By Thanh An – Translated by Uyen Phuong
From the beginning of the year, Ha Tinh Province has recorded many cases of encephalitis and meningitis causing concerns amongst residents in the province.
By Duong Quang – Translated by Anh Quan
The 2-1 victory of Vietnam over Malaysia last Friday helped the Golden Dragons move closer to the final round of World Cup qualifiers.
The winning goal came in the 82nd minute after Nguyen Van Toan was fouled inside the box and Japanese referee Sato Ryuji gave a penalty to Vietnam. Captain Que Ngoc Hai successfully converted the opportunity to secure the important win.
However, Malaysian media were not happy with the referee’s decision to award Vietnam a penalty, with some dubbing it “controversial” and suspecting Toan had dived after short TV replays failed to capture the incident.
In the face of all the backlash, Toan turned the tide to his favor, by releasing a T-shirt line based on the viral incident, using the surge in his Facebook interaction as free marketing. The black T-shirt features the image of Toan’s fall in the game with the text “It’s Real”, implying he didn’t dive.
The “It’s Real” T-shirt by Nguyen Van Toan.
Under the promotion photo for the T-shirt, he wrote a quirky caption: “When you have a talent for business, but your parents want you to play football.”
Many fans found Toan’s move clever and amusing. There were thousands of pre-orders for the T-shirt after just a few days. The limited-edition 1,000 T-shirts with Toan’s signature have been sold out.
Footage captured by a fan in the game later showed a Malaysia player stepping on Toan’s heel, causing the 25-year-old to fall. This video confirmed Toan didn’t dive but was actually fouled and the penalty was a correct decision.
“When I entered the penalty area and used my right foot to control the ball, the Malaysia defender kicked my left heel. I didn’t fake my fall to earn a penalty,” Toan told VnExpress on Saturday.
Vietnam will play UAE in the last group G World Cup Asian qualifier Tuesday night. The Golden Dragons will secure a spot in the final qualìying round if they don’t lose.
The song is public service announcement (PSA) aiming to raise people’s awareness of sanitation against the virus.
An infectiously catchy song released by Vietnam’s health department about protecting yourself against coronavirus has gone viral around the world.
The song, titled Ghen Co Vy , is public service announcement (PSA) formed by the collaboration between musician Khac Hung and Vietnam’s Institute of Occupation and Environmental Health.
|Ghen Co Vy song and dance go viral worldwide over the last days|
Ghen Co Vy , which is a lyrical adaption based on the melody of the V-pop hit Ghen written by Khac Hung, is performed by the tune’s original singers Min and Erik.
The lyrics aim to promote preventative measures against the deadly virus such as hand-washing and sanitation, like “Wash our hands, rub, rub, rub, rub evenly”, “Do not touch eyes, nose, mouth”, and “Limit visits to crowded places”.
It has millions of views online and is getting even more attraction on the TikTok platform where the song has become a dance challenge. Dancer Quang Dang is the one who made the song popular on his TikTok.
Quang Dang told Billboard: “I want to use my own language (dance) to spread the right information about fighting Covid-19 to as many people as possible.”
The song and dance have become viral and received compliments from top US news agencies namely Billboard, the New York Times and it has been highlighted on the latest episode of HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.
Oliver called the song “incredible” and tried out the dance himself. “Vietnam made a song about washing your hands to prevent coronavirus infection, and it absolutely slaps,” Oliver said. “That’s a genuine club banger right there.”
UNICEF wrote on its fan page that “We love this handwashing dance from Vietnamese dancer, Quang Dang.” Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the first step to protect yourself from coronavirus.
BFM TV is a 24-hour rolling news and weather channel based in France with more than 10 million of audience daily has made compliments to Ghen Co Vy song.
Vietnam in particular seems to have nailed the awareness strategy by releasing a wildly catchy PSA in an attempt to keep the country’s residents safe, according to Billboard.
HÀ NỘI Vietnamese rapper Đen Vâu’s latest hit, Trốn Tìm (Hide and Seek), is on the YouTube trending list for Viet Nam with more than 12 million views just after four days after release.
The music video, published on the singer’s birthday on May 13, marks a new stage of development in his career and has won plaudits for its creativity.
Typical of Đen Vâu’s musical style, Hide and Seek has meaningful lyrics, in-depth philosophy about love and life combined with a nostalgic and catchy melody.
It also features MTV, one of the most popular Vietnamese boy bands in the 1990s and was directed by Thành Đồng, a collaborator who has assisted the rapper with many of his projects.
Throughout Hide and Seek , Đen Vâu plays a lone tree witnessing the growth process of a girl in front of a metaphorical and wild background.
The idea for the song came to him after the singer spent time listening to hits of the past and reading the stories of previous generations.
“I suddenly thought that everyone’s timeline is like a game that we still keep playing like we used to in our childhood. The differences are our playmates and the scale of the game; however, its essence remains the same,” Đen Vâu wrote on his Facebook page.
“When we are a child, we play ‘hide and seek’ with our friends, hiding and finding each other behind trees and bushes. On growing up, we find jobs and the future and hide from sadness and unfavourable things. It is the only time that we can’t either find or hide from it. We don’t know what we have to hide from after all, but the way back to the old days is definitely the thing that everyone wants to seek”.
The rapper said the music in Hide and Seek is composed of acoustic instruments that he selected and personally tested.
“I have never spent so much time in the studio for such a rap song. After dozens of hours a week in the studio, I finally felt confident because I didn’t take it lightly,” he said.
MTV said they were surprised to be invited to participate in this project, as they are at an age that is pretty distant from childhood with its innocence and naivety.
“It was difficult to describe the garden that Đen was envisioning. At the time of recording, we were not aware of the poetic images in the video such as the lone tree, the gentle sheep and the prairie,” a representative of MTV said.
They said Đen Vâu ’s work makes him worthy of being one of the symbols of contemporary Vietnamese music.
“Đen Vâu expects the song to be a product that can connect multiple generations. MTV thinks that he has done it. The rhyme, melody, the experience of a poetic rapper — all of which have led the audience through every level of emotion. Every word is extremely considered and carefully arranged.”
Actress Ninh Dương Lan Ngọc said she enjoyed the feeling of watching Hide and Seek as a movie full of nostalgia, colour, melody and imbued with emotions.
Similarly, actress Diệu Nhi complimented Đen Vâu ’s creativity: “Every time he releases a song, I have to listen and read its lyrics countless times, not to memorise but to ponder and absorb. His lyrics are so beautiful and profound.”
Rapper Đen Vâu, whose real name is Nguyễn Đức Cường, was born in the northern province of Quảng Ninh. He was the winner of the Bài Hát Việt (Vietnamese songs) award in 2011 with the song Cây Bàng (Terminalia catappa) and nominee for Best Impressive Singer at VTV Awards 2019 of Việt Nam Television.
Some other videos of the rapper that have entered the YouTube Việt Nam trending list include Hai Triệu Năm (Two Million Years), Một Triệu Like (A Million Likes), Cho Mình Em (For You Only), and Đi Về Nhà (Going Home). VNS
Nguyen Lan Dung
These days, as I go in and out of the residential building where I live in Hanoi, I see stacks of styrofoam food boxes in plastic bags put on a table next to the guard’s room.
As people avoid going out to limit direct contact with others, they have all switched to the e-commerce services. I’ve seen hot meals delivered to my neighbors on all days, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, aside from vegetables, clothes, books, flowers, and many more items, all packed in plastic, styrofoam and other environmentally-unfriendly containers.
The convenience of online order and delivery is obvious and matches perfectly with the current situation and related regulations, so people have been choosing this option without thinking twice. Understandably.
Unfortunately, most fail to understand that their actions are harmful, not just to the environment, but also they themselves and their loved ones, directly.
The National Research Council has announced that the styrene in styrofoam food boxes and other disposable plates and cups can lead to cancer in humans.
The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology has more than once warned of the behavior to use way too many styrofoam food boxes of Vietnamese people.
Currently, most of the styrofoam food boxes in Vietnam are made with polystyrene.
As polystyrene is low molecular, it should never be used to store hot food because the heat will allow it to release the toxic chemical monostyrene, which would be absorbed into the food and then cause harmful impacts on consumer’s liver and even lead to cancer.
Many countries have banned the use of styrofoam containers.
In the natural environment, it is very difficult for styrofoam to disintegrate and almost impossible for it to decompose for up to hundreds of years. Some scientific documents have even claimed that the foam could exist for thousands of years without biodegrading.
Almost all types of food and goods delivered to the residential building I live in are wrapped in styrofoam and plastic. All these containers will later be thrown into the trash bin placed along the hallway of each floor.
Before the pandemic, I rarely saw the bins overflow with trash, but it is a regular sight of late.
The building I live in rises 27 floors with 12 apartments each and it is fully occupied. Each day, if half the number of households on each floor ordered at least one meal, the number of styrofoam boxes discarded into the environment would be 400-500, supposing, very moderately, that each family has three members on average.
Now extrapolate on this from my apartment complex to all such places nationwide, where the use of this packaging is ubiquitous.
We should be terrified, scared out of our skulls!
A woman holds takeaway styrofoam boxes. Photo by Shutterstock/triocean.
Vietnam is most likely not the only nation to face the problem of plastic pollution amid this pandemic. What have they been doing to deal with the impacts of the sharp increase in demand for e-commerce and deliveries?
Japan, always a country to learn certain things from, immediately ramped up mass production of food packaging and containers made of paper and food powder. These are still firm enough to contain food, but they also decompose very easily and is very safe for the environment and therefore, for us.
What about us in Vietnam? The less said the better, I guess.
I once visited a local firm that produces biodegradable packaging on a large scale. It has exported its products to many countries and is quite well known in Southeast Asia, but not in Vietnam.
And this has not happened because the company does not care about the local market. They do care a lot about the excessive use of plastics in Vietnam and want to contribute to change the situation, but their products cannot compete with the cheap, disposable plastic bags and styrofoam packaging that is widely available and used in Vietnam.
In most cases, businesses and consumers in Vietnam are not willing to pay more for packaging, they said.
We should be very concerned about this.
The younger generation in Vietnam eats out a lot and almost all restaurants serve their takeaways in styrofoam boxes and even pack hot soup or broth directly in plastic bags, which is extremely hazardous.
We should remember that it is not just us, but our future generations that will pay dearly for the toxic habits we have developed today.
No excuse, really
So why don’t we use this pandemic as a chance to adjust our lifestyle in a way that betters our health and protects the environment at the same time?
I’ve learned that many small start-up companies have produced eco-friendly products from corn flour or bagasse. We should encourage them and change our habits in small ways that have big impacts. For instance, we should buy food in containers that we take long with us, if we do not want to spend money on biodegradable packaging. We can use other types of food containers at home that we can wash and use again and again. Similarly, we can take our own bags to markets and supermarkets instead of lying at home and making one online order after another.
And when we do order things online, we should carefully consider if we really need what we are purchasing. Do we need that many clothes, all that equipment and devices that are delivered to us, wrapped in layers of plastic? Let us acknowledge and accept that the process to produce many products we use every day are harming the environment in varying degrees of seriousness. Once we accept this, it becomes easier to accept that we should change our habits and outlook.
When we read the news, it appears that we are aware of the problem at all levels – from the individual to the government.
According to the Vietnam Plastics Association, per capita plastic consumption in Vietnam rose from 3.8 kilos per year in 1990 to 54 kilos in 2018.
Vietnam annually produces 1.8 million tons of plastic waste , but only 27 percent is recycled, according to a report released in 2019 by Ipsos Business Consulting, a global growth strategy consulting firm based in Paris.
In addition to the Law on Environmental Protection, former Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had approved in 2019 a project to tighten control over environmental pollution caused by the use of non-degradable plastic bags in daily life.
We also have a national strategy on integrated solid waste management with a vision to 2050. Directive 33 issued in 2020 seeks to strengthening the management, reuse, recycling, treatment and reduction of plastic waste. On April 25, 2019, the former PM sent a statement to all agencies, departments and organizations urging people to say “no” to traditional plastics.
But why have the authorities not taken a very simple, far reaching step, given that our lakes and rivers and canals and beaches are severely polluted?
One answer screams at us. Ban the use of single use plastics.
Just do it.
I know it is not easy to change the habits of just one person, far less a whole nation. But if not now, when?
*Nguyen Lan Dung is a teacher and biology researcher. The opinions expressed are his own.