Sunday, June 10, 2012



June 10, 2012
Former leader to release memoir
A memoir by former vice president Nguyen Thi Binh will be released nationwide on June 12.
Entitled Gia Dinh, Ban Be Va Dat Nuoc (Family, Friends and Country), the 400-page book consists of 14 chapters about her childhood and career as a revolutionary intellectual, a diplomat and State leader.
The book expresses her thoughts about the country’s struggle for independence and other historical events.
Binh was appointed foreign affairs minister and head of the delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam in Paris from 1968-73. She held the title Vice President of the unified Vietnam from 1992-2002.
After her retirement in 2002, she became the President of the Vietnam Children Support Fund. In 2003, she founded and presided over the Fund of Vietnam Peace and Development.
She also worked as President of the Association of Agent Orange Victims. The former leader on June 11 will meet with readers at L’Espace, 24 Trang Tien Street, Hanoi.
Demark royals don Vietnam’s ao dai at WWF event
At an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the World Wildlife Fund Denmark at the Fredensborg Palace late last month, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark wore the Vietnamese traditional ao dai.
The two dresses are two among others in the collection tilted “The Royal” designed by Vietnamese fashion designer Si Hoang, who said he’s so proud seeing the traditional costume showcased at a royal event.
“This is so meaningful. It shows how beautiful our ao dai is,” he expressed.
According to him, the Queen and the Princess ordered the two ao dai on the occasion of their visit to Vietnam in 2009. After seeing some ao dai displayed at Reunification Palace, the Queen spent more than 2 hours choosing the colors and materials for 6 ao dai garments for her and Princess Mary.
The designer said Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II also commented that ao dai is a sophisticated costume which expresses the modern and traditional aspects of Asian women.
First Vietnamese chef joins prestigious cooking contest
Chef Do Chi Cong from a Ha Noi restaurant will be the first-ever Vietnamese chef to compete at the prestigious cooking contest Bocuse d’Or Asia in Shanghai this month.
The 39-year-old chef will join competitors from nine other Asian countries, including Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Singapore and India to showcase his exceptional cooking skills during the three-day contest starting on June 12.
Chefs at the contest will be required to prepare a meat dish with three garnishes of their choice. The main principle ingredients for the main dish include beef tenderloin, oysters and beef cheeks, an exotic but very tough and lean cut of meat that is most often used for braising or slow cooking to produce a tender result.
Cong revealed that com (young sticky rice) and mac khen (a kind of wild herb often used in cuisine from Vietnam ’s north-western region) are among the ’secret’ spices that he will use for his presentation in Shanghai .
Four Asian finalists will join the international final in Lyon , France in January 2013.
Last June, Cong beat 11 other chefs from elite restaurants, hotels and resorts across the country to win the Bocuse d’Or Vietnam . His creations – rolled sturgeon fillets with shrimps in fragrant herbs, young rice crust and stuffed chicken with prawns, pumpkin, and a light curry – wowed the jury, including French master chef Marc Foucher. The judges made evaluations based on taste, level of perfection in presentation, technical skill, cooking sophistication, creativity and visual beauty.
Bocuse d’Or Asia is a part of the biennial Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest which is created in 1987 by French Chef Paul Bocuse, aiming to broaden the public’s understanding of the extraordinary dedication, hard work, practice and precision required to execute the very finest cuisine.
As one of the world’s most prestigious cooking competitions, the contest selects 24 competitors from 24 countries to compete each year, and each country’s team is comprised of one chef and one assistant.
Entertainment industry unaffected by Euro season
Though the “Euro” storm has officially swept over the world since last night, the local entertainment industry seems to remain calm and unaffected by one of the world’s biggest football events.
Despite the worry that Euro will pull audiences away from the stage, owners of theaters keep normal operation.
Outstanding Artist My Uyen, vice director of 5B Theater said the place will have normal shows even when all tickets are not sold out. “We are ready to suffer losses to keep audiences who are not so in love with football,” she said.
Agreeing with My Uyen, director Ai Nhu of Hoang Thai Thanh Theater informed that tickets for the theater’s shows are on sale as normal and shows will be kept going even when there are just tens of tickets sold.
For his part, actor Van Long from Nu Cuoi Moi Theater said his place has not seen any sign that it’s affected by the Euro season while actor Manh Trang from Sai Gon Theater said more tickets are being sold compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, actress Hong Van, owner of Phu Nhuan and Superbowl theaters and director Ngoc Hung from the The Gioi Tre Theater said they do not worry about Euro since theaters have their own audiences who are not affected by the football storm.
Some theater owners expressed that they worry about the rainy season more than Euro since football matches mainly take place at 11pm, the time when their shows are finished.
As for cinemas, a series of Hollywood blockbusters including Madagascar 3, Ice age 4, The Amazing Spider-man, Prometheus, John Carter, Red Tails suffer no change in show time.
However, some entertainment venues have employed flexible changes to adapt with the football event.
Besides inviting famous singers, owners of music lounges around the city have also equipped their places with widescreen TVs to serve football lovers during the season.
A flash of Paris in Vietnam
The free exhibition, called “A flash on the city of lights,” focuses a lens on locals, landmarks, and all that makes the French capital usual and unusual.
The photographs force viewers to reconsider, from new angles, many of the images they thought they knew of Paris. The range of emotion – admiration, amusement, criticism, melancholy – presents a Paris that is at once different yet familiar, and reflects the photographers’ diverse backgrounds.
Now renowned in his field, Hoang The Nhiem swapped his information engineer job for photography in 1992. Nhiem found quick recognition for his meticulous and highly technical landscapes, showcased in Hoi An, Hue, and Hanoi, as well as in the United States, France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom between 2007 and 2010.
A retired mechanical engineer, Nguyen Phuong discovered a late passion for photography but has participated in expositions in Italy and France for two years. His photographs inject aesthetics into daily life.
Pham Le Quan and Le Quang Bien both chose to exhibit photographs from their time as journalists. Quan is now an industrialist, while Bien represents UNESCO in Hanoi.
“A flash on the city of lights” was organized by the French General Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, the French Institute in Vietnam, and the Lotus gallery. It opens with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. June 14, running through June 22. Visitors can see the photographs from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Idecaf, 31 Thai Van Lung, District 1.
Modeling show puts prostitution at center stage
On an episode of “Vietnam Super Model” this week, contestants had to prove their moral grit in a role-playing exercise in temptation. Actor Dai Nghia played the part of a wealthy solicitor of sex, offering US$2,000 to US$5,000 to hopeful models who had to demonstrate how they would respond.
“Actually, it’s hard to protect yourself from temptation once you’ve step into this career,” model Ngoc Quy said.
She had received similar offers in real life, “but always refused because I’m afraid it could destroy my whole life. I’ve seen many mirrors of it.”
The recent scandal, a celebrity prostitution ring that has incited public outrage, reminded Ngoc to take extra caution, she said.
Another competitor Thanh An said the industry is not all glamour. She said she modeled in Hanoi for four years but moved to Ho Chi Minh City, where she earns extra money at a yoga center and a sugarcane juice cart. But her focus is on modeling.
“I came to the competition to satisfy my dream of modeling,” she said. “The catwalk career in particular and jobs related to art have temptations, but it depends on you to not fall.”
Ngoc, too, said she is staying disciplined.
“My parents also worry about me, but I don’t think all models do bad things,” she said. “I’m still determined to do modeling.”

Vietnam strives to protect intangible cultural heritage
Vietnam along with 142 other member countries attended the fourth session of the UNESCO General Council Convention on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris on June 4-8.
The convention was signed by UNESCO member countries in 2003. This meeting took place under the special circumstances of UNESCO facing financial difficulties.
Participants at the meeting reviewed the last ten years of implementing the convention and discussed ways to mobilize resources for the continued implementation in the future.
Duong Van Quang, ambassador and head of Vietnam’s mission to UNESCO, said Vietnam is an active member of the organization and has been recognized by UNESCO for having a large number of intangible cultural heritages.
Nguyen Doan Khanh, Secretary of the Phu Tho provincial Party Committee, also joined the Vietnamese delegation to introduce the Hung Kings worship ritual and seek its recognition as a UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Hue relic conservation work reviewed
A ceremony marking 30 years in operation of the Hue Relic Conservation Centre (1982-2012) was held on June 9 in the central Thua Thien-Hue province.
Speaking at the ceremony, UNESCO’s representative in Vietnam Katherine Muller-Marin applauded the achievements that the centre has gained in preserving the relic system of the ancient capital of Hue which was once seriously damaged by wars and natural disasters.
She spoke highly of the centre’s development of local human resources for preservation work.
Katherine Muller-Marin also called on organisations inside and outside the country to continue supporting the centre in the cause of protecting the world cultural heritage site.
Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Hue Relic Conservation Centre said the centre has cooperated with many international organisations in all over the world including the UNESCO and various agencies from Japan , Canada , France , England , the US , Germany , Thailand , Belgium , the RoK and Holland in restoring, preserving the site as well as training personnel for the centre.
The Hue Relic System was recognised by the UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site in 1993. The “Nha nhac cung dinh Hue ” (Hue Royal Court Music) was also recognised as intangible cultural heritage of human kind in 2003.
Along with the preservation of the relics, traditional arts and handicrafts have been revived, assisting the tourism sector and making it a key economic sector of the province.
Total earnings from tourism and services of the province between 1996 and 2011 reached 724.5 billion VND, a major part of which was re-invested in the restoring and preserving activities.-
HCMC exhibit to highlight exquisite pencil drawings  
A solo art exhibition entitled “Gan” (near) by Mac Hoang Thuong will run from June 7-21 at Cactus Contemporary Art in Ho Chi Minh City.
According to a press release from Cactus, Thuong’s first solo exhibition consists of 22 pencil drawings on white canvas.
Mac Hoang Thuong has recognized that lead is forte of his art, it said.
“The interwoven of pencil marks which create realistic artworks full of humanity as well as surrealist artworks which hide of human’s philosophies.
“The condensed portraits are enlarged on a white canvas background to create fascinating artworks intended to overwhelm.”
Cactus Contemporary Art is located on 17/12 Nguyen Huy Tuong Street, Ward 6, Binh Thanh District, HCMC.
Hanoi artist to present lacquer techniques
“Get Lacquered! Art Show and Talk,” a seminar on lacquer, will be conducted by artist Tran Huy Chien at 6 p.m. on June 9 in Hanoi.
According to a press release from the artist this week, Chien will show a selection of his lacquer paintings and make a visual presentation on the history, styles and techniques of lacquer-based art.
The artist will demonstrate the lacquer process from start to finish, including harvesting the resin and working with silver and gold.
Recently returned from ten years in Adelaide, Australia, Chien graduated from the Hanoi University of Fine Arts (1996).
He has participated in both solo and group exhibitions in Vietnam, Australia and China.
Chien’s original lacquer paintings will be available for purchase at this event.
The two-hour talk will take place at 51, Lane 50, Dang Thai Mai Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi.
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