Located on former Ho Chi Minh Trail track in Nghia Dan District in the central province of Nghe An, the Vietnamese dairy firm TH True Milk sunflower field has become popular among young people seeking a stunning landscape since 2010.

A magnificent array of tall sunflowers line the path through the 30-ha field. These wildflowers with 20-centimetre blossoms turn the field into the biggest sunflower farm in Viet Nam.

Signaling the end of summer, sunflowers bloom. They are probably the world’s cheeriest flower. Standing in a field of more than a million sunflowers, you can’t help but feel optimistic.

The sunflower blooms in two seasons: in April and between November and December. Since the first sunflowers started to bloom, thousands of people including locals and residents from other cities have come to Nghia Dan District to enjoy the flowers, even in winter.

Only one type of sunflower is needed to provide this area a mosaic of colours: mustard, canary yellow and green.

Everywhere you look there is a perfect photo opportunity and smiling faces in the field. The prospect of sunshine is enough to put a smile on most faces – but now it seems the same is true of flowers.

Sunny selfie: Many young people from cities travel a long way to take pictures with sunflowers

While Nghe An Province has been famous for droughts and a harsh climate, this spectacular landscape is not just a visual treat, but something more.

Sunflowers are an entirely edible plant and cultivated as the main protein source for livestock in the area. The entire trunk, branches, flowers, leaves will be chopped and mixed with plenty of different ingredients to create dairy cows’ feed. This helps them produce more milk and the value of protein is about six to eight per cent higher than maize.

According to the representative of the dairy firm TH True Milk, the sunflowers are interspersed with maize fields and American grass. This was also the first time they planted sunflowers as dairy cows’ feed under the instructions of Israeli agricultural experts.

After every two crops of maize and sorghum, the agricultural experts grow sunflowers in order for good crop rotation.

December is an excellent time to walk through the wild sunflower field. It is free of charge for taking photos, parking and drinking water is free.

The field was carefully arranged into rows of flowers, creating an easy entrance for visitors. If you want a panoramic view, you can rent a ladder priced at US$1.5/hour.

This year, sunflowers were planted alternately to prolong the blooming season for more than a month, from November until January.

Shining bright: The biggest sunflower field in Viet Nam welcomes thousands of visitors each year

“We decided to take our wedding photos in this biggest sunflower farm since it costs nothing and you could not find the same large sunflower field anywhere but here,” a local couple said.

Due to the high number of visitors, the farm managers tried to co-operate with Nghia Dan District People’s Committee to ensure security for tourists and restrict locals from charging them additional fees.

The project by TH True Milk has blossomed throughout the district with thousands of flowers, spurring deeper connections between people in this area and the rest of the country.

Nguyen Thu Phuong, a visitor from Ha Noi, said: “It’s worth travelling a long way to be at this wonderland. It’s not just the masses of flowers but the hospitality of the locals made me feel comfortable.”

Nghia Dan District is about 250 km from Ha Noi. Apart from the sunflower field, you can also visit President Ho Chi Minh’s native home, Hoang Muoi temple and many local specialties. — VNS

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KIM LIEN RELIC COMPLEX

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Kim Lien Complex Relic – Special National Relic

This is a typical area relating to the most unique Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh – The National Liberation hero and the World Cultural Celebrity. Kim Lien vestige area is in Kim Lien commune, Nam Dan district and 13km far from Vinh city, consisting of Uncle Ho’s mother land and father one and the tomb of Mrs.Hoang Thi Loan, his mother. Come to Kim Lien, you will see souvenirs and memeories during his childhood between the old eastern and western culture; simple and peaceful beauty in a typical village of Vietnam.

Hoang Tru Relic – Ho Chi Minh’s motherland

Hoàng Trù Village

Travelling 13km westward away from Vinh city, along Highway 46, turning left at a T-junction, then going straigth on about 1km, you will arrive at Hoang Tru, which is an eternally calm village with common, humble and simple thatched cottages taking cover under evergreen bamboo fences. That is maternal village and birthplace of Nguyen Sinh Cung, who was later named Nguyen Tat Thanh, Nguyen Ai Quoc and Ho Chi Minh. Hoang Tru memorial relic has an area of about 3,500 m2, in which the worship house of Hoang Xuan family, house of Mr.Hoang Duong and the house where the first president of Vietnam was born.

House of Junior Doctor – Nguyen Sinh Sac

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In the main house, one of two better compartment was used as sitting room, and the other as worship room for his wife. The fourth compartment was Mr.Sac’s bedroom with a wooden bed by a window and a teaching desk which he used to teach his children, it was also the room for treating closed neighbors green tea. The house was very witness of the time when Nguyen Sinh Cung and his brother absorbed father’s nobility and mother’s benevolence.

Exhibition and Memorial House of President Ho Chi Minh

khu-trung-bay-que-bac

Exhibition area in Kim Lien relics was opened in 1970 including 3 showrooms. This was the first museum in Vietnam that exhibited biography of Uncle Ho. After the system of Ho Chi Minh museum inaugurated, the method of exhibition and display  were changed into added displaying with a number of creative and unique artistic solutions with a view to honour the document and exhibits, creating new expression and attraction on visitors. The exhibits and displays formerly showing biography of Uncle Ho was converted into a complete new topic: emotion of compatriots, comrades and foreign toward Uncle Ho. And Kim Lien relics area with its wide open air, full of blighting light and surrounded lotus-patterned walls silently expresses influence Uncle Ho and his native land.

The recently added Memorial House helps perfect a new approach of museum exhibition: Relics – Museam – Memorial; it also remarkably contributes to promoting sacred emotion of people toward Uncle Ho as well as attracting visitors.

Tomb of Mrs Hoang Thi Loan – Mother of President Ho Chi Minh

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The tomb of Mrs.Hoang Thi Loan is the spiritual and cultural works that shows respect and thankfulness of people to the mother who gave birth and nourishment to Ho Chi Minh. The eldest brother of President Ho Chi Minh, secretly moved the tomb of Mrs.Hoang Thi Loan in Hue city to Dong Tranh moutain in 1942. He chose a location of the tomb by himself. It was rebuilt in 1984 on the place where Mr.Nguyen Sinh Khiem had chosen and in 2010 the tomb again preserved and renovated as the planning on conservation, replenishment of Kim Lien Relic, located in Nam Giang commune, Nam Dan district, Nghe An province with an area of 300m2.

As the design, the tomb remains in place as the original paved with granite and monolithic marble. All the stones paired together to create a stylized lotus flower. The ceremony area is expanded into an arc, in harmony with the terrain and creates a wide view. Around space are coved, expressed solemn, cozy atmosphere, and convenient for the ceremony when it rains and the sun shines. The tomb of Mrs.Hoang Thi Loan is the important point of Kim Lien complex relic. The work is not only significant in terms of spiritual culture, but also a significant destination of tourists from everywhere in the journey back to Nam Dan, hometown of Uncle Ho.

Source: Nghe An tourism handbook.

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NGHE TINH VI-GIAM FOLK SINGING

October 31, 2016 TruongQuy 0 Comments

Vietnam’s Nghe Tinh Vi-Giam folk singing was officially recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity at the 9th session of its Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris on November 27.

This type of folk singing is popular in nearly 260 villages in the central provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh. The two provinces have 51 singing clubs with over 800 vocalists, many of whom are actively preserving the folk music.

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Vi-Giam folk music, estimated to have 15 tunes of Vi and 8 airs of Giam, is a repartee sung while working. It reflects the work, cultural life and feelings of the residents in the central coastal provinces.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien said the recognition of Vi-Dam as a cultural masterpiece of humanity is of great significance to Vietnam since the folk genre plays an important role in bringing the local community together.

The country committed to implementing an action programme to preserve Vi-Giam singing, carrying out policies to honour artisans, and intensifying communication campaigns to educate young generations on this type of art.

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Talking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Paris, Permanent Vice Chairman of Ha Tinh provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thien and Vice Chairwoman of Nghe An provincial People’s Committee Dinh Thi Le Thanh expressed their pride of their localities’ folk singing becoming part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage treasure.

They also acknowledged the responsibility for and the necessity of building specific measures to preserve the heritage value, thus helping promote the cultural identity and boost sustainable development of the two provinces.

At the session, 33 other cultural pieces worldwide received UNESCO’s recognition as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, bringing the total number of heritages for this category to 314.-VNAVi-Dam became the ninth Vietnamese cultural practice wining UNESCO’s intangible heritage status. The other eight practices recognised by UNESCO are Hue’s royal court music, Gong space culture in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), the northern province of Bac Ninh’s love duet singing, the Giong festival, Ca Tru ceremonial singing, Xoan singing, Don Ca Tai Tu music and the worship of Hung Kings.

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ETHNIC GROUPS IN WESTERN NGHE AN

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Dan Lai ethnic minorty people in Con Cuong district

With Choang and Khang streams blowing from Upper Laos through Con Cuong, Pu Mat natural reserve has come a perfect living zone of Dan Lai built temporary tents from tree branches and leaves, in which thet sleep while sitting, and when those leaves turn yellow they desert their old tents and move away to build other areas. They hunt and forage their food from Mat river and Pu Mat forests.

Nowadays, Dan Lai still have settled down, feeing themselves from their difficulty and harship. Their village is now a vividly beautiful flower of the jungle. They are now speaking a hybrid language of Viet and Thai, women wear colorful brocade skirts and indio turbans, elders dye their teeth black. You may occasionally see a woman gardening by her house, looking as if a pheasant dancing cheerfully near its nest.

Thai ethnic minority people in Con Cuong district

Quy Chau has been being home of ethnic minority people for a long time. Nowadays, about 75% of local population is Thai people possessing their own unknown cultural characteristics. Here, you will take part in fantastic adventures into jungle and caverns, enjoy Thai’s  tradition rituals and folklores of “xen ban”, “xen muong”, “cau mua” – “praying for rain and harvest”, “xuoi”, “lam”, “khap”, etc… performed with their various traditional instruments such as “khen be” (pan-pie), “khen moi” (lips panpipe), “khen la” (leaves panpipe) or watch Thai women working with their looms. This region has also been the very cradle of culture and tradition of Southwestern Nghe An for thousands years.

Tho ethnic minority people in Nghia Dan, Quy Chau districts.

Living area of Tho people lies at intersection point of various migration movements caused by historical upheaval in the past centuries, such as Muong’s migration southward from Western Thanh Hoa and Viet’s migration westward from Quynh Luu, Dien Chau and Thanh Chuong regions. Those people, with specific characteristics, has cast an impact on Tho people. Their main food has switched from sticky rice to those of Kinh people, with white-edge trousers, long black shirts, purple crepe turbans, woman also wear white blouses with lace collar together with That’s skirts. Tho people live in house and stilts, worship various deities and spirits especially those who contributed to protecting and building their country. Here, there are many unique traditional rituals and customs, especially in weddings and funerals.

Source: Nghe An tourism handbook

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