Last update 1/12/2012 2:19:00 PM (GMT+7)

Concert to welcome Tet 2012 to be held in Hanoi

 The Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra will give a special concert to welcome the 2012 Lunar New Year at the Hanoi Opera House tonight.

The concert will include outstanding works by Josef Haydn and Johannes Brahms featuring the promising 12-year-old pianist, Nguyen The Vinh, who has won several national and international prizes.

Vinh will accompany the orchestra to perform two pieces by Haydn and one by Brahms under the baton of Japanese conductor Honna Tetsuji.

Another Hollywood film dubbed into Vietnamese

The 3D cartoon “The Lorax,” directed by Chris Renaud, has become the first animated Hollywood movie this year, and the seventh so far, to be dubbed into Vietnamese.

The other films are Finding Nemo, Open Season, Rio, The Smurfs, Puss in Boots, and Alvin & The Chipmunks 3: Chip-Wrecked.

While the main female character Audrey, who lives in the artificially designed “Thneed-Ville" City, and wishes to see a real tree, is dubbed by well-known local pop singer Dong Nhi; the grumpy but nice creature Lorax, who fights to protect his world, is dubbed by famous emcee Thanh Bach.

Based on Dr. Seuss' children's book of the same name, the movie was produced by Illumination Entertainment and will be premiered by Universal Pictures in the US on March 2, before being screened in Vietnam’s cinemas with 3D and 2D versions from March 16.

2011: successful year of Vietnam’s heritages

2011 was a successful year of Vietnam in terms of cultural diplomacy, as more heritages were recognised by UNESCO, said a senior official.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Thanh Son, who doubles as Chairman of the Vietnam National Commission for UNESCO, made the comment at a conference to review the commission’s 2011 performance in Hanoi on Jan. 10.

Last year, the commission submitted dossiers and successfully campaigned for UNESCO’s recognition of t he Citadel of Ho Dynasty as world cultural heritage and Xoan singing, a vocal art of villages in the ancestral land of Phu Tho , as Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of Urgent Protection.

With these results, Vietnam has more cultural heritages honoured by the world. The country’s UNESCO-recognised heritages were introduced in many events, including Vietnamese Culture Days and Weeks in Russia , Japan , the Republic of Korea , Denmark and Norway .

The doctor laureate steles in Van Mieu – Quoc Tu Giam (the Temple of Literature ) in Hanoi was included in the world documentary heritage list of UNESCO’s Global Memory of the World Programme after being recognised as a documentary heritage in the Asia-Pacific region.

Also in the year, the commission submitted the dossiers of the Buddhist sutra-carved woodblocks at Vinh Nghiem pagoda and “Hoa Lu thi tap”, a collection of poems on the ancient capital of Hoa Lu, to UNESCO for recognition as documentary heritages in the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition, several heritage preservation projects were implemented in 2011, including a 1.2 million USD project to conserve the Thang Long-Hanoi cultural heritage area funded by the Japanese Trust Fund and an Italy-funded 1.5 million USD project to restore My Son towers.

Saturday weekend market
A useful and pleasant addition to weekends on West Lake, the Weekend Market offers a unique range of locally produced, high-quality products directly from farmers in Viet Nam. Products include free-range chicken, eggs, fair-trade and organic produce.

The event takes place every Saturday and Sunday, from 9.30am to 12.30pm at the ASVELIS yard, at 4, 67/12 Lane 67 To Ngoc Van Street, Tay Ho District.

CAMA ATK brings the beats

Celebrating the opening of Ha Noi's CAMA ATK at 73A Mai Hac De Street, Sai Gon's "King of the Beats" DJ Jase is set to rock the venue on Saturday, January 14, from 8pm-midnight.

A long-time CAMA collaborator and the man behind the Sai Gon bass scene, Jase is a Viet Nam native who spent his formative late-teens in Australia where collaborations with Sydney's infamous Foreign Dub Crew got him heavily into jungle, DnB and all things bass.

To mark the arrival of ATK, Jase is going to play an Old-Skool Hip Hop set with some tangents into Ragga, Uk Funky, Future Garage, and other Bass heavy genres.

One part gig venue, two parts underground bar with a splash of speakeasy and topped with twist of art space, ATK is looking to set itself apart from the crowd.

Try Gaelic football to get fit and meet new people
Gaelic Football is an Irish sport played using hands and feet. It can be described as a mixture of football, basketball and volleyball. It's a fun, action packed team sport played all over the world.

Join the Gaelic Football team in Ha Noi to get fit and meet new people. The team gathers players from different countries, including Viet Nam, Germany, Poland, the US, Australia, France, Ireland, and New Zealand. Their tournaments take them travelling around Asia.

Training days are Wednesday and Saturday, with both beginners and experienced players both welcome. Rules and skills are taught to new players.

Contact: Catherine Ganley: 01286135573,, website:

Thursday's Ha Noi nightlife tour

Ride bicycles and experience Ha Noi nightlife every Thursday evening. Start time is 8pm at the Ha Noi Opera House, with the ride concluding around 10pm with a lemon-tea on the street. Chatter about day-to-day happenings, bikes, and new routes will go throughout the ride.

Bring a bike suitable for the city (mini bike is okay), with some pocket money, a helmet and a light for safety.

HCM City's flower festival to open

More than 8,000 indigenous and foreign flowers, ornamental fish, bonsai plants and trees will be featured at HCM City's annual Spring Flower Festival at Tao Dan Park from January 18 to 28. Local florists and artisans in Viet Nam and other countries have provided all of the items on display.

The event will include musical and dance performances, traditional food events, and painting displays.

Mekong artists hold exhibit to celebrate Lunar New Year
An exhibition of 130 works by 24 artists of the 44-member Mekong Art Club, whose members are natives of the Mekong Delta, opened at the HCM City Fine Arts Museum to celebrate Lunar New Year.

Sac Xuan (The Colours of Spring) showcases works, including paintings in oil, lacquer and paper, and sculptures made of pocerlain, stone, and copper. The exhibition will run until January 15 at 97A, Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1.

French artist's lacquer exhibit opens

French artist Michelle Pontie is displaying her works in the collection, Melody at the End of Autumn, at Tu Do Gallery, 53 Ho Tung Mau Street, District 1 in HCM City. The exhibit which features 21 lacquer paintings that reflect the coexistence of yin and yang, closes on January 20.

HCM City hosts comic book festival

A comic book festival is being held in Ho Chi Minh City on January 11-12.

The event, organized by the Youth Publishing House, aims to be an interesting destination for comic book-lovers when spring is coming.

On display are 15 book titles with 32,000 copies. Each comic book is on sale at the attractive price of VND5,000.

Besides, viewers will have opportunities to take part in quizzes and folk games, and have photographs taken with their favourite comic book characters.

Worship of Mother Goddesses spotlighted

A spiritual and cultural space has opened at the Vietnamese Women's Museum to help people understand more about Mother Goddesses worship, a Vietnamese folk belief with a long history which has adapted to social changes.

Today this belief is widely practised throughout Vietnam and in Vietnamese communities overseas. The exhibition features an altar of Mother Goddesses, the related rites and the position of this belief among Vietnamese people.

Worship of the Mother Goddesses address the concern of daily life and desires for good health and good fortune. Worshippers find great emotional support in their belief and it attracts followers from all parts of society, said Nguyen Thi Bich Van, the museum's director.

Key values of Mother Goddesses worship are introduced through the voices and experiences of worshippers in Hanoi and northern provinces to give visitors a better understanding of the typical Vietnamese folk beliefs.

The exhibition is divided into four sections: the Mother Goddesses, Pure Heart, Joy and Beauty. Each section corresponds to one of four colours identified with the four palaces of the Mother Goddesses religion: Red as Palace of Heaven, White as Palace of Water, Yellow as Palace of Earth and Green as Palace of Mountains and Forests. Each Mother Goddess controls one palace with support from many gods and heroes.

Visitors are sure to be impressed with the exhibition's portrayal of the “hau dong” (mediumship) ritual involving the sophisticated mixture of colours symbolizing the Four Palaces, “chau van” (spiritual singing) and the sacred principles involving the arrangement of the altars, offerings, costumes and jewellery.

"It's expected that through the exhibition, people will understand the cultural value of the Mother Goddesses belief," said Dr Nguyen Van Huy, former director of the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.

Laurel Kendall, a researcher from the US who helped organize the exhibition, said the hau dong ritual was a type of performing art in which the medium wears beautiful costumes and jewellery, dances and tells stories of the gods and heroes through “chau van” music.

"The Beauty subject of the exhibition reflects the beautiful performances found in Mother Goddesses worship," she said.

Award-winning French pianist to play in Hanoi  

A young French award winner will perform piano solos at the French cultural center L’Escape in Hanoi on February 9.

Marie Vermeulin, who finished second at the International Olivier Messiaen in 2007 and the Maria Canals international competition in Barcelona in 2006, will perform at the center at 24 Trang Tien from 8 pm.

Tickets cost VND100,000 ($5) and half for preferential guests.

Vermeulin studied with Jacqueline Dussol for six years. She has been backed by Société Générale, a large European Bank and a major Financial Services company, and the Imola International Piano Academy.

The 28-year-old performs regularly in France and other countries, including Italy, Spain, Lithuania and Germany.

ISSP to host flea market Friday

The Saigon Flea Market will be held at the International School Saigon Pearl (ISSP) campus in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District on Friday, at 2 p.m.

The “Feels like home” event, which is in the framework of activities to welcome the traditional Tet festival at ISSP, is expected to attract over 500 students, parents and other interested people in the Saigon Pearl residential area as well as shopping lovers from around the city.

Shoppers can find numerous items ranging from antiques, collectable art, vintage clothes, retro collectables, toys, home-ware, fashion design, handmade things, and accessories.

This is the third Saigon Flea Market that has been held after the first and second in HCMC’s District 7 last year. This is a new and vintage market operating in the same vein as an artisan market.

All proceeds from the market will be used to support ISSP community and charity projects for homeless and poor children to go to school.

The market is a place not only for shopping but also to learn and explore different cultures through shopping. Come and explore it this weekend.

Admission is free. ISSP is at the Saigon Pearl condo complex, 92 Nguyen Huu Canh Street, Binh Thanh District, HCMC, tel:  2222 7788/99.
HCM City hosts Sculpture Exhibition 2012  

The 3rd Ho Chi Minh City Sculpture Exhibition 2012 presenting impressive and creative art works is being held at the Van Thanh Tourist Complex in Binh Thanh District.

The exhibition displays 64 sculptures by 50 artists such as Dinh Ru, Lam Quang Noi, Nguyen Le Thuy, Phung Chi Thu, Nguyen Tan Cuong, Phan Ngoc Long, Luong Van Thanh, Tran Viet Hung, Tran Huu Thoi, Le Lang Bien, Nguyen Vinh, Tran Quang Vinh, Do Thinh, Nguyen Hoang An and Tran Tuan Nghia.

The outdoor exhibition at the tourist complex has helped visitors reflect on the art works and arouse interest in people for creative art works.

‘Non La’ Traditional Theatre opens in HCMC  

The ‘Non La’ (Conical palm-leaf hat) Traditional Theatre opened at the Ho Chi Minh City Labor and Culture Palace on January 10.

‘Non La’ Traditional Theatre will be a rendezvous for students and connoisseurs to study various types of traditional stage performances and offer a foreign clientele the chance to enjoy Vietnamese folk music.

The 250 seat theatre was built at a total cost of VND3 billion (US$136,000) for holding performances of Vietnamese drum music, lithopone, highland gongs and percussion; besides also various kinds of Vietnamese traditional music such as hat boi (Vietnamese classical opera), kylin and dragon dance, Cheo singing, Nha nhac cung dinh (Royal court music).

The theatre will present its first public performance by the middle of February.

There will be one daily show at 8.35 pm which will also be translated into 8 foreign languages to attract visitors from around the world.