In April, a 23-year-old student heated up the Vietnamese YouTube community when he perfectly mimicked the voice of 13 famous singers.
In the music video, Mai Quoc Viet, a student at Hong Bang University in Ho Chi Minh City, sang Trinh Cong Song’s song Cat Bui (Sand and Dust), in the voice of Dam Vinh Hung, Ung Hoang Phuc, Lam Truong, Khanh Phuong, Duy Manh, Tuan Ngoc, Phan Dinh Tung, Che Linh, Phuong Thanh, Khanh Ly, Jimmy Nguyen, Thu Hien and a few others.
He can even ‘play’ saxophone just like famous saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan, entirely by vocal sounds.
A fan club dedicated to Viet appeared instantly on Facebook, drawing thousands of fans who called him a “hot new idol”. He sings with his own band “It’s Time” at some of the city’s small coffee houses in the evening.
The talkative genius
Also in April, a video capturing Dinh Duc Tam, a student from the Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh making a speech explaining “Why we should talk a lot” was released on Youtube and received hundreds of views and comments within the first few hours of its posting.
With his smart, logical, and humorous arguments, Tam was dubbed a “talkative genius” and an online personality in 2011.
In May, local netizens were enthralled by a video clip of an 8-year-old girl singing the song “Chu ech con” (A baby frog) beautifully in both Vietnamese and Italian at the children’s international music event Zecchino d’Oro, in Italy.
Hundreds of thousands of viewers watched the video, which had actually been filmed in 2003, and only posted on Youtube this year. Tra is now a 10th –grader at the Foreign Language High School in Hanoi.
The Celine Dion fan
In June, another young music talent caused a stir among Youtube users when his cover of the Celine Dion classic “My Heart Will Go On” was released. So far, the video has attracted 533,885 views.
Vu Song Vu, a 12-year-old boy from Hai Phong, was compared to America’s young country sensations Billy Gilman and Scotty McCreery, the latter of whom is youngest ever winner of American Idol.
Recently Vu has signed up for the talent search reality show “Vietnam’s Got Talent”.
Even younger than Vu was Vietnamese-Australian Jacquelyn Ngo, who at just 6years-old has a lot to be proud of, as her individual exhibition held this February in Australia has caught the attention of both the media and art professionals in Vietnam and Australia.
Born to Vietnamese immigrant parents in New South Wales (Australia), she started painting when she was 3, and has painted nonstop ever since.
Specializing in oil paintings, Jacquelyn’s talent was first discovered when she won the children’s category of the Liverpool City Art Prize in 2010, after which the Liverpool City Council decided to host her first exhibition, which featured 30 of her oil paintings in its new Kids' Gallery.
Steven Alderton, director of the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre which held her second exhibition in May, said Jacquelyn had a very fresh painting ability and that her work was “light and bright and energetic”.
The art student
19-year-old Nguyen Tung Duong, a Vietnamese music and performing arts student at Hammersmith College (UK), rose to fame when his video clip “I’m Yours and Price Tag Medley” was posted on Youtube on September 8.
The video, which features two songs by Jason Mraz and Jessi J, was made by an amateur in just one day and has received positive reviews, as well as nearly 400,000 views on Youtube.
Duong said that singing English songs improves his pronunciation, makes him more confident, and helps him become more outgoing.
A former Vietnamese student of the University of California in Los Angeles caused a stir on Youtube after getting down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend after a flash mob dance on the school campus on September 24.
The clip received over 200,000 views and almost 6,000 likes from Youtube users within just three days of being posted..
In the clip, Nam Tran, the hero of the hour, took Trang, his girlfriend, to the school campus where they first met. Then, around 100 people joined him to perform a 4-minute flash dance mob to the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli.
The event brought some of the female bystanders to tears, and it ended with the couple exchanging a romantic kiss and receiving congratulations from friends.
Netizens expressed their admiration for the creative wedding proposal.
Nam and Trang later appeared in interviews with local newspapers like Tuoitre, and American TV channel CNN.
In early November, a young Facebook user with the nickname “Keo mut choi boi” from Yen Bai angered the online community when he posted insensitive comments about an old traffic victim that he and his friend had hit and killed.
On his wall he wrote, “Sad news! We are really sorry to inform you that the dude we hit kicked the bucket last night at 17h07. The guy was born in 1953”, and that they unfortunately had to pay more than VND20 million (US$1,000) in hospital and funeral fees to the victim’s family.
Keo mut choi boi’s post drew hundreds of comments criticizing his cruelty and heartless lack of concern. Many Facebook users then formed groups and vowed to catch Keo mut choi boi. They went and waited in places like the gym and the college he was believed to visit frequently.
Some netizens then put up his personal information online, including his pictures, background, and phone number, which helped the police to identify the culprit.
It was later found that the Facebook user was Dang Manh Linh, a 20-year-old student from Thai Nguyen.
He and his friend Doan Hiep (24) hit Nguyen Huu Giang (58) when the old man was walking home from work. Giang died one day later in the hospital.
On November 10, Linh and his family visited Giang’s family to apologize and burn incense for him. He also deleted his posts and closed his page after the anger of the Facebook community.
The English speaker
A Vietnamese student in the US, nicknamed DuhocsinhMy, has recently posted a controversial video on Youtube in which he opined that 90 percent of Vietnamese students in the US were bad at English.
The young college student said most Vietnamese students thought they were good at English until they actually got the chance to live in the US.
To him, a good command of the language cannot be evaluated through tests or exams, but only through communication skills. A good speaker is one who can get a native girlfriend or get his American friend to lend him money, DuhocsinhMy said.
The clip drew tens of thousands of views on Youtube, and the comments are divided. Many netizens agreed with his view, while others call DuhocsinhMy arrogant.