Tet away from homeBy Thanh Thom Vietnamese-Canadian Elise Dang poses for a photo with her husband and daughters – PHOTO: ELISE DANG The Lunar New Year, or Tet, is a special occasion for overseas Vietnamese people to come back to their homeland, Vietnam, to spend a fulfilling holiday with their loved ones after a long year of study or work. However, for some reason, some have no other choice but to experience Tet away from home. In a recent interview with The Saigon Times via the Facebook Video Chat app, Elise Dang – a Vietnamese national residing in Canada – shares her experiences of Tet in the North American country. The Saigon Times: Ms. Dang, could you please introduce yourself to our readers? Elise Dang: May everyone have a prosperous new year! My name is Elise Dang. I am currently working as a research assistant for Mental Health Science in a public university in Canada. On the side I am a freelance translator/interpreter. I am originally from the … [Read more...] about Tet away from home
Take away or take away
Viet Nam News by Kiều Bích Hương “New customers are coming, dad!” Demi called excitedly. Noel frowned, put a pile of bills into the drawer, rearranged his shirt collar, straightened its hems, and walked out. The sunshine outdoors dazzled him, preventing him from seeing the customers clearly. Yet he caught Demi’s excitement. Later, after the customers left, he must scold her, Noel thought. Of course customers meant business, which was good. But they mustn’t wear their gladness on their faces like that when another person had passed away. Three middle-aged chaps with burly bodies and distraught faces were standing wearily before Noel. Demi eagerly fetched some drinking water. Noel stretched out his hand toward the stoutest man to invite him to sit down. The tallest one nodded to greet Noel then went out to answer his phone. The remaining one, the youngest, thrust his hands into his pockets, and anxiously walked around Noel’s office … [Read more...] about A note for someone who has passed away
Viet Nam News by Khánh Linh The clip is only three minutes long, but it has Vietnamese parents up in arms: it depicts young Vietnamese children who started studying English at a very early age, even before they fluently spoke their mother tongue, struggling to express themselves in either language. The clip immediately sparked a debate on the unforeseen impacts of early foreign language education among parents. The largest concern is that foreign language study for children under three can raise the risk of language disorders. Some children end up struggling with Vietnamese or need to work with a language therapist. Parents’ comments revealed their worries. They had considered it essential to teach their kids to sing English songs and learn simple words on Youtube or via learning software—but now they are trying to decide if there’s a downside. Some said they would keep their children from studying English until they were in the first grade. … [Read more...] about Fears of language disorders dampen parents’ enthusiasm for English
Viet Nam News HCM CITY – HCM City’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs plans to submit a report to the city’s People’s Committee on the best ways to protect children and help them live in a safe, healthy and inclusive environment. Đặng Hoa Nam, director of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ Department of Child Care and Protection, said the focus would be on protecting two million children under 16 years old, 550,000 children under six years old, 400 children with disabilities, 100 orphans, and thousands of disadvantaged children, as well as children who receive allowances in HCM City under official social assistance policies. Nam spoke at a dialogue on child care and protection on Wednesday held by the city’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and Save the Children in Việt Nam. Participants discussed the roles and responsibilities of local government, … [Read more...] about HCM City takes steps to protect children’s rights
by Robert Bicknell How can a 30-hdcp player can lower their score…? Well, the first thing that springs to mind is for them to play with half-blind friends, at night, and keep an eraser handy. Scratch golf… If they don’t like their score, scratch it out and write something else. On the more serious side, I would have to ask why they’re a 30-hdcp in the first place because, while many people start out as a very high handicapper, they certainly shouldn’t be staying at that level for any period of time. Chances are they bought a set of clubs and started learning from their friends, a book, or the internet. This will almost guarantee they learned incorrectly and developed a lot of bad habits. Repeat after me… “If you’re a 30-hdcp for more than a month and are not improving, you already have trouble.” The single best way to learn how to play golf and eliminate unnecessary future headaches is to find a qualified instructor from the … [Read more...] about Hacking away at a handicap
Viet Nam News by Nguyễn Khánh Chi A recent lunch date with my old friends from university turned into a stirring round-table discussion when one friend proposed that we all make a plan to travel together. As we envisioned a change of pace, time together and the chance to explore, everyone seemed excited—but one woman looked a bit concerned. “Does that mean we leave our kids and husband at home?” she asked in a low voice. “Yes!” “Yep!” “Why not?” the others jumped in. Vietnamese traditional family values dating back to the feudal period stipulate that housework is women’s responsibility. This view is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it leads to celebrations of Vietnamese women’s dedication and hard work for their families. On the other, it punishes Vietnamese women who dare to assert some purpose or passion in life outside of their home. The persistence of this view makes it hard for many women to … [Read more...] about Women take a break from family for travel: Why not?
Nguyễn Thanh Hoá. — Photo tuoitre.vn By Khánh Vân Given their frequency, we should not be surprised, but we continue to be shocked each time an instance of corruption in high places comes to light. The latest such instance is the arrest of a former senior public security police officer on suspicion of involvement in one of the country’s biggest online gambling and money laundering cases. Nguyễn Thanh Hoá, former head of the Public Security Ministry’s Hi-tech Crime Police Department, was placed under arrest on Sunday for allegedly organising gambling, a crime under the Penal Code. Hóa’s hi-tech department was in charge of tackling illegal activity on the web, including online fraud and illegal betting. But now the Major General is in the dock for the very crime he was required to fight. Hóa, 60,was a very high ranked officer who’d gained repute for busting many cases of illicit online gambling, both … [Read more...] about Is our corruption glass half full or half empty?
This theme began innocently enough in Da Nang, where I came across a great shop that serves bún thịt nướng (barbecued pork pieces, sausage wrapped in betel leaves, and ground chicken on a skewer, together with the customary mountain of various greens, rice noodles, and a chili-laced peanut sauce) and took the habit of calling in each week or so. The single width standard-sized shop features those low-slung tables and teeny-weeny stools that all of us somewhat taller folks in Vietnam absolutely adore on the left side. It’s like a limbo dance to get low enough to sit on the stools without ending up sprawling on the floor, but once you’re seated it’s all good from there. A serving stand spans the left half of the front entrance with mom and her nón lá (traditional cone-shaped hat) running the grilling operation on the sidewalk. The right side of the shop is actually a motorbike service and repair operation, with stacks of tires … [Read more...] about Vietnam journal: Which came first? Chicken or egg?
It’s been nearly ten years since a football team brought this much joy to the nation. Vietnam beat Qatar 4-3 in their second consecutive penalty shootout of the tournament, after a gripping 2-2 draw in extra time. Vietnam had already made history before Tuesday’s match in Changzhou, China, having become the first Southeast Asian team to make it to both the Asian championship’s quarterfinals and then the semifinals. Fans dressed in red and yellow, the colors of Vietnam’s national flag, which was also waved proudly, began pouring into streets around the country at around 5:30pm on Tuesday, for parade party that lasted well beyond midnight. From Hanoi and Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City, downtown areas were packed with thousands of fans who chanted “Vietnam, the champions” and sang national songs as kitchen utensils were used as makeshift instruments. Even foreigners were blown away by the celebrations and joined Vietnamese fans as they … [Read more...] about Vietnam’s football fans take to the streets after Asian Cup final progress
A young woman in a province in Vietnam helps to improve the English command of students in her hometown by organizing non-profit tours to a former imperial city of nationwide popularity. Nguyen Thi Hai Oanh, living in Quang Tri Province, single-handedly manages the so-called Amazing English Tour, which offers hands-on activities of talking with English-speaking visitors. Elementary, middle and high school students participate in the tour in Hai Lang, which is the district Nguyen Thi Hai Oanh lives in. The trip is free, which means the children pay nothing but bus fares and expenses on meals and drinks, but Oanh sometimes has to chip in her own money to cover unexpected costs. The tour’s destination is the royal palace inside a citadel in Hue City, which is located south of her home region. Hue was Vietnam's imperial capital. Meeting at her house, the tour group consisting of children and led by Oanh departs in the early morning and travels back home before dusk falls. The … [Read more...] about Vietnamese woman takes rural students to royal city in order to learn English