Published: 16/04/2011 05:00



Miss Auto Vietnam Contest to take place in July

Miss Auto Vietnam Contest, the first ever beauty pageant of its kind, kicks off this month.

Applications are available at Auto Vietnam magazine, 12A13, Me Linh Street, Ward 19, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, beginning April 8.

The final will be held in July in Hai Phong Province. The contestants will promote safe traffic, environmental protection, and charity.

The pageant has been organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Hai Phong Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Auto Vietnam magazine, Vietnam Model Association and BDT Vietnam Communication Company.

Trinh Cong Son’s paintings tour Vietnam, go online

Tu hoa cuoi cung (the last self-portrait) created by Trinh Cong Son in 2000.

Legendary musician Trinh Cong Son had another artistic side as well. A series of exhibitions featuring the late Son’s artworks will tour the country and also go online beginning this April.

The exhibition, entitled Not mau (Colorful note), includes more than 50 paintings, in water colors, chalk and oil, created by the antiwar musician during different phases of his life. Son was a prolific artist – both musically and on canvas – until his death in 2001.

Following an opening at Ho Chi Minh City’s Fine Arts Museum from April 9 to 15, the exhibition will travel to Hue city Town’s Saigon Morin, 70 Le Loi Street, from April 22 to 28, before reaching its final destination at Gallery 39, 39A Ly Quoc Su Street in Hanoi from May 5 to 12.

The exhibition is also stepping into virtual space, with an online address at, a rare opportunity for Son fans the world over to discover another side of the gifted musician.

Online viewers can also share and add Son’s images to the collection by registering for a free account on the site.

Vietnamese culture shines in France

Overseas Vietnamese students in France won the highest number of votes to win the first prize at the eighth Multicultural Day, held in Nantes city of France on April 14, following by Columbia and mainland China.

The annual event drew the participation of 18 teams representing students from Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Columbia, Germany, Spain, Iran, Morocco, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, the UK and Vietnam.

At the event, the Vietnamese team briefed participants on the country’s diversified and typical cultural features including traditional cooking and costumes as well as different famous landscapes of the country.

The Multicultural Day, annually held since 2004, is an initiative of the Nantes University’s Autour du Monde Student Association, with a view to boost cultural exchange among countries worldwide.

Photo exhibition on Ha Long Bay opens in France

A photo exhibition entitled “Ha Long Bay - the world’s natural wonders” is taking place in Paris, France.

The event offers an opportunity for Vietnam to promote the image of Ha Long Bay to international friends and overseas Vietnamese in France with the message “Vote for Ha Long Bay as the world’s natural wonders.

On display at the event are 50 art photos which have been selected from thousands of high quality masterpieces on Ha Long Bay.

The event was co-organized by the Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition Department, and the Vietnamese Cultural Centre in France.

The exhibition will last through to May 10.

Twinkle-toed dancers return to TV screens

The first show of the second season of Buoc Nhay Hoan Vu, a Vietnamese version of the popular TV reality show Dancing with the Stars in the US will appear live on Vietnam Television (VTV) on April 17.

Buoc Nhay Hoan Vu, produced by VTV and Cat Tien Sa Media and Television Company, pairs 10 celebrities with professional ballroom dancers, who perform 10 shows each week from April 17 to July 3.

The second season will feature Vietnamese celebrities including singers Thu Minh, Pham Anh Khoa, Thuy Tien and Nguyen Vu, singer and actor Hua Vi Van, actors Huy Khanh, Vu Thu Phuong, Thanh Thuy, Kim Hien and Dai Nghia and 10 professional dancers from Bulgaria.

Participants will perform standard ballroom dances of Slow Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot and Quicksteps, and Latin dances like Chachacha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive.

The judges, including director Le Hoang and dance sport champions Khanh Thi and Chi Anh, and the votes of the audience will decide the eliminations, which will begin in the second show.

The winner of this season will receive VND150 million, while two runners-up will get VND120 million and VND100 million, respectively.

MC Thanh Bach and singer Doan Trang, the runner-up of the first season, will host the shows.

All the shows will be broadcast live every Sunday on VTV3 at 8pm.

Phu Yen hosts Vietnam-India cultural exchange

A cultural exchange programme was jointly held by the Phu Yen Provincial People’s Committee and the India Embassy at the Sao Mai-Thuan Thao theater on April 13.

The programme was part of activities to mark the province’s 400th anniversary and the National Tourism Year 2011 for the southcentral region.

The India’s Ladakh traditional art troupe from India left the Phu Yen audience a deep on its performance of unique cultural identity.

Le Kim Anh, Deputy Head of the Provincial People’s Committee, said the performance gave the Phu Yen people a better understanding of the traditional culture of northwestern India.

Int’l seminar discusses ancestor worship

An international seminar was held in Viet Tri City, Phu Tho province, on April 14 to discuss ancestor worshipping rituals as a religious practice in a modern society.

Attending the event were Katherine Muller Marin, Chief Representative of the UNESCO Office in Hanoi, together with many scientists, managers and researchers in the field of culture from 16 countries and territories, including Japan, China, Australia, Canada and the US.

About 130 reports by domestic and foreign researchers were presented at the seminar.

According to Prof. Dr. Tran Chi Ben, Director of the Vietnam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS), the seminar focused on the theory and methods for research into ancestor worship belief as well as the customs, rituals and historical and cultural values of ancestor worship belief in Vietnam and in the world, especially the Hung Kings worship rituals.

The seminar also discussed changes in the Hung Kings worship rituals and the preservation and promotion of the ancestor worship belief in the period of integration and globalization.

Thai Nguyen to host Vietnam Composers Association music festival

The 12th Music Festival will be held by the Vietnam Composers Association (VCA) in the northern province of Thai Nguyen from April 22-23 with the participation of music composers from northern Vietnam.

The festival aims to encourage creativeness among members of the association in composing, performing, research and training.

This year’s festival, which will be attended by more than 150 VCA members and composers delegations in the north, will coincide with activities to celebrate Vietnam Music Day and the country’s major anniversaries such as May Day, and the Liberation of South Vietnam.

Ancient Chinese coins unearthed in central Vietnam

The Chinese ancient coinsA resident in the central province of Ha Tinh has found around 13kg of ancient coins dating back to the Song Dynasty, which ruled China from 960 to 1279.

37-year-old Nguyen Quang Duan, who resides in Ngu Que Hamlet, found the coins in an ancient jar as he was digging the earth.

Le Ba Hanh, deputy director of Ha Tinh Province’s Museum said these coins show important cultural exchange between Chinese and Vietnamese feudal regimes.

The coins are now being kept by the museum for further research.

Photo, video competition on Australia launched

The Australian Embassy in Hanoi and leading online Vietnamese newspaper VnExpress launched Thursday the “Australia through your eyes” video and photo competition, which allows Vietnamese people studying, working or travelling in Australia the opportunity to tell their stories using videos and photos.

The competition, which runs from 14 April to 13 May 2011, allows the entries to be posted on the VnExpress website.

Australian Ambassador Allaster Cox and VnExpress Editor-in-Chief Thang Duc Thang kicked off the competition.

“The interesting element of this competition is that participants can be as creative as they like through the way they tell their stories. They can also exchange perspectives with VnExpress readers through comments and by ‘liking’ videos,” Ambassador Cox said in a statement.

Competition entries and conditions can be viewed at

Contestants have the opportunity to win a return trip to Australia and electronics prizes, including an iPad 2. There are also weekly prizes for VnExpress readers living in Vietnam who comment on competition entries.

This competition is sponsored and organised in collaboration with the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, VnExpress, Tourism Australia, Australia Network and Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday on his first Vietnam visit, and opened RMIT Vietnam University’s Recreation and Events Complex and Residential Centre.

During the opening ceremony at the Australian university, Mr. Rudd delivered a keynote address on the Australia-Vietnam relationship. “Australia wishes to build a new partnership with Vietnam for the long-term future,” he said.

Regarding education cooperation, he said, “As Australia’s Foreign Minister, I am proud that Australia is playing such a key role in supporting the higher education revolution [of Vietnam], through:

“400 higher education scholarships per year for high performing Vietnamese students to study in Australia under the Australia Asia Awards; 26 000 Vietnamese student enrolments in schools, technical colleges, English education and universities, overwhelmingly self-funded; and 15 000 Vietnamese students studying Australian courses right here in Vietnam.”

Vietnamese students in US to showcase ao dai

The Vietnamese Student Association in Tucson, Arizona in the U.S will hold its third annual Miss Ao Dai Southern Arizona Pageant to celebrate the Vietnamese traditional dress this weekend.

Contestants, who must be at least one-fourth Vietnamese, will take part in an ao dai contest besides an evening-gown performance and an interview.

Lamiaa Dang, an organizer, said the beauty contest sought to encourage Vietnamese students to be proud of their culture.

The winner will be awarded with a US$1,500 scholarship.

The pageant will take place on April 16 at the University of Arizona Mall.

Danang to use elevator to mountains

Ngu Hanh Son Resort in the central coastal city of Danang said it would install an elevator system to take tourists to the famous Ngu Hanh Son Mountains this April 30.

The 50-m-high elevator will consist of 2 cabins, each of which can carry 20 visitors per trip.

The elevator will take off at the western entrance of the Ngu Hanh Son Mountains and arrive at Xa Loi Tower in Linh Ung Pagoda.

Tickets are expected to cost around VND30,000 per trip.

The mountains, located in Ngu Hanh Son District 7 km to the southeast of Danang City, consist of 5 mountains named Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars and Saturn.

The area is one of Danang’s most popular tourist attractions. It receives around 60 thousand visitors every year.

HCMC artists remember Japanese victims

An art exhibition has been opened in Ho Chi Minh City by Vietnamese artists Nguyen Son, La Huy, Nguyen Kim Hoang and Tran Thi Thu Ha to remember victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“Flow to Nothingness” features Son’s paintings drawn with coal and acrylic paint on paper, Hoang’s and Ha’s hand-made paper cranes and Huy’s children T-shirts covered with wax.

Huy said he put candles inside the T-shirts to represent his best wishes for Japanese children.

The exhibition will run until April 30 at Himiko Visual Café at 324B Dien Bien Phu in District 10.

German author of Ho Chi Minh book visits Vietnam

Hellmut Kapfenberger, a German journalist and author of “Ho Chi Minh – a chronicle,” a book published in Vietnam last year, was in Hanoi Thursday for a book signing.

The book starts with the question “Who is Ho Chi Minh?” and tries to answer it in 25 chapters. The author concludes that “Ho Chi Minh” has become a concept of ideology, epoch, culture, and morality.

The 77-year-old said at the signing: “I have known about Vietnam since 1960 through the war between America and Vietnam. It was obvious I would know about Ho Chi Minh along with this country. However, many Germans do not know Ho Chi Minh. I decide no one should forget him.”

Kapfenberger lived and worked in Vietnam as a correspondent for the News Agency of the German Democratic Republic from 1970 to 1973 and again from 1980-to 1984.

He spent two years writing “Ho Chi Minh - A chronicle” which was published by Verlag Neues Leben publishing house in Berlin in 2009. It was translated into Vietnamese and published by the The Gioi (World) Publishing House last May.

New series narrates founding of capital

VTV3 will next week screen a series about King Ly Cong Uan who founded the former capital Thang Long in what is modern-day Ha Noi.

The 70-episode Huyen Su Thien Do (Legendary History of the Capital’s Relocation), scripted by Nguyen Manh Tuan, has been produced by the Viet Nam Feature Film Studio 1 and Sao The Gioi Co.

It narrates events taking place in the country, especially the capital Hoa Lu, in 1004–1009 before Ly Cong Uan founded the Ly Dynasty and ascended the throne.

In 1010, eight months after becoming king, Ly Cong Uan made the seminal decision to shift the capital from Hoa Lu in what is now Ninh Binh Province to Thang Long.

The series is one of several feature and TV films made since 2009 to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Ha Noi.

“We are sorry we could not release Legendary History of the Capital’s Relocation during the millennium celebration,” director Dang Tat Binh said.

“The production of a historical TV series is not easy.”

“Despite lacking resources, we have tried to [ensure] quality.”

Legendary History of the Capital’s Relocation will be on VTV3 at 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays beginning on April 21.

But audience expectations are at rock bottom.

“I hope the series will be better than the TV series Ve Dat Thang Long (Arriving in Thang Long) and the film Khat Vong Thang Long (Thang Long Aspiration) that came last year,” Luong Minh Tri, a second-year student at HCM City University, said.

“Scenes of battle in Arriving in Thang Long look fake. It made the series uninteresting.”

“I have seen many well-known historical films made by directors in the US, China, and South Korea. Their actors perform well. When we watch them fight, we believe what we see on the screen.

“Thang Long Aspiration was good in the beginning but its ending was unclear.”

Nguyen Thi Tuyet, a young woman, said Thang Long Aspiration was about Ly Cong Uan “But King Le Long Dinh seems to be the protagonist because he appears in almost all the important scenes.”

King Le Long Dinh died in 1009 at the age of 24 just before Uan ascended the throne to establish the Ly dynasty.

“Audiences could see similar scenes in several Vietnamese historical series because they are all shot at the same place – in Hue or at Co Loa Studio in Ha Noi,” Tuyet said.

“Filmmakers should research history, build modern studios, and use professional costumes and weapons to make interesting historical series and movies.”

“We are waiting for some locally-made historical films that are worth watching.”

Da Nang to host international fireworks competition in April

The Da Nang International Fireworks Competition 2011 will be held on April 29-30 on the banks of the Han River.

It is the fourth such competition and will attract five teams: the Jubilee Fireworks Company (England), the Hanwha Company (South Korea), Parente Fireworks A&C SNC Company (Italy), Panda Fireworks Company (China) and the host team Da Nang (Viet Nam).

Many foreign and domestic tourists are expected to watch the displays on Reunification Day, April 30, and International Labour Day, May 1.

Da Nang has planned its own design and artistry to be set off in harmony with music by composer Tran Ai Nghia.

With the theme Sparkling Han River, the 21-minute performance will have four parts featuring the beautiful landscape and people of the central province.

Da Nang has hosted the competition every year since 2008.

International teams are selected on quality, capacity and ranking in world fireworks competitions. Their displays are bound to be unique and colourful.

Hue workers stumble across old cannon balls

Fifty-two large metal spheres thought to be cannon balls have been found in Hue, police said.

The iron balls, measuring around 30cm across and mostly weighing between 20 and 30kg, were discovered on Wednesday by workers building an embankment along the bank of An Cuu River near the railway station.

The workers tried to sell them but were stopped by the Phuong Duc Ward police.

It is the first time that such a large cache of cannonballs has been found in Hue.

They will be handed over to researchers for study and conservation, Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Dang Ngoc Son, head of the city police, said.

They were thought to be made between the 16th and 19th centuries, cultural researcher Ho Tan Phan said.


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