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Downstream from Hue to Thuan An, Huong (Perfume) River meets Bo River in such a glorious grandeur of water and sky that even the most indifferent ones have to utter ‘so beautiful!’ [ more... ]
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Bazaars are not, by nature, permanent structures. Rows of thatched huts, mostly wall-less, they come and go based on the needs of the town or village and the fortunes and fates of the individual families that make up the vendors. When the market is closed for the evening or a holiday, the simple structures are desolate and sad. [ more... ]
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There can be few things more pleasing to the eye than a fine lady in a fine dress. In Vietnam, ‘fine dress’ means the long, two-piece dress known as the ao dai, which is, of course, a national symbol. It consists of a flowing, tight-fitting tunic over loose pantaloons and is one of only a few Vietnamese words that one may find in an English dictionary. [ more... ]
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began wearing the ao dai (lit. ‘long gown’) at the age of 10, when my mother had sewed me a new ao dai for the Tet lunar new year as if to mark the figure of my person. Since then, the ao dai has followed me throughout my youth. The year that I matriculated at Dong Khanh Women’s Secondary School, my mother made the uniform out of white silk. [ more... ]
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uan Yu (Gong) is a deity in Chinese mythology, a remarkable figure in popular Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism. Confucianism considers him the ‘Martial God’ (whereas the ‘Intellectual God’ is Confucius himself). In Buddhism, he is a dharmapāla named Gia Lam Bodhisattva, and in Taoism, he is the ‘Great Triple Wrath King’. [ more... ]
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In Bao Lam District of Cao Bang Province, cows are highly valued because they help reduce poverty. Men love to take their cows to the fair just to show off. So, the people’s committee of the district chose the 20th of the first lunar month every year to organize a Beauty Cow Queen and Bull Fight festival. This has become the merriest and most crowded event of Cao Bang Province and the Northern highlands. [ more... ]
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It was getting cold when I came to Pa Xa Xa Village, Pa Thom Commune, Dien Bien District, near the border with Laos. [ more... ]
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Tet 2013, I went to see a festival in Dong Ky village in Tu Son District, Bac Ninh Province, near Hanoi. It began with a firecracker procession. [ more... ]
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To the Vietnamese, the New Year’s tree (cây nêu) is a much-cherished cultural symbol. It comes with a legend soaked in love to humanity. [ more... ]
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The special thing about Huong Canh is its blue clay, the raw material used to make its famous products. This clay is found in the swampy areas, 3-10m ...
All of us carry a lot from our pasts as we journey forwards in our lives. I was reminded of this the other day on a visit to a cafe themed around ...
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