By Nguyen Trang – Translated by Kim Khanh
Sea games wushu
HÀ NỘI — The main festival day commemorating the death anniversary of the Hùng Vương (Hùng Kings), considered the founders of Việt Nam, began yesterday with an incense offering ceremony at the main temple complex in the northern province of Phú Thọ.
At 6am on Wednesday morning, the 10th day of the third lunar month, President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc – along with representatives from the Party, State and Government, as well as people from across the country – started the pilgrimage at the central square at the foot of Mount Nghĩa Lĩnh and made their way up to the Đền Thượng (High Temple) at the top of the mountain.
A unit of the national guard carrying the national flag, the festival flag and a large wreath with the letters “Eternally remembering the Hùng Kings’ founding of the nation”, led the pilgrimage, followed by a group of young women in red traditional áo dài carrying flowers and offerings to the late kings along with 100 young men in ancient-style clothing representing 100 descendants of the Âu Cơ, a mountain fairy, and Lạc Long Quân, a sea dragon lord, who make up the creation myth of Vietnamese people.
Legend has it that the eldest son of Lạc Long Quân and Âu Cơ was made king. He named the country Văn Lang and set up the capital in Phong Châu (modern-day Việt Trì City), beginning 18 dynasties of Hùng Kings.
Chairman of the Phú Thọ Province People’s Committee Bùi Văn Quang, in his role as head of the ceremony this year, read a speech to commemorate the Hùng Kings, stressing the importance of the death anniversary, praising the merits of the kings and of Âu Cơ and Lạc Long Quân and extolling the perseverance of the ancestors in maintaining the integrity of the country’s sovereignty.
Quang also reported to the spirits of the kings on the major achievements the country has made in đổi mới (reforms), international integration, and socio-economic development.
The Phú Thọ official prayed for the legendary ancestors to send good weather, repel diseases – especially the COVID-19 pandemic, and bring about wealth and happiness for Vietnamese people near and far.
The speech also contained pledges to build a strong and prosperous country and to maintain peace and friendship with all humanity.
After offering incense at the High Temple, President Phúc and delegates laid floral tributes at the Hùng Kings Temple, and at the mural ‘Uncle Hồ talking with the vanguard units’ at the crossroad area adjacent to Giếng Temple.
The ceremony and related activities were held with COVID-19 precautions in place, though crowds of people proved hard to control and resulted in congestion around the highest temple.
The worship of the Hùng Kings was recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013.
The kings chose Nghĩa Lĩnh Mountain, the highest in the region, to perform rituals devoted to rice and sun deities to pray for healthy crops.
To honour their contributions to the nation, a complex of temples dedicated to the kings was built on Nghĩa Lĩnh Mountain, and the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as the national commemorative anniversary for the kings.
An estimated 20,000 Vietnamese from all corners of the country arrived in Phú Thọ to pay their tributes in the morning.
Some 1,000 security personnel were deployed to maintain order at the complex and divert visitors from overwhelmed areas to other monuments, museums and temple at the site.
Many localities in the country, including HCM City, Cần Thơ and Đà Lạt, also held ceremonies to pay their respects to the legendary founders.
The festival ends on Thursday. — VNS
A man from Vietnam’s Central Highlands has been arrested and probed for sexually abusing his 14-year-old stepdaughter since late February.
Police in Dak G’Long District, Dak Nong Province confirmed Wednesday morning they had arrested and initiated legal proceedings against Ly Van Hieu, 53, for child sexual abuse.
The decision has been approved by the Dak G’Long People’s Procuracy.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the latest abuse took place on April 5.
Hieu returned home after drinking alcohol with his friends that day and noticed T.T.T. – his 14-year-old stepdaughter – was playing games on her smartphone, while her mother was outside.
The man started sexually abusing the girl on her bed.
T. tried to resist but she was overpowered by Hieu.
The girl later told her aunt about the incident, before the two reported the case to local police.
During the investigation, Hieu attempted to run away and was eventually taken into custody on April 14.
At the police station, he admitted to having sexually abused his stepdaughter multiple times since late February when her mother was not at home.
E-commerce grows steadily despite Covid-19
By Van Ly
|E-commerce has grown sturdily amid the Covid-19 pandemic – PHOTO: VNA|
HCMC – Although the Covid-19 pandemic led to the downturn of most sectors, e-commerce grew steadily in Vietnam last year and would maintain its solid growth momentum this year, according to the E-Business Index 2021 Report of the Vietnam E-commerce Association (Vecom).
The E-business Index was based on three criteria comprising human resources and infrastructure in information technology, e-commerce transactions between businesses and consumers, and e-commerce transactions among businesses.
Data of Vecom showed that Vietnam’s e-commerce market grew 15% last year to some US$13.2 billion. Of this, online retail grew 46%, ride-hailing and food delivery rose 34% and online marketing and games rose 18%.
Online marketing revenues increased to US$820 million in 2020 from US$329 million in 2015 and US$716 million in 2019. Online marketing revenues are expected to reach nearly US$1 billion in 2021.
Online transactions by domestic payment cards through the National Payment Corporation in 2020 rose 185% in volume and 200% in value compared with 2019.
Momo, the biggest e-wallet in the country, recorded 403 million transactions worth some US$14 billion last year, a 3.5-fold increase in both volume and value compared with 2019. The number of new users in 2020 reached 23 million, nearly doubling that of the previous year.
HCMC still led the E-business Index with 67.6 points, followed by Hanoi with 55.7 points. Danang trailed far behind in third place with 19 points.
Binh Duong Province ranked fourth, while Dong Nai Province climbed two notches from last year to the fifth place this year. Haiphong City moved down to sixth place from third last year.
Most of the provinces with the weakest growth of e-commerce are located in the North or the Mekong Delta.
A representative of Vecom said the e-commerce development gap between HCMC, Hanoi and other cities and provinces remained very large. The two biggest cities accounted for half of the country’s total business-to-customer e-commerce transaction value.
According to Vecom, businesses in Vietnam have become more dynamic and gradually adapted to e-commerce. The growing number of online consumers has resulted in growth in many e-commerce industries such as ride-hailing, food delivery, online payments, online training and online marketing.
The E-Business Index 2021 Report was released by Vecom within the framework of the Vietnam Online Business Forum on April 20.