Mountaineers to conquer Fansipan peak

The northern mountain province of Lao Cai is preparing for the Mountaineering Championships to conquer Fansipan Mountain and plant a flag to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of Hanoi.

The event is scheduled for October 26-30, said Hoang Thi Vuong, an official from the Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The championship falls under the national action plan for tourism in the 2006-2010 period and Lao Cai, Yen Bai and Phu Tho provinces’ “Tracing the Roots 2010” programme.

The event this year will be divided into three stages and the winner of the second stage will carry the symbolic flag of the 1,000th year of Thang Long-Hanoi in the third leg to the peak of Fansipan Mountain.

During the journey, climbers will spend time taking photos of Fansipan and Hoang Lien national forest, then choose 3-5 photos to send to the organising board for prizes.

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines is the main sponsor of this event.

Artists from four countries join friendship music performance

A music performance entitled “Friendship Autumn” was held in Ninh Binh province on August 7 with artists from China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in the spotlight.

The performance, organised by the Ministry of Public Security, to mark the 65th anniversary of the People’s Public Security Force (August 19), featured musical numbers extolling patriotism and friendly relations between Governments, peoples and public security forces of the four countries.

Vietnamese beer honoured at Berlin Beer Festival

Hanoi Beer and Saigon Beer have been chosen as the official beer at the 14th Berlin International Beer festival which opened on Karl Marx Boulevard in the centre of Berlin, Germany, on August 6.

At the opening ceremony, Beer King Gambrinus, and the Vietnamese minister counselor to Germany, Bui Duc Cuong, emphasised the significance of Vietnam becoming a key participant at the festival to mark the 35th anniversary of Vietnam-Germany diplomatic ties and Vietnam Year in Germany.

After the main ceremony, Vietnamese artists presented special cultural items which left a deep impression on international friends.

This is the 10th time Vietnam has attended the festival.

The festival attracted 300 beer agents from 86 countries around the world, and displayed around 2,000 kinds of beer on 2.2km of the street. It is considered the world’s biggest beer village with around 800,000 participants during the three-day festival.

Incense-burner url cast for Temple of Literature

The Chan Tam Association, under the Vietnam Cultural Heritage Association, on August 6 began casting a large-size incense-burner in Hanoi, which will be placed at the Temple of Literature in honour of the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi.

The url is cast in bronze and weighs 1.2 tonnes, it has a diameter of 1.55m and is 1.85m tall. It will be in the style of the Ly dynasty with three dragons on its body and lid.

The url will be made by artisans from Y Yen craft village in the northern province of Nam Dinh.

Previously, on the 990th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi in 2000, the Chan Tam Association cast the Dai Hong Chung bell weighing 1.3 tonnes and it was also offered to the Temple of Literature.

Hanoi focuses on preserving craft villages

Many artisans in Hanoi have raised concerns about how maintain and develop craft villages, which are at risk of being lost from the impacts of socio-economic development.

Speaking at a seminar entitled, ‘Hanoi Craft Villages – Potential for Tourism Development’ held in Hanoi on August 5, Director of Hanoi University’s Tourism and Culture Department, Duong Van Sau, said that developing tours to craft villages is one way to preserve their cultural values as it offers economic and cultural exchange opportunities for the villages.

He suggested that the Government should have policies to encourage and facilitate sustainable development in the villages, give tax preferences for them to export their products, and do more tourism promotion for the villages.

According to jewellery artisan Le Ba Trung, the material value of the craft villages’ products may no longer be suitable to modern life but their cultural value will exist forever.

“Therefore, we must preserve our crafts and transmit those valuable cultural values to following generations,” he said.

Hanoi (formerly Thang Long) boasts the largest number of craft villages in the country. According to the municipal Department of Industry and Trade, the city now has 1,264 craft villages, attracting nearly 1 million workers.

In 2009, the craft villages reached a total production value of VND 7 trillion, accounting for nearly 10% of the capital city’s industrial and handicraft production value.

However, Hanoi’s traditional craft villages have been declining because young generations are not well trained, leading to lower quality of the products. In addition, there are fewer people who want to learn and spend a lifetime working in traditional crafts.

To maintain their operations, many craft villages have expanded their production to new fields in order to meet market demands.

The Hanoi Craft Week 2010 entitled ‘A Thousand Years of Quintessence’, is taking place from August 4-9, is expected to be a channel to promote the traditional cultural values of craft villages and boost exports of their products.

Exhibition features Agent Orange victims

A photo exhibition entitled ‘Agent Orange – Message from the heart’ opened yesterday at the Chi Lang park in Ho Chi Minh city to celebrate the Day for Vietnamese AO victims (August 10).

The exhibition displays thirty photos on large size (50 x 70 cm) featuring the physical and spiritual pain of AO victims suffering from the consequences of chemical dioxin and their efforts to overcome their disadvantages. The photos also depict social support for the victims to help them integrate into the community.

It is the first photo exhibition on the topic held in Ho Chi Minh city.

The event, held by the Ho Chi Minh city Association for Victims of Agent Orange/ Dioxin, will run until August 8.



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