Cultured food life kefir
The museum sector is making use of the advancements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to attract visitors. Bùi Hoài Sơn, Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts talks to Hà Nội Mới (New Hà Nội) newspaper on this issue
As a policy and strategy consultant for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on culture, especially in building dossiers for Hà Nội to be recognised as a UNESCO creative city, how has the National Institute of Culture and Arts contributed to the application of technology in the protection of cultural heritage?
The fact that Hà Nội became a member of the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities is of particular importance to the construction and development of Vietnamese culture and people and the capital. This is not only a fact that affirms Việt Nam’s cultural value on the world map but also helps the country be hand in hand with the biggest trend in cultural development – that is to take creativity as the nucleus for development.
However, it is necessary to take practical actions to implement commitments with UNESCO, to promote the strengths of the capital, especially to exploit cultural heritage values. The cultural heritage treasure of the capital is extremely massive with 5,922 monuments, 1,793 intangible cultural heritages and 1,206 festivals. Without efficient exploitation, we are not only at fault with the present generation, but also our ancestors and future generations.
Over the years, the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts has built a database of intangible cultural heritage for the country, on that basis, collecting 42 intangible cultural heritages of Hà Nội, with 254 Betacam and DVCAM tapes, as well as 10 scientific films, digitised.
The application of technological achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the protection and promotion of heritage value not only helps better protect cultural heritage but also helps it come closer to the public. Thanks to the application of technology, young people – the public group that cultural managers want to influence the most to change perceptions and behaviour towards heritage – are excited to approach and enjoy the value of the cultural property. This is a good sign for us to apply technology to protect and promote heritage values in a new context.
Facing the trend of applying technology to promote the value of heritage, how are museums in Việt Nam changing to better perform as important cultural institutions?
Museums are especially important for educating and disseminating the value and meaning of cultural heritage as well as the nation’s traditions, helping the public better understand the country, culture and people. In any country, museum institutions are paid a lot of attention to and often considered as public cultural institutions, sponsored by the state.
In many countries, making museums attractive and drawing visitors has become the central task of cultural regulators and museums. Art education and public development for museums is a regular activity, and information technology makes these activities more interesting and lively. Therefore, digitising museums is a priority field. Major museums such as the Louvre (France), National Museum London (UK), Metropolitan Museum of New York (US), National Folk Museum of Korea and Museum of Chinese History have digitised most of their artworks in 3D and virtual tours, allowing viewers to use smart mobile devices to learn about the works, collections, authors and other information.
Recently, museums in Việt Nam, especially in Hà Nội, such as the National History Museum, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum and Ethnology Museum, have tried their best to apply technology to display activities, creating a great attraction. Art education and public development have been noticed by museums by offering many programmes and products applying new technologies.
The implementation of digitalisation applications and virtual museums through 3D models helps visitors better understand the author, work or context, critiques related to heritage, works of art, even restore ruins that are normally difficult to imagine, such as the Lý palace system in the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long or a 3D model of Diên Hựu Pagoda.
Can you share more about the work the National Institute of Culture and Arts of Việt Nam has been doing to help museums attract visitors?
We realise that the unit itself must become a digital organisation, with close links with domestic and foreign organisations. Since 2020, the institute has worked with the Korea Intangible Cultural Heritage Center (ICHCAP) – one of the three UNESCO regional centres in Asia, to develop the institute’s data bank into a satellite station of UNESCO in the Asia-Pacific region. We have digitised intangible cultural heritages in a common format, sharing data on ICHCAP’s information network with 10 member countries. International co-operation helps us better understand our situation, improving our operations and connecting with museums.
The institute is supporting the Việt Nam Museum of Ethnology to digitise a number of materials to increase the attractiveness of this museum’s exhibitions. Since there are digital products that show artefacts, visitors are more excited about the experience and coming to the museum. In addition, the institute is about to complete the construction of an electronic portal to connect, provide information and animate museum activities.
The application of technology has created new vitality for museum activities, which has long been considered as less innovative and not attractive. – VNS
According to regulations, to export food and processed agricultural products to Muslim countries, enterprises will have to comply with regulations, production, and processing processes of agricultural and food products that meet Halal food standards and must receive a Halal certificate.
Meeting these requirements, at present, some Vietnamese enterprises have been promoting the export of their products to Halal markets, such as Vinamilk, Nestlé Vietnam, and Minh Phu Seafood.
A representative of Minh Phu Seafood Corporation said that the company exports shrimp products to the Islamic market, with each export up to 12 containers.
At its peak, the company can export up to 15 containers per month, about 300 tons. Products for this market account for an average of 3-5 percent of the company’s export structure. The representative of this company also said that to successfully export to the Muslim market, Minh Phu must ensure that neither its products nor shrimp feed contains protein from pork.
Ms. Le Thi Thanh Mai, Inter Market Supply Manager at Nestlé Vietnam, said that the Halal food market has great potential and is growing day by day. Nestlé Vietnam has successfully exported thousands of tons of products to consumers in the markets of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
With a total estimated population of 400 million people, of which the majority are Muslims, this is one of the market groups that Nestlé sees as potential and will continue to boost exports. The company serves consumers in the aforesaid markets with some product lines, such as oyster sauce, Maggi dipping sauce, Milo powder, Nescafe instant coffee powder, and Nescafe Dolce Gusto instant coffee tablet.
Need to ensure standards
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Halal food market is considered to be extremely potential, with a population of about 2 billion people worldwide. With the current food production and processing capability of Vietnam, this is a great opportunity. The potential of market development for this market of Vietnam will be more and more open when enterprises ensure good implementation of Halal’s standards. To enter this market, enterprises need to have a certain understanding of the Muslim culture, customs, tastes, and beliefs.
To receive Halal certification, first of all, the raw materials, additives, and chemicals used to produce those products must be proven by reliable invoices and records that clearly state the ingredients. Alcohol is not allowed to use in any way directly in the products. Animal-derived ingredients are required to have Halal certification. Especially, the entire production line of Halal products must be separated from non-Halal products. For enterprises with production lines related to pork on the premises of their factories, they must completely separate those production lines from the Halal product line and must have Muslim people (one person per shift) to participate in the production management of Halal products.
Although the Halal food market has such principles, according to the MoIT, enterprises still have to promote marketing and market research, quickly update changes and new consumption trends consumers in these markets. Ms. Le Thi Thanh Mai shared that each import market will have a different Halal certification unit. For instance, the Indonesian market requires Halal MUI certification, which can take enterprises months for preparation and be assessed, appraised, and certified by the competent authorities of Indonesia.
By Minh Hai – Translated by Thanh Nha
Judges at the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year photo contest, an annual event sponsored by UK-based The Food Awards Company, has selected several submissions by Vietnamese photographers to take home top prizes in the 2021 iteration of the event.
The contest – launched in 2011 to “celebrate the very best in food photography and film from around the world” – accepts photo and video submissions of foods for its various categories, including photographs of food styled for magazines, as well as family themed, food production, and even food in politics categories.
With the competition now in its 10th year, judges sifted through almost 10,500 entries from more than 70 countries before announcing the winners online during a live-streamed event on April 28.
|‘Taste’ shows a young family preparing food in their home in Lichang, Shanxi, China. This photo won the Grand prize at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Li Huaifeng|
Chinese photographer Li Huaifeng took home the grand prize with her submission, titled ‘Taste,’ depicting a young family preparing food in their home in Lichang, Shanxi.
|‘Enjoying’ depicts a street vendor selling che (sweet soup) and tao pho (soya bean curd) in Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. The photo won the ‘Street Food’ category at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Tran Viet Van.|
Meanwhile, Vietnamese lensman Tran Van Viet triumphed in the ‘Street Food’ category with his submission ‘Enjoying’ – a magnificent shot of a street vendor selling che (sweet soup) and tao pho (soya bean curd) in Hoi An City.
“[Hoi An City is] an old town and popular tourist destination in central Vietnam where there are many sweet soup sellers,” Viet said.
“Watching these four young girls passionately eating soup made me feel that life is beautiful despite the ongoing pandemic.”
Thong Nguyen, another Vietnamese photographer, was awarded first prize in the ‘Food at the Table’ category with his photo ‘Breakfast at Weekly Market,’ which depicts locals in a mountainous area of northern Vietnam enjoying pho for breakfast at a local weekly market.
|‘Feeding the Ducks’ shows a farmer feeding a flock of ducks in Vietnam. This photo won second prize in the ‘Food in the Field’ category at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Nguyen Phuoc Hoai|
A photo named ‘Feeding the Ducks,’ snapped by Vietnamese photographer Nguyen Phuoc Hoai, won second prize in the ‘Food in the Field’ category.
Other works by Vietnamese candidates made a shortlist highlighted in a gallery on the contest’s official website.
This year, the finalists’ images will be exhibited at The Royal Photographic Society in Bristol as part of a free exhibition set to run from November 20 to December 12.
|‘Winter Breakfast’ shows locals in a mountainous area of northern Vietnam enjoying breakfast at home. This photo is part of the commended gallery at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Nguyen Huu Thong.|
|‘Lychee Season’ shows a Vietnamese woman arranging lychees in a basket after a harvest. This photo is part of the commended gallery at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Nguyen Huu Thong.|
|‘Fishing Net’ shows fish harvesting in Vietnam. This photo is part of the commended gallery at Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2021. Photo: Nguyen Phuoc Hoai.|
HÀ NỘI – For more than 20 years, the space under the stairs of the first floor in the A3 apartment building in Nghĩa Tân Ward of Hà Nội has been home to bookshelves.
Newcomers or those who first visit the building may be surprised as the bookshelves and reading materials there belong to no one. They are shared and look after by the residents of the building.
The mini library has bookshelves, tables and chairs and books of all genres shelved in different areas such as classics, fiction, non-fiction, history, healthcare, science, law, memoirs as well as daily newspapers.
Đào Thị Anh Tuấn, a resident of the building, has spent many years voluntarily arranging newspapers and books at the library.
Tuấn said before 1999, people usually parked their motorbikes, ran small business stalls or occupied the stair area for personal purposes.
“Some retired people and veterans living in the building had an idea to set up a public library there, making it the first special cultural stair in the city,” Tuấn said.
It was then turned into a common cultural area for the community where people can go to read books, newspapers and talk to each other.
“We called on the residents to donate newspapers, books, tables and chairs,” she said, adding they set some rules to ensure the reading corner runs effectively. For example, every household takes turns to clean the stair daily, remove advertisements or drawings on walls and funds are raised by the residents to buy more books and newspapers.
“For over 20 years, the stair has been a familiar place for the building’s residents to gather and share their reading habit,” she said, adding that such activities also helped tighten the relationship of the different generations, neighbours and solidarity of the community.
While the young find interesting or useful resources for their studies or reading pleasure, older people enjoy reading news and events from daily newspapers. Many of them come to read and discuss news and events together.
Đỗ Trung Minh, a retired official who helps run the library, said the space under the stairs at the A3 building was quite large – about 20 sq.m, so it used to be used for parking.
Some people even left garbage there, he said.
“Since we cleaned up and opened a reading corner there, the area looks much better and residents have a place to meet, read and talk,” he said.
Another resident, Nguyễn Thị Hát, said she found many useful medical books and materials at the small library under the stairs.
“I usually read books and articles about how to stay healthy and avoid illness,” she said.
Đào Tùng Dương, a secondary school pupil, said he usually went to the library to read after school.
“Reading printed books and magazines is better for my eyes rather than using a mobile phone,” Dương said.
In the era of the internet, tablets and e-readers, reading culture is still maintained and promoted here, thanks to the “cultural stair”.
From this model, many community activities have been organised such as the weekly cleaning of the whole building, fundraising for people suffering from natural disasters and cooking competitions.
The success of the “cultural stair” of the A3 apartment block has even been spread to dozens of other neighbouring apartment buildings in Nghĩa Tân Ward.
The ward’s authorities have called on other buildings to implement the same model which has proved effective in promoting the reading culture and community connection. VNS
The program is a part of activities to mark the 46th anniversary of the liberation of South Vietnam and National Reunification Day and other major national anniversaries.
The event is divided into three parts featuring well-prepared performances by famous artists and singers, namely Thai Bao, Duc Long, Dang Duong, My Linh, Pham Thu Ha, Anh Tho, Thanh Le, and more.
* On this occasion, the Hanoi municipal Department of Culture and Sports will hold six major art shows on big stages at the My Dinh National Stadium, in the center of Tay Ho and Ha Dong districts at 20:00 on April 30 and May 1, both at the Ly Thai To Monument and in the center of Long Bien and Thanh Tri districts at 20:00 on May 19.
These art performances will be staged by artists from the Hanoi Cheo Theater, the Hanoi Circus and Variety Arts Theater, and the Hanoi Music Song and Dance Theater.
* Moreover, the People’s Army Cinema will screen a film entitled “Khuc mua”, directed by director Bui Tuan Dung.
The film tells about survivors with deep psychological wounds from those who died during wartime.
Along with this story, other people are striving to overcome their pains to rebuild a new life.
The film will be shown in military units and aired on national television stations.
Translated by Quynh Oanh