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Every year, on about the 9th or 10th day after Tet, in Tan Phu and Tan Binh districts of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), groups of people who live in the same neighbourhood participate in a ritual that they call lễ cúng xóm or just cúng xóm, literally, ‘hamlet offering’. [ more... ]
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Tintinnabula are articles of decorative musical jewelry that predate written records. Tintinnabula can be made of lead, or iron, but bronze tintinnabula are most prevalent. At the archeological sites of the Dong Son and Sa Huynh cultures, bronze tintinnabula have been found in relatively large numbers. [ more... ]
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At the rice noodle restaurant at No 57 Ngo Sy Lien Street, in Hanoi, I trembled when the owner cursed about _trivial things. I looked back at myself to see if the way I sat, the way I ate, the way I talked were decent enough for her to pass me over. [ more... ]
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In 1956, the National School of Music was set up in Saigon. This school chiefly teaches Western music, but does include a traditional section where pupils are taught to play Vietnamese musical instruments; classes of Western music are far more popular than those in which traditional music is taught. [ more... ]
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In the early 1950s in my house, as well as in every other family’s in Hanoi, there used to be a few glass bottles of boiled water. The boiled water was the water that had been taken from the faucet and boiled up to a very high temperature. [ more... ]
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It was the most beautiful village of the Bahnar I had ever seen, and gloomiest. No smoke from kitchens, laughter of innocent children or sound of women pounding rice with mortar and pestle. Nothing, at noon, except a rooster crowing. [ more... ]
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Công Dồn Village of the Cơ Tu tribe in Zuôih Commune of Nam Giang District in the Southern Central Vietnam province of Quang Nam is in a narrow valley on the Vietnam-Laos border. The stilt houses with the roofs in the shape of a mango. [ more... ]
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It was a couple of years since I had visited Kim Quy Pagoda, the Pagoda of the Golden Tortoise in the rural outskirts of Hanoi. Thay Nhan, the monk, had invited me back there over the phone many times, but I had been reluctant to return, after learning he was knocking the old temple down. [ more... ]
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Vietnamese fishermen, especially those of southern Central Vietnam, respect and are grateful to the whale, which they call ‘Ông’, ‘Mr’. They say the whale is a transformation of the frock of an Avalokitesvara bodhisattva, which was thrown into the sea as a lifesaver. [ more... ]
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In many places in Vietnam, there has been a Tết commerce in which the goods and prices are not the point and good luck is, according to Discovering the Vietnamese Culture by Tran Ngoc Them. It is believed that if transactions are carried out smoothly and in good spirit they bring in good luck in the new year. [ more... ]
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Pasteboard masks have been Hanoi kids’ toys, especially in the occasion of Mid-Autumn celebrations, for ages. But today, just a handful of people ...
In Phan Thiet, bánh hỏi with pig bowels (lòng heo) is synonymous with Phu Long Town, which is the name of the native place of this dish, where it is ...
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