Published: 20/02/2011 05:00



Charm seekers faint at chaotic Tran Temple fest

A not so charming scene occurred yesterday evening at the Tran Temple Festival held in the northern province of Nam Dinh when dozens fainted after jostling and elbowing one another to lay their hands on a lucky talisman being sold there.

Traditionally thought to bring good luck, the yellow charms are officially priced at VND20,000 (US$1) each but since many could not reach the sale points, the amulets were sold 10 times more expensive by scalpers.

Charms were in so high a demand that the festival’s management board sent more employees to sell them but still could not meet pilgrims’ needs.

Although the festival officially opened at 11:00 pm yesterday, nearby roads were flooded much earlier.

From 20:00 pm, police set up barriers to prevent tourists from elbowing one another to reach the amulets but this proved fruitless.

Some extremists shouted and climbed over the barriers.

The packed, frenzied atmosphere caused dozens to faint, mostly elderly people and women.

The Tran Temple Festival is held annually on the death anniversary of General Tran Hung Dao, falling on 15th day of the first lunar month.

It takes place at the historical site of the Tran Dynasty at the outskirts of Nam Dinh.

The festival features solemn rituals, such as palanquin procession, and traditional cultural activities.

Vietnam film awards to honor best shorts

A new category — Best Short Film — has been added to this year’s Golden Kite Awards, the Vietnamese cinema association’s annual film festival.

The six existing categories are Best Animation Film, Best Science Film, Best Documentary Film, Best TV Film, Best Feature Film, Best Research and Critics.

Normally, a short film competition is held during the festival, attracting around 100 entries on average.

The introduction of this new category is meant to encourage young filmmakers, especially students, to take up short films.

The Golden Kite Awards will be given away on March 13 at Ho Chi Minh City’s Hoa Binh Theater.

At the festival, August Cinema, the Vietnam Film Institute, Vietnam National Documentary and Scientific Film Studio, and National Cinema will screen selected Vietnamese films from various periods.

Fireworks competition to light up Danang

Five firework teams from the UK, S.Korea, Italy, China and Vietnam will compete in the fourth Danang International Fireworks Competition to be held April 29-30.

The competition, which attracted 60,000 people to the seaside tourist destination last year, is themed “The Sparkling Han River” this year.

The participating teams include Jubilee Fireworks of the UK, Hanwha of South Korea, Parente Fireworks A&C SNC of Italia, Panda Fireworks of China and the Danang fireworks team.

Two grandstands capable of seating 25,000 spectators will be built in front of the main stage along the Han River, with tickets costing VND200,000.

Local authorities also plan to organize a series of events like art performances, exhibitions, and sporting activities during the two-day competition.

The tickets will be released in Danang, Hanoi and HCMC.

All set for south central coast tourism festival

Sea and island tourism will be the theme for the National Tourism Year in South Central Coast to be held this year, Trang Quang Nhat, head of the Phu Yen Province Department of culture, Sports and Tourism, has revealed.

The opening ceremony will take place in April 1 Square in Tuy Hoa city and be broadcast live on Vietnam Television’s VTV1 and VTV4 channels.

The festival, to go on until December in seven provinces and cities from Da Nang to Binh Thuan, will feature mountain climbing, an ASEAN traditional music festival, an international sailboat racing, a fireworks competition, a sea village fest, a cultural exchange night, and other events.

Phu Yen has earmarked more than VND107 billion (US$5.1 million) for it.

Online games banned nationwide after 10 pm

Vietnam’s internet service providers (ISPs) must shut down their online-gaming servers from 10 pm to 8 am everyday from March 30, according to a directive from the Ministry of Information and Communication.

The directive is included in the ministry’s instruction issued recently in respect of technical measures to tighten control over online games at all Internet shops across the country.

From now to March 30, ISPs are required to make preparations for suspending their provision of online games to their Internet agents and public Internet shops within the restricted time-frame, the ministry said.

ISPs are also required to complete their re-arrangement of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of their Internet agents prior to March 15.

Vietnamese to boost spending in dining: survey

Vietnam tops Asia-Pacific in increased spending on dining and entertainment, fashion and accessories, and fitness and wellness for the next six months, according to the Mastercard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities.

The survey, released twice yearly, was conducted from 13 September to 11 November 2010, involving 10,502 consumers from 24 markets across Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

In the latest survey, 69 percent of respondents in Asia-Pacific see dining and entertainment as their biggest spending priority in the next 6 months.

The rate is four percent higher than that in the last survey, keeping dining and entertainment at the top spot in consumer purchasing priorities in two consecutive years.

Vietnam takes the lead in the region, with 89 percent of Vietnamese respondents saying they would continue to give their top spending priority to dining and entertainment, followed by Korea (78 percent) and Hong Kong (75 percent).

A similar trend is also observed in all six Middle East nations. Egypt tops the region with 98 percent of their respondents placing dining and entertainment at the top of their purchasing priorities, the highest rate for the entire survey.

In Africa, Morocco ranks first with 70 percent of its surveyed customers considering dining and entertainment as their most important spending priority.

With respect to fashion and accessories, Vietnam tops the Asia-Pacific area, with 78 percent of Vietnamese respondents planning to spend more in this category, followed by China (64 percent), Singapore (58 percent), New Zealand (53 percent) and Australia (50 percent).

Vietnam also has the highest percentage of consumers (69 percent) in Asia Pacific planning to increase their spending in fitness and wellness in the coming six months.

In terms of maintaining the same level of discretionary spending in the 6 months ahead, Vietnam has the largest percentage of respondents (62 percent) saying they would do so, followed by Australia and South Korea (59 percent each).

According to the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience, the most resilient category for discretionary spending is private tuition and extracurricular activities for one’s children.

The category was the most resilient in half of the markets surveyed, with the highest Index scores for the Asia/Pacific going to India (95.7), Vietnam (92.7) and Indonesia (88.9).

Chinese-Vietnamese community celebrates Tet Nguyen Tieu

Thousands of visitors were attracted to the Tet Nguyen Tieu, a traditional cultural festival of the Chinese-Vietnamese community at the Cultural Center in District 5, on February 17.

The festival had interesting cultural activities like musical performances, kylin and dragon dances, folk games, an exhibition of calligraphic paintings and a Chinese cooking fair.

One of the highlights of the event was the lantern festival from February 14 to 17.

Tet Nguyen Tieu is usually celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month of the lunar calendar.

2011 Israeli Film Week opens in Hanoi

Israeli Film Week, co-organised by the Israeli embassy in Vietnam and the Hanoi Cinema Club, will take place in Hanoi from February 21-25.

Five Israeli films: Foul Gesture, Aviva My Love, Kadosh, Afula Express and Passover Fever, will be screened at the Hanoi Cinema Club in Hanoi at 7pm and 9pm during the week.

The event aims to depict the overall picture and special features of Israeli culture.

Famous French artist to perform in Vietnam

Dominique Blanc, a famous French actress, will perform at the Hanoi Opera House on February 24.

She will have a role in the play “The Pain” which is based on the autobiography and diary of Marguerite Duras depicting her life after the liberation of Paris while waiting for her husband to return from the camp.

Moninique Blanc (Moliere Award for Best Actress in 1999 and 2010) will play Marguerite Duras in the play by Patrice Chereau and Thierry Thieu Niang.

Seven Natural Wonders of the World to be announced in November

Voting for seven natural wonders of the world launched in August, 2007 will be closed this year, according to website

The organizing board plans to announce seven wonders on November 11.

By the end of January 2011, Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam ranked 4 in the list of 28 landscapes.

The Quang Ninh provincial People’s Committee has asked the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Management Board of Ha Long Bay to coordinate efforts with relevant agencies to promote the advertising campaign for 60 million votes so that the Vietnamese bay will become a Natural Wonder of the World.

Cyclo Challenge announces bigger better format

After 10 consecutive years the Saigon Cyclo Challenge has changed its format to the Cyclo Challenge Version 2.0, Formula 1 – with cyclos! at 9 a.m. on March 12 at The Crescent in Phu My Hung Urban Zone in HCMC’s District 7.

In addition to raising funds for Saigon Children’s Charity (SCC), the Cyclo Challenge Version 2.0 includes a digital campaign designed to introduce the work of Saigon Children’s Charity to the community to encourage young people to participate in making positive change through working in their communities and volunteering.

This year’s race has new rules and designs that could surprise veterans to the event. The racing teams will be made up of representatives from the event’s exclusive Platinum sponsor and event Partner, VNG, as well as seven Gold sponsors including VinaLiving of VinaCapital Group, Adidas, HSBC, Hoang Long Hoan Vu, Jardines/ JLT / Schindler, MegaStar and Halliburton. These eight teams will face each other in a thrilling team vs. team time trials to find the best and the fastest among them. The three fastest teams will enter the final round. The event is free for spectators.

Another exciting feature of Cyclo Challenge Version 2.0 is the online campaign which was launched on Thursday, three weeks before race day. Cyclo Challenge Version 2.0 , SCC has partnered with Zing Me, Vietnam’s largest social network, and launched a completely new version of the game Parking Challenge, one of the most popular online games on the Zing Me network. By introducing Cyclo Challenge Version 2.0 to the Zing Me audience, Saigon Children’s Charity hopes to reach out and inspire young people to effect positive change for the community.

Previous Cyclo Challenges attracted 2-3,000 people a year. With the increased promotion as well as the elimination of ticket fees, the organizer hopes many more will come and help raise the target of US$30,000 to support disadvantaged children in the southern provinces of Vietnam.

Since 2001 Saigon Children’s Charity’s annual Saigon Cyclo Challenge has attracted thousands of participants and over US$500,000 to help educate children in poverty and those who are disabled or vulnerable by building schools and providing scholarships and vocational training, enabling these children to gain a good education and equip themselves with the skills necessary to work their way out of poverty.

French piano twins play at conservatorium

French twins, Isabelle and Florence Lafitte, will perform piano duos at the HCMC Conservatory of Music at 8p.m. on March 4.

After graduating from the Lyon Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse, the sisters continued their musical studies in the U.S. and Hungary. They have won many international awards for “Duo piano” performances.

During 30 years of playing, they played with orchestras such as the National Orchestra of France, Orchestra Mozarteum of Salzbourg, National Orchestra of Capital Toulouse, Orchestra Philharmonique of Hong Kong, and Orchestra Royal Philharmonique of Flandres

They will play pieces by Claude Debussy, Alexandre Glazouvov, Maurice Ravel and Nicolaï Rimski-Korsakov.

Tickets are VND100,000-150,000-200,000 and available at the HCMC Conservatory of Music, 112 Nguyen Du Street, HCMC’s District 1.

Short films displayed at Himiko Cafe

Himiko Visual Café will host a week of short films called “The beginning frames” by young director Tran Ly Tri Tan from February 17 to 25. There will be a party on opening night starting at 6pm at Himiko Café, 324Bis Dien Bien Phu Street, District 10, HCMC. Four short films and a trailer will be shown in the following week from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. All will have English subtitles.

Tran Ly Tri Tan born 1982, a 2009 graduate of HCMC University of Theater & Cinema, made the short films about people that inspire him.

“I’m obsessed with many things in this life: a handicapped prostitute, a barber working in a hospital, a boy with a dream about magic, a bald visual artist… Those obsessions demand expression and I retell the stories in the film frames. I call them the beginning frames.”

The movies have all been made since 2008. “Cut” (Cat) – the film about a life of a barber - was screened at the San Diego Asian Film Festival (US) and “The boy who saw fire” (Dua be nhin thay lua) – a documentary about the visual artist Nguyen Kim Hoang – appeared at the International Film Schools Festival (France) in 2009.

Provide by Vietnam Travel

ART & ENTERTAINMENT 20/2 - Reports - In depth |  vietnam travel company

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