A traditional festival of Thai ethnic group at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism (Photo: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Various cultural and art activities are set to be held at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism throughout January, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said on January 3. The events are designed to introduce festivals and customs at the beginning of the year, as well as the traditional activities during Tet (Lunar New Year) of various ethnic groups. They will feature nearly 100 members of 14 ethnic groups at the village. The Tay-Nung group will introduce the “Lau Then” ritual to visitors. “Then” singing (Hat Then) is a distinctive musical genre of the Tay, Nung, and Thai ethnic groups in northern mountainous provinces of Vietnam, such as Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Bac Kan, and Lang Son. Closely linked with the spiritual life of ethnic minority groups who often use ceremonial offerings … [Read more...] about Ethnic culture and tourism village offers diverse activities in January
Vietnam sticky rice treats
On the outside, the coconut sticky rice, xoi dua, is a very simple, tasty dish, one of several varieties of the dish that is a popular breakfast choice of many in Vietnam, including Hanoi. However, there’s more to this particular variety that makes it difficult to get one that has the right taste. Basically, the dish is a combination of glutinous rice with sesame, shredded coconut and a dash of brown sugar. It has a light sweet taste, great fragrance and does not “fill” you like other, more well known sticky rice varieties. Despite its great taste and looks, the coconut sticky rice is not a ubiquitous presence on the street because making it is a relatively difficult, time consuming process. The cook has to steam the rice twice after adding a pinch of salt. Then, the white strands of grated coconut and the sesame, essential to the dish, have to be roasted carefully. If the fire is too strong, they will get burnt, and the taste and fragrance of the dish will be lost. … [Read more...] about Coconut sticky rice a rare treat on Hanoi streets
Japan Japan has two moon festivals every year, following lunar calendar. Zyuyoga is associated with the traditional customs of "Otsukimi" (meaning watching the moon on the full moon day in autumn). For the people in the land of the rising sun, the festival is the time for them to honor the moon in the fall, the only time the moon is at its fullest. In the Otsukimi festival, the Japanese often make Dango, a type of rice dumplings (mochiko). It is quite similar to mochi and is served with tea. On the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, the Japanese personally hand mix flour with water, pound it to create that structure-builder before proceeds to baking. Dango cake is presented with a Susuki grass vase during moon festivals. Also known as tail flower, susuki is a perennial tall grass that blossoms in the autumn. The moon watching ritual cannot be done without dango cake. Dango cake and susuki grass. Photo courtesy of Katorisi on Wikipedia The legend of Dango cake is traditionally … [Read more...] about Are moon festivals the same everywhere in Asia?
Talented: Nguyen Bach Lan, also known as Ma Bay (Seventh Mum) from Ben Tre‘s Chau Thanh District, often uses coconut to make dishes, including cakes for her family. Whenever I think of coconuts, Ben Tre Province immediately comes to mind. Though coconut trees can be found nearly everywhere in the country, only in Ben Tre can you find the special species of palm tree that is characteristic of the region. Located in the southwestern part of the Mekong Delta, about 90km west of HCM City, Ben Tre has ong been famed for its delicious variety of coconut dishes. Travelling from HCM City, you will soon notice the shadows of coconut trees as you cross the Rạch Mieu Bridge over the Tien River linking the two Delta provinces of Tien Giang and Ben Tre. All around you are lush, verdant paddy fields and boats quietly gliding on waterways, a perfect gateway to a relaxing vacation or weekend retreat away from the big city. One of the area’s most famous products is keo dua (coconut … [Read more...] about Ben Tre: Vietnam’s coconut kingdom
Xoi ngu sac used to be served on special occasions, but is a daily dish in the northern region now (Photo: monan9.com) Hanoi (VNA) - If rice is Vietnam’s staple crop, xoi (steamed sticky rice) is the nation’s choice dish, as much as the famous pho (rice noodle soup), if not more so. It is a breakfast favourite, and the most popular snack or meal at late night or in early dawn. It is sold by vendors in early morning markets and it can be found in fanciest restaurants serving traditional Vietnamese food. There are any numbers of specialty xoi restaurants, as well as push carts that stand on street corners or bicycles that go around the streets well past midnight, long after restaurants and other eateries have closed. Xoi, as the name suggests, is made with glutinous rice, steamed or cooked. There are those who love having this regularly for breakfast and those who have it at any time of the day or night, but almost every Vietnamese will have it … [Read more...] about Xoi – a quick fix for empty stomach
Con Son - Kiep Bac Complex (Source: Internet) Hanoi (VNA) - “Con Son suoi chay ri ram/ Ta nghe nhu tieng dan cam ben tai” (Con Son’s streams are babbling/ As music from a stringed instrument) The beauty and serenity evoked in this line from 15th-century poet Nguyen Trai’s Con Son Ca (Con Son Ballad) still come to mind when visiting the Con Son-Kiep Bac Complex today. The complex of pagodas and temples nestles amidst forested mountains in the Con Son area’s Chi Linh district, Hai Duong province. The most prominent structures in the complex are the Con Son Pagoda and the Kiep Bac Temple, havens of peace and quiet, some 80 kilometres from central Hanoi. The sacredness of the pagoda, believed to have been built in the 13th century, is encapsulated in the famous saying: “Con Son, Yen Tu, Quynh Lam/ Neu ai chua den thien tam chua danh” (Those who haven’t been to Con Son, Yen Tu and Quynh Lam haven’t … [Read more...] about Con Son-Kiep Bac
Vietnamese women are traditionally in charge of the housework, and that burden multiplies when it comes to the country’s biggest holiday, Tet. But some have found a way out. They pay other people to do their chores. “My days of organizing parties are over. They will bring all the food over on New Year’s Eve,” said a woman in Hanoi, who only revealed her first name as Thao. “The burden is off my shoulders,” she said. Tet, or the Lunar New Year, will fall next week and is the most important holiday in Vietnam. It involves a lot of parties and house visits, and as a result requires a lot of cooking and cleaning. In the still largely patriarchal Vietnam, most of the work is usually done by the women, until they can stand it no more. Media reports and human rights organizations have been criticizing the housework stereotype in Vietnam, so companies are featuring more men in advertisements for kitchen appliances (although only in supporting … [Read more...] about Ready-made feasts free Vietnamese women from Tet chores