Overseas student sings, causes stir on YouTube
A Vietnamese student studying music in the UK has recently caused a stir on the Internet with his version of several US hits.
The video clip “I’m yours and Price Tag Medley” of 19-year-old Nguyen Tung Duong has gained 200,000 views and 2,000 likes from YouTube users since being posted September 8.
Although the video was made amateurishly in only one day, it gets positive reviews.
“Though you guy is not a professional artist, this is good. I’ll be waiting for your next song,” a YouTube user nicknamed haibuoitn100 commented.
In the video, Duong sings two songs of singers Jason Mars and Jessi J to try to win a girl’s heart.
“I’m studying song writing so that I can sing my own pop – ballad and R&B songs,” Duong shared his intention.
Duong said singing English songs improves his pronunciation, makes him confident and become more outgoing.
Born in 1992 into a family of Bat Trang ceramic craftsmen in Hanoi, Duong said he inherited his father’s singing voice.
In 2008, he won the English singing contest “Let’s Get Loud” in Hanoi.
Duong is now studying music and performing arts at Hammersmith College.
Sharing volunteer stories to win prizes
To recognize the important work of volunteers in local communities, the LIN Center for Community Development has launched the 2011 Volunteer Stories Competition themed ‘The Power of Sharing’.
The competition aims to highlight the positive impact of volunteers as they share their resources, time, expertise, skills, experiences and their high energy to community activities. Through the contest, organizers also want to encourage volunteers to share their stories to inspire others who have aspirations of volunteering in the community.
Organizers invite all volunteers and volunteer host organizations nationwide to submit their stories in the form of a written essay, photo, and/or short video documentary.
Besides ‘Best of the week’ prizes, this year’s prize categories includes most inspirational story, most committed story, most nurturing volunteer, and the best example of pro bono volunteer service – how a volunteer applied their professional skills and/or experiences to support a non-profit organization (NPO) in their community.
Contestants will be eligible to win one of several attractive prizes worth up to VND10 million. Especially, the LIN Center designed an awards scheme that allows winners to keep half of the prize money and give the other half to an NPO of their choice. Those interested should submit their entries to the email address [email protected] by November 6.
After the contest, organizers will select the best stories to comprise a book to recognize the dedication and commitment of volunteers.
“We hope to raise greater awareness of the skilled volunteers who are working to build long-term capacity for NPOs in Vietnam. While the skilled volunteer model is new to Vietnam, we hope that first-hand examples will help bring to light the important role that skilled volunteers can play in community development,” said Nguyen Thi Thanh Truc, head of the Volunteer Stories competition.
The contest has the support of the Judith Carey Zesiger Family Foundation, SRI Vietnam, UNV Program, Megastar Cineplex, Emerald Digital Marketing and MobiVi.
For more information, contact Ms. Thanh Truc on 38 246 091 or access the website www.cauchuyentinhnguyen.com.
Vietnamese literary works in great demand
Tre Publishing House has reprinted 3,000 more copies of the book titled “Tra lai nu hon” (Returning a Kiss) by writer Duong Thuy just one week after its release, as demand surged amongst readers.
The first print edition of the book by Thuy also numbered 3,000 copies. The book is about Thuy’s journey to many places in Asia such as Myanmar, Korea and Hong Kong.
Thuy is one of the best selling young authors in the country. She is well known for books such as Beloved Oxford, Old fox, Old girl and love story novels, Venice and its gondola love stories and Pigeons on the same dome.
Another book by popular author, Bao Ninh, “The Sorrow of War” which was released in May, was also reprinted by popular demand.
Bao Ninh was awarded the Nikkei Asia Prize for his outstanding contribution to literature for this famous book.
“The Sorrow of War” is a story based on his military service experience. It was published in Vietnam in 1991. The book was translated into Japanese in 1997 and again in 1999. The book is considered by Japanese critics as a quintessential international work of great literature about the war.
Photo exhibition shows Australian journalist’s love for Vietnam
A photo exhibition to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett will open at the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi on September 14.
The exhibition displays pictures of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people, both during wartime as well as in peace time, taken by the journalist who savored a love and deep friendship for Vietnam.
His son, George Burchett has arrived in Hanoi to present writings selected from books including “North of the 17th parallel” (1954-1955), “guerrilla warfare, stories from inside the revolutionary bases” (1963-1964) and “North Vietnam” (1966).
Wilfred Graham Burchett was born in 1922 in Melbourne, Australia. The journalist was known for his reporting of conflicts in Asia and his Communist leanings. He died at the age of 72.
The exhibition will run until October 4.
Exhibition commemorates Australian journalist
A special photo exhibition featuring Wilfred Burchett, one of the outstanding journalists of the 20th century and a great Australian friend of Vietnam opened in Hanoi on September 14.
Under the theme, “Wilfred Burchett and Vietnam”, the exhibition, co-organised by the Ho Chi Minh Museum, Vietnam News Agency (VNA), the Union of Vietnam-Australia Friendship Organisation and Wilfred Burchett’s family, was designed to commemorate the journalist on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birthday (September 16).
Wilfred Burchett had offered much favour and love for the Vietnamese people and land, VNA General Director Tran Mai Huong said, noting that his books, articles and films on Vietnam were read and seen around the world and had a major influence in alerting world public opinion to the American War against Vietnam and rallying support against the war.
On display at the exhibition, which will run until October 4, are 100 photographs taken by the Australian journalist in Vietnam from March 1954 – when he first visited President Ho Chi Minh in his jungle headquarters in Thai Nguyen province – to May 1966, when he recorded the first ever televised interview with the late Vietnamese President.
The two documentary films shown in the exhibition, entitled “North Vietnam – Life under Bombs” and “Maquis de Viet Cong” were produced by Wilfred Burchett in partnership with the French film maker Roger Pic.
Some photos featuring Wilfred Burchett were taken by others, using his camera, and included the famous journalist.
All the photos and films and their captions and complementary information were selected and prepared by Burchett’s son – artist George Burchett.
Having spent nearly 30 years in the journey with the Vietnamese people, the Australian journalist reported the various stages of Vietnam’s struggle on the road to socialism, independence and reunification.
He wrote a total of eight books on Vietnam which become international best sellers and were translated into some 30 languages.
“Wilfred Burchett’s book, like the Vietnamese struggle itself, is a defence of civilization and human morality,” VNA General Director Huong quoted UK philosopher Bertrand Russell as saying.
Preserving Vietnamese language and culture in the global integration process
The State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs held a seminar on preserving Vietnamese language and culture in Hanoi on September 14-15.
Delegates from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also attended the event, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Overseas Vietnamese (OV) from Poland, Germany, Laos, France, the US, the Czech Republic and Russia.
Delegates emphasised the role of OV’s in preserving and developing the country’s culture and language. With about 4.5 million OVs globally, the community has not only shown solidarity, but also advertised Vietnam’s landscape and people all over the world.
Nguyen Thanh Son, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, noted that economic integration and cultural exchange have many impacts on multi-faceted aspects of life.
According to culturist Huu Ngoc, second and third generations of OVs are appearing. He proposed to establish Vietnamese cultural houses in foreign countries to preserve Vietnam’s cultural values for the next generation of OVs.
Delegates also raised the question about clarifying concepts of national values under the circumstances of modern life and urbanisation that are having great influence on Vietnamese lives.
Centaur dance contest kicks off in Vietnam
The international modern dance contest Centaur Showdown organized by Advertisement and Trade Joint-Stock Delta Co., has started in Vietnam.
The competition will run until December with four rounds and total prize money of VND700 million.
The champion team from the final round will be selected to join an international friendship round in which they compete with teams from France and South Korea. The winner will net a prize of VND200 million.
Groups who earlier won championships at amateur or professional competitions are able to participate in the contest.
There are 40 teams in total, including 20 from the north and 20 from the south. The team performing the best manner and skills will continue into the next round. Joining the event on the judging panel will be choreographer Nguyen Viet Thanh and models Ngoc Hien and Ha Anh.
Requiem in Hanoi for two nights only
Vietnamese soprano Ha Pham Thang Long, along with a choir of 150 artists and three international singers, will perform in Hanoi on Thursday and Friday in a bid to introduce the voluminous piece ‘Requiem’ by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, reports Vietnam Plus.
The three international artists are alto Anna Einarsson from Sweden, tenor Ohara Keiroh and bass Ono Kazuhiko from Japan.
The 150 artists come from the Hanoi International Choir, Hanoi Freude Choir and Choir of Teacher’s Central University for Culture and Arts and will perform under the direction of Brit Graham Sutcliffe.
‘Requiem’ will be directed by Japanese conductor Honna Tetsuji.
The piece was composed by Verdi to commemorate the Italian poet-novelist Alessandro Manzoni, a person Verdi strongly admired. The work was performed for the first time on the occasion of the first anniversary of Manzoni’s death.
‘Requiem’ comprises of seven parts, reflecting Verdi’s creativeness and genius via music melody, lyrics and overflowing feelings.
Verdi (1813-1901) is considered to be the opera king and the pride of Italy. His opera works are a harmonious combination between romanticism and patriotism with subjects relating to freedom, heroism and love.
Most of his pieces belong to the grandiose opera style, besides other forms such as marching song, symphony, sacred and secular music.
The concerts will take place at 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday at the Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District. Tickets priced at VND150,000, VND250,000, VND350,000 and VND450,000 are available at the Hanoi Opera House or can be booked at www.ticketvn.com, [email protected]
Lam Kinh Festival honours national hero Le Loi
Every year on August 22 of the lunar calendar, people in Tho Xuan district, Thanh Hoa province, and visitors from across the country flock to the Lam Kinh Festival honouring the death anniversary of national hero Le Loi, also known as Le Thai To, the first king of the Vietnamese Le dynasty.
This year’s festival will be held at the Lam Kinh historical site in Tho Xuan, Le Loi’s homeland, on September 18-19 (lunar August 21-22). The annual event aims to educate the younger generations the national tradition of ‘when drinking water, remember its source’ and commemorate Le Loi who, more than five hundred years ago, defeated the Chinese Ming invaders to win independence for his people and become the first king of the Le dynasty.
The first Lam Kinh festival was held after King Le Thai To’s death on August 22, 1433. His body was taken to his hometown and worshipped at the Lam Kinh citadel, which was built the same year. The citadel eventually became an imperial temple of the late Le dynasty kings.
However, over time and through wars, many architectural structures inside the citadel have been destroyed. In recent years, the State has invested tens of billions of VND to restore and upgrade some of the most significant relics such as the main palace, tombs, King Le’s temple, the temple for the national hero Le Lai, and the exhibition house.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also joined hands with the Thanh Hoa provincial authorities and local people to revive the Lam Kinh Festival, which has been held annually on a large scale since 1995, spreading to many other areas and attracting increasing numbers of visitors from home and abroad.
The festival features many ceremonial rites from the Le dynasty as well as art performances representing historical events such as the ceremony at which Le Loi and his soldiers expressed their faith in the country; Le Loi’s battles and his coronation; the liberation of Dong Quan citadel; and a procession of the ancestral tablet of General Le Lai, who sacrificed himself to save Le Loi. Numerous folk games, martial arts and wrestling competitions are held during the festival, as well as bronze and leather drum performances and exhibitions of fine art and Le dynasty antiques.
Thanh Hoa provincial authorities are now working hard to prepare for the upcoming Lam Kinh Festival. A well organised event will help promote the historical and cultural traditions of Thanh Hoa and its people and offer visitors a chance to learn about a part of the country’s glorious history.
Bong Sen Theatre celebrates Golden Jubilee
The traditional Bong Sen (Lotus) Song and Dance Theatre will celebrate its 50th jubilee anniversary with a special concert at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House on September 18.
The traditional Bong Sen Theatre was founded in 1976 by the fusion of the Southern people’s song and dance troupe and the Liberation song and dance troupe.
Many generation of artists have made outstanding contributions in developing and promoting Vietnamese art, culture and music in foreign countries as well as entertaining the army and audiences within the country.
More than 40 artists from the theatre sacrificed their lives during the past wars, including leading musicians Hoang Viet, Tran Huu Trang, vocalists Quoc Huong, Vinh Bao and Si To.
Following past traditions and the success of veteran artists of the theatre, future artists too will continue to dedicate themselves to the arts and make all effort in bringing entertaining art performances to audiences. The management board also focuses on training young artists, organizing art programs in regions nationwide and promoting Vietnamese folk music, said Meritorious Artist Dang Hung, director of the theatre.
Many of the theatre artists will join the event, such as People’s Artist Phuong Bao, Meritorious Artists To Lan Phuong, Do Loc, Tuan Phong, Quang Ly, Tran Chinh, Ai Xuan, Tuyet Mai, Anh Tuyet, singers Cam Van, Cao Minh, Nhat Sinh and dancers Linh Nga, Bach Van, Trung Hieu, Khanh Toan and Thuy Van.
The 150-minute concert titled “Lotus in the city” will include a documentary of the theatre, introduction of artists and song and dance performances.