Installation gives ao dai a metaphorical twist

How does a hundred-year-old ao dai look when it becomes part of a contemporary art installation? A new exhibition juxtaposes the ao dai collection of Thai Kim Lan with a contemporary art installation by German artist Veronika Witte. The new exhibition The Gorgeous Yellow Runs Over Green Leaves juxtaposes a collection of royal ao dai with video interviews by German artist Veronika Witte. Eight individuals, from a 95-year-old court lady of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) to a 19-year-old student, discuss the traditional Vietnamese long gowns. Through them, Witte develops fictional conversations about preservation, usage and the meaning of ao dai. The 12 long gowns come from the collection of Thai Kim Lan, an overseas Vietnamese in Germany. The outfits were worn by the queens and royal members in Hue, Viet Nam's former imperial capital, located in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue. "This is a modest and humble collection with 12 dresses, not many, not formal dresses or court … [Read more...]

Social News 19/11

Bribery scandal targets officials of many enterprises A Ministry of Health (MoH) working group investigating the bribery scandal involving American firm Bio-Rad Laboratories has revealed that senior officials and employees of dozens of local enterprises may be implicated. The documents uncovered to date reveal that 22 hospitals, 8 institutes, 4 medicine and pharmaceutical universities, 3 project management boards and 15 clinic centres, all purchased products of Bio-Rad during the relevant period. The MoH reported that 13 Vietnamese firms imported medical equipment of Bio-Rad from 2005 to 2010, and 25 other enterprises were authorized to buy and sell products, including testing and diagnostics equipment supplied by the US firm in Vietnam. The Ministry is currently coordinating with relevant agencies to expand the scope of the investigation to include the senior officials and employees of the 90 enterprises and conduct further investigation into the fraud. The US Securities and … [Read more...]

Social News 29/10

13 sailors rescued after collision at sea The Da Nang Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre saved 13 sailors off the coast of the central province of Quang Tri on Sunday after an unknown ship hit and sunk their vessel. The ships collided 56 nautical miles off the shore of Da Nang while the sailors were taking a rest around noon. No injuries were reported. HCM City approves change to English curriculum The HCM City People's Committee has asked the Department of Education and Training to pull the plug on its pilot project and replace it with an integrated English teaching curriculum. At present, mathematics and science have been taught in English at public schools under a pilot Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) teaching project. Chairman of the municipal People's Committee Le Hoang Quan has assigned the Department of Education and Training to work with the UK Consulate General in HCM City to discuss problems involving the CIE project. He also asked Vice Chairman of the … [Read more...]

Social News 28/10

President Obama thanks Vietnamese American nurse Nurse Nina Pham - the first person to catch Ebola on US soil has been declared free of the deadly disease 13 days after testing positive, clearing the way for President Obama to give her a big hug in the oval office. "I feel fortunate and blessed to be standing here today. Throughout this ordeal, I have put my faith in God and my medical team." Pham said on October 24 at a press conference. "The Ebola experience was a very stressful and challenging time," she said adding "I am on my way back to recovery even as I reflect on how many others have not been so fortunate." White House press secretary Josh Earnest called Pham's case "a pretty apt reminder we do have the best medical infrastructure in the world." "The track record of treating Ebola patients in this country is very strong, particularly for those who are quickly diagnosed," Earnest said. Children mistakenly injected with water instead of vaccine In Dong Thap Province, 60 … [Read more...]

Social News 29/7

Khanh Hoa suffers factory pollution Residents in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa have been suffering from high levels of pollution caused by hundreds of unregistered manufacturers operating in populated areas, according to the Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper. Reports from the Khanh Hoa Department of Environment and Natural Resources pointed out that 246 private factories, responsible for the pollution, manufacture bricks, seafood, fish sauce, and other items and are located in built-up areas across the province. Also, the municipal Department of Industry and Trade has conducted random environmental inspections at some 29 manufacturers in the province. The results of these inspections revealed that the permitted noise and dust pollution levels were exceeded by amounts up to twice the permitted levels of pollution. Noise and dust pollution were mostly found in rice milling, textiles, charcoal factories and traditional brickyards in the province. "Fumes, dust and noise … [Read more...]

Social News 12/7

New labour safety law sets workplace rules The new Law on Labour Safety aims to offer better protection for workers, setting out new workplace safety regulations and providing support for victims of workplace accidents and occupational diseases to switch jobs. At a conference held on Monday by the National Assembly's Committee of Social Affairs, Director of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs' Labour Safety Department Ha Tat Thang said that as the number of enterprises increased and more companies applied modern technology, policy improvements were needed to ensure labour safety. Because the issue of labour safety was not only covered in the Labour Code but also many other legal documents, it was difficult for law enforcement to take action, especially at local levels, he said. Moreover, labour safety and hygiene standards needed to be revisited in the context of production expansion and the application of new technologies and production materials. The Labour Safety … [Read more...]

Social News Headlines 10/7

Vietnam among top five nations with highest abortion rate A July 8 meeting in HCM City marking World Population Day announced that on a per capita basis, Vietnam has one of the five highest abortion rates in the world. Delegates at the event reported that Vietnam has the highest abortion rate in the Southeast Asian region, and its birth rate among adolescents aged 15-19 years is rather high (46/1,000). They pointed out that Ho Chi Minh City has the highest abortion rate in Vietnam, particularly among adolescents whose rate increases year by year, from 2% in 2010 to 4% in 2013. They attributed HCM City's increasing rate to young people's limited knowledge about reproductive health care, saying that the city should step up information dissemination and provide consultancy service to reduce abortion rate, particularly for teenagers. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), adolescent pregnancy results in negative consequences for adolescent girls, both physically and … [Read more...]

Social News Headlines 16/6

Vietnam, US discuss non-traditional gas development Safely and effectively developing non-traditional gas resources without damaging the environment was the focus of a workshop held in Hanoi on June 12-13. Jointly organized by the US Embassy in Vietnam and the Ministry of Industry and Trade's General Department of Energy, the event attracted a crowd of experts from both countries operating in the field, along with those from the member nations of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and ASEAN. According to the US Embassy's commercial counselor Laura Stone, the recent development of non-traditional natural gas sources brought many benefits, such as helping ensure energy security, creating jobs and generating other economic and environmental benefits. Participants discussed technologies available for sustainably exploiting non-traditional gas resources in the region, while sharing practical experience in building regulations and measures to protect the … [Read more...]

Social News Headlines 25/3

Bach Mai hospital saves life of baby with measles The Bach Mai General Hospital's paediatrics faculty has saved the life of a three-month-old girl, the hospital's second-youngest measles patient, who was discharged from the hospital on March 20. The baby, Dang Truc Chi from Thanh Tri District in Ha Noi, was brought to the hospital one month ago with symptoms of measles, such as high fever, a rash, a serious cough and sniffling. The faculty director, Nguyen Tien Dung, said that measles had attacked her lungs and destroyed her immune system. "That's why the baby was given emergency aid with a respiration machine, an antibiotic injection and an antibody containing drugs and Vitamin A," explained Dung. "The condition of the girl has improved after one month of treatment. She can now breathe normally and breastfeed," added Dung. Her three-year-old brother was hospitalised the same day with measles. He was, however, discharged one week ago as his condition was … [Read more...]

Social News Headlines 11/3

Taxi driver jailed for fraud and robbery The People's Court in the capital sentenced a taxi driver to three years and six months' imprisonment on robbery charges yesterday. The driver, Nguyen Van Tien, 38, from northern Hung Yen Province's Hung Yen Town, charged 27-year-old Xiechao Yang of China US$600 for a taxi ride from the Old Quarter's Hang Bac Street to a sauna restaurant in Hang Muoi Street, and from the restaurant to his hotel in Hoan Kiem District's Tho Xuong Street - over 200 times the regulated fare. According to the verdict, Tien locked the car door, threatened the tourist and stole over VND23 million ($1,100) after the tourist did not agree to pay the charge and only gave the driver VND200,000 ($9.5). The tourist reported the incident to local police. Doctors receive certificates of merit for saving victims of collapsed suspension bridge Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc awarded certificates of merit on behalf of the Prime Minister to persons involved … [Read more...]

Social Headlines 23/1

Transport Ministry gets tough on speeding busesPassenger bus enterprises face suspension of operations for up to three months if their vehicles exceed the speed limit or pick up and drop off passengers at unauthorised spots, according to a Ministry of Transport circular that will take effect in March.With more and more transport enterprises violating traffic regulations, the new rule aims to curb these transgressions, said Khuat Viet Hung, head of the Department of Transport under the Ministry of Transport.Issued late last month, the document also stipulates that enterprises will have their business license revoked for one to three months if they offer less than 70 per cent of their registered routes for one month or at least 30 per cent of their buses have their permits withdrawn for one year. Bus permits, displayed at the front of the vehicle, are withdrawn when drivers violate traffic regulations. Year-end meeting attracts over 700 overseas VietnameseOver 700 Vietnamese people from … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 9/2

Trade surplus with Malaysia hits over US$1blnTwo-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Malaysia reached more than US$7.9 billion in 2012, up 17 percent from the previous year.According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Malaysia, Vietnam's exports to Malaysia were estimated at US$4.5 billion, representing a trade surplus of more than US$1 billion.Among key export items were crude oil, computers and components, rubber, rice,mobile handsets, steel, vehicles and spare parts, and coffee, while its main imports included electronics and appliances,  animalfat, vegetable oil, plastics, and machinery and equipment. Bilateral trade turnover is expected to hit US$8 billion this year, of which Vietnam's exports will generate US$5 billion in value, a year-on-year rise of 11 percent. HCM City sets target of export upsurgeHCM City aims to post export turnover of US$34 billion this year, a year-on-year increase of 13.5 per cent, according to the City's department of industry and trade.The ambitious … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 11/11

Beverage cans plant opens in DanangCrown Danang Beverage Packaging Co., a member of the U.S.-based Crown Holding Inc., on Wednesday opened a beverage can plant worth over US$40 million in Danang City.Constructed on an area of 3.6 hectares in Lien Chieu Industrial Park, the plant can produce over 700 million cans annually.Crown Danang Beverage Packaging Co. is supplier of aluminum cans for VBL Danang Co., Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corp., the plant of Suntory Pepsico in Quang Nam Province, the plant of Coca-Cola in Danang, the Dung Quat beer plant in Quang Ngai Province and other beer and beverage companies in the central region.According to Lien Chieu Industrial Park's investor, the Crown beverage can plant is the biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) project at the industrial park. After this huge project, more potential FDI projects are expected to come to the industrial park in the coming time.Firms with bad debt can still seek new loansThose businesses in HCMC struggling with … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 11/10

Beverage cans plant opens in DanangCrown Danang Beverage Packaging Co., a member of the U.S.-based Crown Holding Inc., on Wednesday opened a beverage can plant worth over US$40 million in Danang City.Constructed on an area of 3.6 hectares in Lien Chieu Industrial Park, the plant can produce over 700 million cans annually.Crown Danang Beverage Packaging Co. is supplier of aluminum cans for VBL Danang Co., Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corp., the plant of Suntory Pepsico in Quang Nam Province, the plant of Coca-Cola in Danang, the Dung Quat beer plant in Quang Ngai Province and other beer and beverage companies in the central region.According to Lien Chieu Industrial Park's investor, the Crown beverage can plant is the biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) project at the industrial park. After this huge project, more potential FDI projects are expected to come to the industrial park in the coming time.Firms with bad debt can still seek new loansThose businesses in HCMC struggling with … [Read more...]

Social Highlights for November 4

Shop blaze kills four family membersFour members of a family were killed after their general store suddenly caught fire in southern Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province's Toc Tien Commune yesterday morning. The victims are a couple, their 15-year-old son and 74-year-old father. The cause of the blaze remains unknown.Rescue teams failed to save the victims because it took time to break down the family's automatic rolling door, which was tightly closed, when the blaze occurred at 1am.The case is under investigation.Dozens survive passenger bus fireDozens managed to escape a passenger bus with bunk beds after it was on fire in Ha Tinh province early on November 4.The North-South express bus caught fire when it was travelling past Phu Viet commune, Thach Ha district, at 04.00am.The blaze was said to break out at the rear-end of the bus and quickly spread across the vehicle.Passengers managed to get out of the bus before local fire fighters put out the roaring fire within 30 minutes.   Investigation … [Read more...]

Shop blaze kills four family members

Shop blaze kills four family membersFour members of a family were killed after their general store suddenly caught fire in southern Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province's Toc Tien Commune yesterday morning. The victims are a couple, their 15-year-old son and 74-year-old father. The cause of the blaze remains unknown.Rescue teams failed to save the victims because it took time to break down the family's automatic rolling door, which was tightly closed, when the blaze occurred at 1am.The case is under investigation.Dozens survive passenger bus fireDozens managed to escape a passenger bus with bunk beds after it was on fire in Ha Tinh province early on November 4.The North-South express bus caught fire when it was travelling past Phu Viet commune, Thach Ha district, at 04.00am.The blaze was said to break out at the rear-end of the bus and quickly spread across the vehicle.Passengers managed to get out of the bus before local fire fighters put out the roaring fire within 30 minutes.   Investigation … [Read more...]

Immortal ‘statue’ in the heart of Mekong Delta people and troops

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PANO - Troops and people in localities of Military Zone 9, along with the whole country, offered incense to General Vo Nguyen Giap, the most excellent disciple of President Ho Chi Minh and the Eldest Brother of the Vietnam People's Army. On October 13th, Division 330 of Military Zone 9 held a memorial service for the legendary general. Captain Dinh Viet Hieu, an officer from the division's Department of Staff, said that he was proud of being born in the revolutionary province of Quang Binh, the native homeland of General Vo Nguyen Giap. He promises to try his best to fulfil assigned tasks, deserving to be a soldier of Uncle Ho and a local of Quang Binh. During the two-day state funeral for General Vo Nguyen Giap, millions of people in the Mekong Delta remembered the general, an outstanding son of the Vietnamese nation. Local residents of different ages, no matter whether it is rainy or sunny, flocked to memorial places to show their deep gratitude to the general. Sergeant Tran Kim … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 12/10

Vingroup secures loan from international marketVingroup Joint Stock Company has announced that it has completed the negotiation and signing of an international syndicated loan agreement worth US$100 million.Vingroup's leaders said that the US$100 million loan will be disbursed in October with Libor interest rates of 5.5% per year and will be paid gradually for three years. The loan  aims to develop Vingroup's future real estate projects.Credit Suisse AG (Singapore), Maybank Investment Bank Berhad and Deustche Bank AG (Singpaore) will arrange the loan.With the loan, Vingroup will become the first property company in Vietnam to approach the international syndicated loan market successfully. Earlier, Vingroupwas the first Vietnamese business to issue the US$100 million international convertible bond in 2009.Last year, Vingroup issued US$300 million convertible bonds. In May 2013, Vingroup and investment fund Warburg Pincusofficially signed an agreement under which Warburg Pincus will … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 6/10

Vietnam Public Commercial Joint Stock Bank makes its debutThe State Bank of Vietnam's Deputy Governor Dang Thanh Binh granted a license to the Vietnam Public Commercial Joint Stock Bank (PVcom Bank) in Hanoi on October 3.The PVcomBank was established following the merger of the PetroVietnam Finance Joint Stock Corporation (PVFC) and the Western Commercial Joint Stock Bank.PVcomBank has total assets of over VND9,000 billion with a charter capital of over VND100,000 billion.PVcomBank aims to provide services such as mobilization of capital, payment and development of retail services, allocation of capital to major projects, foreign exchange services in both local and international market. It has a network of 102 transaction branches throughout the country.SBV Deputy Governor Dang Thanh Binh expressed his wish that with the advantages of two large-scale credit organizations and modern financial management technologies, PVcomBank will become one of Vietnam's largest trading banks.SBV is … [Read more...]