Thousands of people attended the opening of the two-day Book and Reading Culture Festival 2012 which was kicked off at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi on Saturday.
The festival organised over Saturday and Sunday has over 40 bookstores presenting a large volume of books in various categories.
The section on literature has a stall on works dedicated to the late President Ho Chi Minh, like Tam va Tai (Heart and Talent), Bi quyet thanh cong cua Ho Chi Minh (Secret of successes of Ho Chi Minh), or Bac Ho thoi nien thieu (Ho Chi Minh’s childhood).
Many valuable and rare Vietnamese books are also on display. These are original works and few are even a century old, having great cultural and historical value.
Among them is ‘Hoang trieu Ngoc Diep’, a handwritten set of books on the biography of nine Nguyen Kings, with several documents that have never been seen before.
The festival also has various activities like releasing of balloons with the message ‘Reading for a better future’, a book arrangement competition, seminars, exchanges with researchers and scholars, and a mobile library for children.
CAMA Music Festival 6 to take place in Hanoi
Leading rockers and dancers from Vietnam and abroad will perform at the Club for Art and Music Appreciation (CAMA) Music Festival 6, due to open in Hanoi on June 2.
The annual festival aims to promote both domestic and foreign musical talent and create a chance for local music lovers to enjoy performances by renowned artists.
This year’s event has attracted six foreign rock bands and hip-hop dance groups including Carsick Cars from China, Electric Eel Shock from Japan, Turbo Goth from the Philippines, Poubelle International from Hong Kong (China), DJ Tech12 from the UK, and Akil The MC from the US who will share the stage with the a number of Vietnamese artists.
Classical ‘Tuong’ form of theatre struggles to survive
Over the years, several ‘Tuong’ theatre companies have had to close down from lack of patronage, but the Ho Chi Minh City Classical Theatre is still struggling to make both ends meet and preserve the traditional classical ‘Tuong’ or ‘Hat Boi’ form of musical drama alive.
Every year, the theatre stages over 30 free shows and 70 paid shows, reaping in a mere VND8 million (US$381) per show.
The meagre earnings pay for the costumes, stage decorations, artists, musicians and backstage workers. Since 2000, each artist has only been receiving VND45,000-100,000 per play.
Besides a small fixed salary, several artists earn less than VND1 million a month. As a result, they have been forced to do part-time jobs like assistants to masons, electricians or have opened restaurants or hairdressing saloons.
However, despite earning paltry sums, the theatre artists still maintain their love for classical theatre. Senior artists have also taken great pains to train young artists in recent years.
Outstanding young artists like Anh Thy, Bao Chau, Minh Khuong and Thanh Binh, have not just talent but also a passion and zeal to preserve and develop the traditional classical ‘Tuong’ form of theatre.
Meritorious artist Phan Ngoc Nga, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Classical Theatre said that they desire to have a new stage set for their performances now, as their current one is in bad shape.
Northwestern colours to be highlighted in Hanoi
People who want to discover the peoples and cultures of the northwestern region will have the chance to make their dreams come true, right in Hanoi with a programme called “the Colours of the Northwestern Region”.
The programme will be held at the Exhibition Centre for Culture and the Arts on April 26-28 to mark Vietnam ’s Ethnic Groups Cultural Day.
There will be a broad range of activities, including cultural and art exchanges, fashion shows and traditional games.
A replica of a market in the mountainous region will be re-created selling all the specialties produced in the northwestern region.
Nguyen Thi Hoa, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and the Arts said the organising board has worked with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to select the most special cultural products from the northwestern region to offer to visitors.
The programme aims to protect and promote the traditional cultures of the northwestern people, and consolidate solidarity between ethnic groups in Vietnam to boost the region’s tourism potential.
It has been co-organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Hanoi People’s Committee and the northwestern provinces.
Exhibition features Lenin portraits
The Ho Chi Minh Museum in Vietnam and the Lenin Memorial House in Ulyanovsk, Russia, jointly held an exhibition on portraits of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in Hanoi on April 20.
On display are nearly 200 photographs, documents, artifacts and documentaries related to Lenin - a great leader of the Russian people as well as the master of the world proletarian revolution.
Many of the items on show are being presented in Vietnam for the first time.
The exhibition depicts the solidarity, friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and the former Soviet Union and the present Russian Federation, which was forged by President Ho Chi Minh and generations of leaders from both countries.
Visitors to the exhibition learnt about Vietnam's renewal (doi moi) process in the light of Marxism-Leninism and the Thought of Ho Chi Minh.
The vice head of the Ulyanovsk Lenin Memorial House, Peffilov Valery, said the exhibition aimed to celebrate the 142nd birthday of Lenin (April 22) and to implement a cooperation agreement between the Memorial House and the Ho Chi Minh Museum in Hanoi.
Valery said the city of Ulyanovsk, Lenin’s birthplace, has long established ties with Vietnam, particularly with Nghe An province, the homeland of Ho Chi Minh.
He said a street in Ulyanovsk was named after Ho Chi Minh in 1987 and a statue of the great leader was later erected on this street.
Valery added that the Lenin Memorial House looks forward to welcoming a delegation from the Ho Chi Minh Museum to mount an exhibition on the life and revolutionary career of President Ho Chi Minh next month.
Japan-Danang 2012 cultural festival held
The Japan-Danang 2012 cultural festival was jointly organized on April 21 by Danang University of Foreign Languages and the Japan International Exchange Fund.
The festival offered the chance for Vietnamese students and lecturers to meet and exchange experiences with Japanese experts and businesses operating in Danang city to learn more about the language and culture of the two countries.
A competition on knowledge of Japan and its people was held during the event. Vietnamese students had the opportunity to learn Japanese calligraphy and origami (the paper folding art).
Through exchanges with representatives of Japanese businesses, Vietnamese students were also able to look for jobs after graduation.
Photo exhibition portrays solidarity
A photograph exhibition set to open today in the northern province of Son La celebrates the close friendship and strong solidarity between Viet Nam and Laos during the past 50 years.
It is organised as part of a conference on legislative co-operation between Viet Nam and Laos held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The show will be divided into two parts. The first section includes 100 photos taken by Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reporters highlighting co-operation and friendship between Viet Nam and Laos. The second part includes 60 photos taken by journalists working on newspapers in Son La Province spotlighting co-operation with the northern provinces of Laos.
"The exhibition aims to reflect the traditional solidarity between Viet Nam and Laos and highlight relations between the national assemblies of the two countries to strengthen ties further," said Pham Dinh Quyen, deputy chief of the Photo Department of the VNA.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties, Viet Nam's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has recognised the Viet Nam -Laos revolutionary historical vestige situated in Lao Kho Hamlet, Phieng Khoai Commune, Yen Chau District in Son La as a national historical vestige.
The exhibition runs until Thursday.
HCM City notary wins singing contest
Thai Thanh Hiep of HCM City won the annual singing contest for people aged 35 and above, the Tieng Hat Mai Xanh (Evergreen Singing) event.
He received 52.74 per cent of total number audience votes.
After a month of performing on stage, Hiep won against eight finalists thanks to his successful performances of pop and patriotic music.
The 39-year-old notary showed off his warm and strong voice in compositions by Minh Vy and Sy Dan at the grand finale at the Hoa Binh Theatre on Friday.
Hiep also was the winner of the group for contestants between 35 and 50.
The 55-year-old Tran Thi Kim Thoa of Khanh Hoa Province won the first prize for contestants between 51 and 65.
The winner of group for contestants above 65 was 68-year-old Duong Van Va of HCM City. He was also voted as the Favourite Contestant by the audience.
The grand winner will receive VND40 million in prize money, while the winners from each group will get VND20 million each.
This year's contest attracted more than 3,500 participants from around the country.