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Exhibition marks Liberation Day

A photography exhibition opened on April 25 at the Lam Son and Chi Lang parks in Ho Chi Minh city to celebrate the 37th anniversary of the Liberation of the South and National Unification (April 30, 1975- 2012) and May Day (May 1).

The 220 photos and documents on display are arranged according to two main themes, ‘A Country Full of Joy’ and ‘The Beautiful and Heroic South’, highlighting the glorious struggle of the southern people and army during the US resistance war under the leadership of the Party and the great support of the northern rear front.

The exhibits also show the beauty of the region’s natural features and historic sites, as well as infrastructure development and the dynamic, friendly southern people.

The exhibition, being held by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, will last until May 10.

* To mark the upcoming holidays, a gathering was held in Hai Phong city on the same day for nearly 1,000 teachers who took part in the two resistance wars against the French colonialists and the US imperialists.

The participants, now living in Hai Phong city, reviewed the unforgettable days when they were both teachers and soldiers in the great national resistance wars to fight for independence, freedom and liberation.

The event also featured revolutionary songs and exchanges with outstanding teacher-soldiers and military musicians.

The event, held by the city Department of Education and Training, aimed to educate younger teachers and pupils about the national revolutionary tradition and inspire patriotism.

* On the same day, the Phu Tho provincial Radio and Television held an arts exchange entitled ‘Aspiration for Victory’ to pay tribute to war heroes and martyrs who laid down their lives for national liberation and unification. The event also featured touching stories about tank soldiers, historical witnesses and journalists who joined the fierce but heroic resistance wars. The event aimed to educate younger generations about the undaunted fighting spirit of their predecessors.

Highland market session held in Hanoi

A mountain market session, as part of the ‘Sac Mau Tay Bac’ (Colours of the Northwest) programme, is being held in Hanoi from April 26-28.

Visitors to the market can taste thang co - a traditional dish of the Mong ethnic people, com lam (rice cooked in bamboo-tubes), smoked ham and grilled chicken and drink banana wine and corn wine served in wooden bowls on black wooden tables.

They can buy some regional specialties, including forest vegetables, tea and bamboo sprouts put in papooses of Mong and Dao ethnic people or arranged in bamboo stalls, and watch the making of linen cloth of the Mong, Pieu scarfs by the Thai, and the colourful dress patterns by the Muong, Red Dao and Black Thai.

The event, jointly held by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism, some northern cities and the provinces of Hoa Binh, Son La, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Dien Bien, and Hanoi, is among the activities to mark the Vietnam Ethnic Group Cultural Day (April 19).

Cable car to Fansipan’s peak meets opposition

The People’s Committee of the northern province of Lao Cai has just approved a project to build a cable car system from Sapa to Mt. Fansipan’s peak in the hope of making it easier for tourists to reach Vietnam’s highest peak. However, the project been met with opposition from experts who say the work will destroy the landscape, biodiversity and especially the attractiveness of conquering Vietnam’s rooftop.

Tran Huu Son, director of Lao Cai’s Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, said that as a researcher he disagrees with the planned project.

“Conquering Mt. Fansipan is the dream of many people. They climb it to celebrate their wedding anniversary, for example, and even disabled people want to conquer it. With the cable car, people will flock in masses to the mountain, and Fansipan will not make any sense anymore,” he said.

The researcher also expressed his worry that the potential large number of people coming to the mountain will destroy the area’s biodiversity, which features many kinds of rare plants.

“For thousands of years, people have trekked to the mountain. The climbing has become a culture. The cable car will bring a lot of people there. It’s not good for the culture, it’s also not good for the environment,” he stated.

“It may bring a big profit at present, but it is also a threat for later generations,” he warned.

Sustainable tourism development must preserve the area’s cultural identity and protect the environment. “One day, if you come to Sapa and don’t see anyone wearing ethnic traditional costumes, you know that Sapa has died.”

“The cable car shouldn’t lead straight to the mountain’s peak”

That’s what some other experts’ think. Though they do not oppose the project outright on the project, they do not completely agree with it either.

“If the plan has been not approved, I suggest that the authorities put the final station of the system at a height of 2,000 meters, not at the highest peak,” opined Nguyen Luan, former chairman of Vietnam Architects' Association.

“The mountain’s peak is narrow, we cannot put such a massive structure on it,” he added. “The distance from the ending station to the mountain’s peak at the height of 3,143 meters will still be a challenge to climbers.”

Regarding the concern that the construction of the cable car system will destroy the area’s landscape, the architect said that if the construction process is managed carefully, there will be no serious damage.

Tour travel agency, said he agrees with the idea that the system should not lead to the mountain peak.

“As a semi-professional mountain climber, I think that the authorities should build stop stations along the path to the mountain’s peak,” he shared. “The peak is always for people who have faith and energy.”

Hoang Thuc Hao, a lecturer at the Hanoi University of Civil Engineering who is building the community house at Ta Pin Town in Sapa, said that what makes the mountain attractive is that it’s hard to conquer.

“If the cable car reaches the top of the mountain, it will affect the area’s biodiversity,” he shared.

“Each land has its own specific historical and cultural values. With this plan, I think we need to calculate the process carefully to preserve the area’s special values.”

Northwestern mountain culture in Hanoi

Hanoi is hosting a programme called ‘Sac Mau Tay Bac’ (Northwestern Colours) from April 26-28.

The aim is to promote the images and tourism potential of northwestern provinces to domestic and foreign visitors.

The event, co-organized by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism, Hanoi and Hoa Binh, Son La, Lai Chau, Lao Cai, Yen Bai and Dien Bien provinces is part of activities to mark the Vietnam Ethnic Group Cultural Day (April 19).

A water-powered rice-grinding machine

Kham Gong

Using pestles to grind rice

A kitchen

Red Dao and H’Mong women in traditional costumes

A Muong weaver

A Kho Mu couple sowing seeds

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