VietNamNet Bridge – The cajuput tree—tram in Vietnamese—is known for its spongy bark, white flowers and its oil that is prized for its usefulness in aromatherapy. Though the tree, which fills the Vietnamese countryside, may occasionally find itself the subject of a painting, it is not generally regarded as a medium for producing art. Many hues: Depending on the age, cajuput bark comes in different colours. — Photo lamchieudong When the chairman of Dong Hung B Hamlet’s chapter of the Viet Nam Motherland Front, Le Hoang Nhan, looks at the tree, he sees a canvas. Born in U Minh Thuong (Upper U Minh), he had a view of a cajuput forest from his house when he was small. As an adult, he taught himself to paint on its bark. He’s now recognised throughout the region for his dedication to creating unexpected art from a humble local specialty. “The first painting on cajuput bark, I had to stay up for a few consecutive nights to … [Read more...] about From bark to art: Painter uses cajuput as canvas
How to make home
Companies in Vietnam have experienced fierce competition over the last few years, both qualitative and quantitative. Many have been forced to close down while others are still in business but struggling to move forward. The question is how to make a brand not only sustainable but also grow in value in the context of fierce global competition and rapid digitalization. There are many approaches to answering this question. Here I note the three key driving forces for brands: digital transformation, globalization, and brand leadership. In my observation, these forces help grow a company’s brand value if implemented successfully. Customer-centric digital transformation Unlike in the past, customers now have many brand choices for a particular product in Vietnam. Let’s take bakery goods for example. Customers would have previously mentioned Kinh Do in the south or Hai Ha in the north, but today they may name a long list of bakery brands: Top Cake, Tous Les Jours, ABC, … [Read more...] about How best to maintain brand value?
Researchers backed by multi-million dollar grants from NASA are heading to Southeast Asia's Mekong River region to find ways to improve dams so they are less harmful to people and the environment. Researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) will spend three years analyzing sites in the lower Mekong River basin in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The project will be funded by two grants from the United States space agency, NASA, totaling $3 million, and the researchershope their findings will improve dams around the world. "The most egregious affects of dam building are displacement and relocation," said Daniel Kramer, a professor of fisheries and wildlife at MSU. "But the research that we're doing is also suggesting that there are a lot of less obvious things that the effects of dams bring on local people and ecosystems," Kramer told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. There are concerns, for example, about damage to farming and fisheries due to dam projects along the lower … [Read more...] about Mekong River researchers hope to find ways to make dams less damaging
A woman in her late 60s walked slowly towards the door as a guest arrived. “Hello mom,” he said in the simple English that she could understand. It was the first “mom” that Le Thi Anh, 67, had heard from her son in nearly half a century, and it was enough to make her burst into tears. Her son was among 100 babies rescued from an orphanage in Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 during Operation Mercy Airlift, organized by the Daily Mail. "I didn't want to abandon you," Anh told her son via an interpreter. Anh, who lives in Quy Nhon in central Vietnam, said she had an accident in 1975 and was hospitalized for more than two months. Her family brought her baby to the hospital to be breastfed every day, until her parents died and her husband left. With the general chaos that ensued at the end of the war, other relatives put the baby into an orphanage and the nuns later moved him to Saigon without telling Anh. When Anh finally arrived in the southern … [Read more...] about Baby taken from wartime orphanage returns home for first Vietnamese New Year
VietNamNet Bridge – As people rush around getting ready for Tet, many teachers in the northwestern mountains try to bring the festivities to poor ethnic students in remote areas - for two reasons. Firstly, they want to keep the youngsters happy, and secondly, around home firesides, they want to encourage them to return to school after the holidays.Although located in a remote and difficult area of Bao Yen District in Lao Cai Province, teachers from Tan Tien Boarding School each year organise a Tet programme to show students how to make chung (sticky rice) cakes. The teachers also raise funds to buy clothes and gifts for them.They also visit the families of students in remote areas where the terrain is so rough, it looks like the roads end in heaven. Teachers from Bao Yen High School in Lao Cai Province have spent days visiting students’ homes, most of whom come from the Tay, Mong and Dao ethnic groups.Despite the icy coldness, the teachers crossed springs and … [Read more...] about Teachers take Tet to the hills
Local market needs to be protected from cheap goodsTran Thu By Tran Thu - The Saigon Times Daily HCMC - Local firms should take proactive measures to protect their interests on the home market due to large volumes of cheap imports flowing into the country. Nguyen Huu Truong Hung, a representative of a board responsible for trade protectionism investigations under the Vietnam Competition Authority (VCA), raised this issue at a seminar last week on how to make the most of trade protectionist measures. Hung said 80 anti-dumping lawsuits had been brought against Vietnamese firms over the past 10 years, but the country succeeded in just one case by imposing anti-dumping duty on cold-rolled stainless steel imports from Taiwan, China, Malaysia and Indonesia in September this year. Local businesses have initiated three cases with two involving goods dumping on the local market. In fact, the VCA has investigated 11 cases, which shows enterprises are aware of self-protection but they often give … [Read more...] about Local market needs to be protected from cheap goods
Supermodel Ngo Tien Doan beat out 33 other contestants to take the crown for the Mister International 2008 contest in November last year in Taiwan. Since last month, he has been living in Singapore to take on the duties that come with being the winner. He talked about the contest during a visit home from Singapore. Can you tell me a little about how you are dealing with your duties for Mister International? What are the difficulties or advantages of your new role? During my first days in this shopping paradise, my work is not at all complicated. I have received special care for my hair, skin, clothes and everything, even "up to my teeth." I have been equipped with sufficient knowledge on some countries where I will visit this year, so I can behave properly there. I think this is simple enough work that anyone can do. After attending male pageant contests like Manhunt International, Mister International and working with international models, how do you think the Vietnamese … [Read more...] about Mister International 2008 to advertise his homeland’s image
Riding on a motorbike on burning National Highway 1 on a scorching sunny noon, I felt the difficulties of To he craftsmen from Xuan La village, I Phuong Duc commune, Phu Xuan district, Hanoi. Everyday, To he (toy figurine) craftsmen in Xuan La village have to leave their home in the early morning on bicycles to be timely present at parks, flower gardens and markets in Hanoi. With small wood boxes containing glutinous rice powder of various colours, some bamboo sticks and magical hands, Xuan La craftsmen create extremely lively toy figurines to sell to children at VND3,000-5,000/toy. Xuan La village has three thousand people and around 200 people are earning their living by making To he. Everywhere there is To he – that place has Xuan La villagers. The toy figurines which have brought a small joy to many generations of Vietnamese have experienced many ups and downs, but Xuan La people are faithful to this job, though this job can’t make them rich. To he … [Read more...] about The vitality of To he craft village
After more than 20 years of work, D. Nguyen Thuyet Phong was recently recognized by the US Government for his efforts to bring traditional Vietnamese music to the US, and thus enriching the country’s cultural heritage. Being born into a family with a tradition of being involved with music in the Mekong River Delta, Dr Phong began performing traditional Vietnamese music when he was just five. After graduating with a Doctorate in International Ethnic Musicology from the Sorbonne Academy in Paris in 1984, he next traveled to the US to teach Asian music at more than 20 universities, and later became a member of the US’ National Arts Council. In the US, he has visited all 50 states, and more than 40 universities, in order to teach the traditional ethnic music of many of the world’s nationalities, including that of Vietnam. His lectures have received special attention, because not only is he an expert in international ethnic music theory, but he can also play many … [Read more...] about Overseas Vietnamese Bringing Traditional Vietnamese Music to the U.S
After a decade of development, often through buying or benchmarking foreign technology and know-how, Chinese automakers are looking with greater ambition at selling their cars in major Western markets. Improvements in car design, technology and marketing at firms including Geely (0175.HK), GAC Motor and Great Wall Motor (601633.SS) have brought them a bigger share in their home market, the world’s largest, and give them a better chance of survival in competitive markets in Europe and the United States. Once distant dreams of staking a claim in Western strongholds may now be edging nearer. “We have in the Western world an outrageous arrogance. We think we’re ahead. It’s going to change,” says Alain Visser, Senior Vice President of Lynk & Co, a new brand set up by Geely. “China is passing you at a speed that in our arrogance we don’t even see,” Visser told Reuters earlier this month. Hangzhou-based Geely, which owns Volvo Cars and Lotus … [Read more...] about Are China’s cars finally going to make inroads in Western markets?