Last update: 16:57 | 13/02/2018
HCM City presents Tet offerings to Hung Kings
A commemoration ceremony was held at the National Historical and Cultural Park in Ho Chi Minh City, on February 12 to offer the traditional Banh Tet to Hung Kings.
A commemoration ceremony was held at the National Historical and Cultural Park in Ho Chi Minh City, on February 12 to offer the traditional Banh Tet (round glutinous rice cake) to Hung Kings, the legendary founders of the nation, on the occasion of the Tet (Lunar New Year).
The ceremony was attended by representatives from the municipal Party’s Committee, People’s Council, People’s Committee and Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee.
The delegation also burnt incense in tribute to Nguyen Huu Canh, who founded the Saigon – Gia Dinh region (present HCM City) in 1698.
This is one of traditional activities held in HCM City during the Tet festival, aiming to honour traditional cultural values as well as great contributions of Hung Kings to national construction.
The event also helps educate HCM City residents, especially young generations, about the tradition of patriotism and strengthen great national unity bloc.
A range of activities are expected to take place at the park during Tet, the biggest festival in the year of Vietnamese people, such as a calligraphy exhibition, a tea fest, folk games, martial art and arts performances.
Banh Tet is a traditional cake enjoyed by Vietnamese people in the south on the occasion of the lunar New Year. It is considered a variant of Banh Chung (square glutinous rice cake), which is more popular in the northern region.
The cake is cylindrical, made with sticky rice and filled with pork fat and beans seasoned with black pepper and shallots. The cake is wrapped in banana leaves and as a result, the sticky rice takes on a pale green color and a slightly leafy taste. Even though the cake is now available all year round, it is still considered a New Year treat.
The Hung Kings ruled Vietnam from 2879 BC until 258 BC and are considered the founders of the nation. To honour the Kings, the tenth day of the third lunar month serves as the national commemorative anniversary for them.
The worshipping rituals of the Hung Kings was recognised as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.
Explosion at steel smelting furnace injures 2 workers
Two workers were injured yesterday morning in an explosion at a steel smelting furnace in Quất Động Industrial Zone in Hà Nội’s Thường Tín District.
Chairman of Thường Tín District People’s Committee Kiều Xuân Huy confirmed the news to the media and said the explosion took place at a three-tonne steel smelting furnace of Việt Hàn Company in the industrial zone. The explosion damaged part of the company’s workshop.
Five firefighting engines reached the spot to control the flames and rescue people.
According to Hà Nội Fire Fighting and Control’s Team 12, this is the second explosion at the smelting furnace of the company. The previous explosion took place in March 2012, in which two persons were killed and six injured.
Vietravel-funded project lights up Hue’s Flag Tower
The Flag Tower (Ky dai Hue) in the Hue ancient Imperial city of the central province of Thua Thien – Hue is being illuminated by a lighting system under a project funded by the tour service provider Vietravel.
Launched on February 12, the project is part of activities to preserve and promote the historical value of the tower.
The lighting system was installed surrounding the historical site in a modern style, aiming to lure more visitors to the city.
The Flag Tower, also called the King’s Knight, consists of a three-storey tower 17 metres high and a flagpole 37 metres in length. It was constructed under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945).
The site witnessed many importantly historical events of the nation and is a popular destination for visitors.
Vietravel plans to implement similar lighting projects in the city in the future.
Various activities mark Vietnamese New Year in Russia, Germany
Celebrations for the Lunar New Year (Tet) have created a Tet atmosphere among Vietnamese communities in Russia and Germany, with the festival only a few days away.
The Vietnamese Embassy in Russia hosted a banquet at the Hanoi-Moscow multifunctional complex in Moscow on February 12. The event was attended by representatives of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Economic Development, the Russia-Vietnam Friendship Association, the embassies of ASEAN countries in Russia and a number of Vietnamese people.
Addressing the banquet, Vietnamese Ambassador Ngo Duc Manh reviewed bilateral relations in 2017, affirming he would do his utmost to strengthen the links. He expressed his hope that Russian friends will continue contributing to the two countries’ partnership.
He also offered condolences to Russian people and bereaved families of the victims of the An-148 aircraft accident on February 11.
Appreciating the ambassador’s condolences, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Third Asian Department Ludmila Vorobyova lauded Vietnam, particularly its role in ASEAN, Asia and the world. She wished Vietnamese people happiness and more success in the New Year.
Also on February 12, Vietnamese people in Germany held a concert in celebration of Tet in Leipzig city. The event featured 19 performances by 12 Vietnamese arts clubs from across Germany.
Vietnamese Ambassador Doan Xuan Hung sent his best wishes to the expatriates as well as German people and foreign friends. He described 2017 as a successful year for Vietnam in terms of economy and diplomacy.
The diplomat recognised the activities of Vietnamese in the European nation, adding that he hopes they will enhance solidarity to help promote the two countries’ friendship and cooperation and build a prosperous Vietnamese community in Germany.
On February 11, an arts programme was also held by the Vietnamese Consulate General in Frankfurt am Main city. Consul General Nguyen Hong Linh said the event was a gift from artists from the homeland for expatriates.
Meanwhile, Tet celebrations were also held by the Vietnamese people associations in Berlin and Halle cities on February 10 and 11.
Two die in Đà Nẵng bus crash
Two people died and another 11 were wounded after a bus travelling from HCM City to Quảng Trị Province suddenly lost control and rolled on the ring-road at Hải Vân Tunnel in Đà Nẵng at about 5am Monday morning.
Colonel Lê Ngọc, head of the city’s traffic police office, said the bus, owned by a company from HCM City, was carrying 29 passengers homes for Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday, when it suddenly capsized in Hòa Liên Commune in Hòa Vang District, 20km west of the city centre.
The injured passengers were taken to Đà Nẵng General Hospital. Another 4 passengers were taken home to Quảng Trị Province by another bus.
The traffic safety agency and traffic police are investigating the accident.
The city’s people’s committee donated VNĐ10 million (US$442) to support families of the dead, and provide medical service to the wounded.
It was the worst traffic accident in the city since the start of 2018.
Overseas Vietnamese in Israel, RoK celebrate Lunar New Year
The Vietnamese Embassy in Israel on February 11 held a get-together in Tel Aviv for overseas Vietnamese in the country to celebrate the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival 2018.
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador Cao Tran Quoc Hai updated participants on Vietnam’s achievements in 2017, noting that the country has continued to develop, ensured national security-defence and social order and promoted international integration.
He also highlighted the development of the Vietnam-Israel relationship, which has been deepened in a practical manner.
Israel is one of Vietnam’s most important economic partners in the Middle East, with two-way trade exceeding 1 billion USD, he said, adding that the two countries have been conducting negotiations for a free trade deal which is hoped to help lift their trade to 3 billion USD.
During his speech, Ambassador Hai also praised the unity among the Vietnamese community in Israel, and their contributions to the homeland’s development.
The same day, a similar event was held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (RoK), offering a chance for Vietnamese expats to gather and welcome Tet.
Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tu wished overseas Vietnamese and international friends a successful and happy New Year, hoping that they will make more contributions to Vietnam-RoK relations.
He also lauded efforts made by the Vietnamese community in the RoK in promoting and preserving national cultural identities, as well as in raising funds to support disaster victims in the homeland.
Honourary Mayor of Seoul and Chairwoman of the Vietnamese Association in the RoK Nguyen Thi Ngoc Cam applauded the active involvement of the expats in the organisation’s activities, and thanked the local authorities for their support.
She called on Vietnamese expats to make more efforts to preserve national identity and join in charitable movements to support others in difficult circumstances.
Major highway to be completed by April
The widest highway in the coastal province of Quảng Ninh will be open to public in April, said Đỗ Văn Thẩm, construction site manager.
The 10-lane highway, connecting Hạ Long City with Hải Phòng - Vân Đồn Highway, has been under construction since June 2017 and is now 90 per cent complete, Thẩm said.
“We are mobilising maximum human resources and equipment to accelerate the construction process,” he told enternews.vn. “We are determined to complete the highway by April,” he said.
The highway is 5km long and 54.5m wide, with eight lanes for motorised vehicles and two for non-motorised ones.
Part of an expansion project of National Route 18 in Hạ Long City, it will reduce travel time from Hải Phòng port city to Hạ Long and improve the transport infrastructure of Quảng Ninh Province.
It cost VNĐ380 billion (US$16.7 million), which was paid for by Hạ Long City.
Support comes to market-fire victims in Czech Republic
Vietnamese Ambassador to the Czech Republic Ho Minh Tuan and representatives of the embassy on February 11 visited and presented gifts to families affected by a market fire in Cheb city last year.
The blaze broke out at the Asia Dragon Shopping Centre in Cheb city in November 2017, burning to the ground 40 stalls run by 12 Vietnamese families. Damage was calculated to reach 40 million CZK (1.76 million USD). The 20-year-old shopping centre hosts 300 stalls operated by 200 businesses, of whom 98 percent are Vietnamese expatriates.
Ambassador Tuan met with the 12 families and inquired their lives after the fire.
He requested the Asia Dragon board of directors and head of the association of Vietnamese people in Cheb to support the victims, helping them to have a warm Lunar New Year (Tet) celebration and soon repair the burned section of the centre.
Doan Thach Cuong, deputy head of the association of Vietnamese people in Cheb and deputy general director of Asia Dragon, said the centre will not hold a grand Tet celebration as usual this year but try its best to assist the victims.
Talking to the Vietnam News Agency, Cuong said Asia Dragon is working with the local administration to quickly rebuild the 40 stalls with expectation that these families can resume their business by the end of April or in early May.
Donations for the victims have to date exceeded 5 million CKZ (220,000 USD), he said, adding that the sum will be distributed to the affected families.
Jetstar Pacific offers free return-leg tickets on Tet holiday
Budget airline Jetstar Pacific is set to launch a programme offering free return-leg tickets for 22 domestic and seven international air routes to celebrate the 2018 Lunar New Year.
The promotional campaign will start at 23:00 on February 15 (the last day of the Year of the Rooster) to 23:59 on February 22 (the 7th day of the Year of the Dog).
Accordingly, roundtrip tickets for domestic destinations will range from 99,000 VND (4.36 USD) to 1,010,000 VND (44 USD).
Tickets for the Hanoi/HCM City – Guangzhou (China) will start at 180,000 VND, while those for Da Nang – Hong Kong route starts at 390,000 VND and Dong Hoi – Chiang Mai from 690,000 VND.
Free return-leg tickets for the Hanoi - Osaka (Japan) and Da Nang - Osaka routes will start from 2,060,000 VND (88 USD) and 2,460,000 million VND (110 USD), respectively.
The prices exclude taxes and fees, and come with certain conditions. More information can be found on the website www.jetstar.com or the hotline 19001550, which operates 24/7.
Jetstar Pacific now operates 29 domestic and nine international routes, connecting to Jetstar Group’s network to 82 destinations in 18 countries.
The airline has installed check-in kiosks at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport to meet passengers’ increasing travel demand during Tet. The automatic check-in kiosk system allows passengers to check-in within only 30 seconds.
Monument honours 1968 Spring Offensive heros
The public radio broadcaster Voice of Ho Chi Minh City People (VOH) on February 12 inaugurated a monument dedicated to soldiers who died in fighting at the Sai Gon radio station during the General Offensive and Uprising in the Spring of 1968.
The event gathered representatives of the HCM City authorities, families of the war martyrs, war veterans, and local residents.
Huynh Van Chum, Vice Chairman of the municipal Party Committee’s Commission for Information and Education, recalled the fierce battle when 11 liberation soldiers fought hard to take control of the then Sai Gon radio station in the early morning of the second day of the 1968 lunar year. Ten of them died during the fighting.
The monument reflects the city’s deep gratitude toward the soldiers and the local armed forces, aiming to promote national patriotism among younger generations.
The monument is located inside the VOH headquarters at No 3 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street in District 1. Built on an area of 79 m2, its design depicts the shape of two soldiers, both made of bronze.
The monument is one of nine structures crafted across the southern economic hub in commemoration of martyrs of the 1968 Genral Offensive and Uprising.
The Offensive began in the early morning of January 31 in 1968 when liberation forces simultaneously launched attacks on bases of US troops and the US-backed southern government in cities such as Hue, Da Nang, Quy Nhon and Saigon, and hundreds of towns from Quang Tri to Ca Mau.
Sai Gon-Gia Dinh (now HCM City), the headquarters of the US-backed Southern regime, was a focus of the offensive.
The fight helped destroy huge amounts of facilities and logistics used by the US and the southern regime’s armies. The seven-month long campaign ended with tens of thousands of enemy troops dead, 600 strategic hamlets destroyed and 100 communes liberated with a population of 1.6 million people.
The event marked a strategic turning point for the resistance war against the US and its allies. It caused the US a ‘sudden shock’, disrupting their strategic plan, shaking the White House, the Pentagon and all of the US and forced President Johnson to deescalate the war and agree to sign the historic Paris Peace Accord. The victory also helped lead to the liberation of southern Vietnam and national reunification in 1975.
State budget provides fishing vessel insurance premium support
The State budget will provide insurance premium support for offshore fishing ships and offshore fishery logistic vessels, said a new decree on fishery development policies.
According to Decree No 17/2018-ND-CP on amending Decree 67/2014/ND-CP dated July 7, 2014, the boats are members of fishing teams or cooperatives and have a total main engine capacity of 90HP and above each.
The State budget will cover all annual premiums for all crew members working on board, and half of the premiums for the boats’ body, excluding fishing tools and catches.
The Decree will take effect from March 25, 2018.
Decree 67/2014/ND-CP, which took effect from August 25 last year, provides policies to encourage fishermen to build high-capacity steel ships capable of fishing offshore, a practice that could earn fishermen higher incomes and contribute to protecting the country’s territorial waters.
Overseas Vietnamese celebrate traditional New Year
Vietnamese people in Belgium, South Africa and Japan welcomed the Lunar New Year (Tet) with ceremonies on February 11, with Vietnam’s biggest traditional festival approaching.
At a ceremony in Brussels, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium and head of the Vietnamese Permanent Mission to the EU Vuong Thua Phong highlighted the development in Vietnam’s relations with Belgium and the EU. Although the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement has yet to make progress as expected, he expressed his belief it will be ratified in 2018, when Vietnam and Belgium will mark 45 years of diplomatic ties.
He wished Vietnamese people in Belgium health, prosperity and more contributions to the homeland and the two countries’ ties.
Chairman of the Vietnamese People Association in Belgium Huynh Cong My briefed about the organisation’s outstanding activities last year. Meanwhile, President of the Belgium – Vietnam Alliance Gryffroy Andries said the alliance will work harder to help develop the Vietnamese community in the European nation.
At a celebration in Pretoria, Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Vu Van Dung informed participants about Vietnam’s achievements in 2017.
He noted the two countries have made strides in various fields last year, from economy, politics to culture and tourism, adding that they will mark the 25th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2018.
He also asked Vietnamese people in South Africa to continue serving as a bridge to promote people-to-people exchange, friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
In the Japanese prefecture of Ibaraki, Vietnamese people in Tsukuba city held on February 11 a Tet celebration where a liaison board also debuted. Representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan and more than 200 Vietnamese and foreign friends attended the event.
Head of the liaison board Cao Sy Luan said the board will help promote the image of Vietnamese people among Japanese, contributing to the two countries’ friendship.-