What The Papers Say Aug 2013

(No.7, Vol.3, Aug 2013 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

A dubious honour
tuoitrenews.vn, 12 July
Around 10 households in the Dong Van Ancient Quarter in Ha Giang’s Dong Van District have asked the government to remove the village’s national relic title due to the problems it has caused.
Eighteen houses are seriously degraded, and many houses that are over 100 years old need to be fixed immediately. However, their owners cannot repair them since the ancient area’s restoration is under the authority of government.
The area was established at the beginning of the 20th century. It is now home to numerous ethnic minority groups including Tay, Hoa, Dao, Nung and Mong. In 2008, Dong Van was recognized as a national relic. Since then, a restoration plan for the ancient area has been created, but it has not been carried out.

Impromptu art salons
tuoitrenews.vn, 11 July
Contemporary art spaces are now gaining a firmer foothold among local and expat art lovers, especially youths.
Most local contemporary art venues, including San Art and Dia Project, go to great lengths to hold free classes, workshops and talks between artists and the public, particularly youths, on a monthly basis.
It takes only a small room, a projector, an orator-artist and 10 to 15 participants to have a discussion, which can cover a wide variety of subject matters, ranging from graphic design to cartoons or simply explanations or interpretations of installation artworks.

Mission of Burma
tuoitrenews.vn, 19 July
Vietnamese businesses currently have four projects that have obtained an investment license in Myanmar, with the total registered capital estimated at US$600 million.
Twenty-three local businesses have also been licensed to open representative offices and establish subsidiaries there.
There are 18 other projects pending investment license in Myanmar. If approved, these will add another $600 million to the total Vietnamese investment in the country.
The projects are from a great variety of sectors such as banking, agriculture, consumer products, garment, and construction materials.

EU gets sauced
tuoitrenews.vn, 17 July
The Vietnamese fish sauce brand of Phu Quoc has officially gained protection in the European Union (EU), according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Accordingly, the fish sauce brand will be protected across 28 countries of the European Union starting 17 July.
This is the first product of Vietnam receiving the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in the entire territory of the EU.

It’s not tennis, but…
www.thanhniennews.com, 15 July
Vietnamese badminton star Nguyen Tien Minh beat Wing Ki Wong of Hong Kong to win the 2013 US Open Grand Prix Gold men’s singles championship on Saturday.
It was a hard-fought battle for Minh, ranked ninth worldwide, against Wong, ranked 15th by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
It was the first time Minh has won the US Open championship.

Abusers to receive fines
www.thanhniennews.com, 11 July
Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security has proposed imposing various fines of up to US$94 for domestic psychological abuse.
The top penalty range has been suggested for those who force family members to go without food or adequate clothing, or who abandon elderly, sick or disabled family members, as well as those who abandon pregnant women or mothers of young children.
Intentionally scaring family members with images, items or creatures for the purpose of injuring their mental health will be subject to the same penalties, as will those who force family members to watch or listen to pornography or horror films; and those who publicize family members’ personal secrets without their consent.

Travellers like VN reliquaries
www.thanhniennews.com, 27 June
Vietnam has three entries in the ‘25 best museums in Asia’, based on travelers' choice expressed on the Trip Advisor website.
The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City made the list in the fifth position while the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology and Vietnam Women’s Museum in came in sixth and 11th, thanks to large numbers of visits and high ratings on their displays.

Economic woes continue
www.thanhniennews.com, 13 July
The global economic crisis has affected Vietnam worse than its neighbors, with the country experiencing its longest spell of slow growth since the late 1980s, the World Bank said.
Vietnam was the only ‘large developing country’ in the East Asia and Pacific region whose growth rate remains lower than before the global economic slump, it said.
Since 2010, its average growth rate has been 5.8 percent, 1 percentage point lower than its pre-crisis level.

Son Doong ‘caves’ to tourism
www.thanhniennews.com, 22 July
Son Doong, the world’s largest cave, located in the north-central province of Quang Binh, will open soon for tours on a trial basis, local authorities have decided.
The cave will be accessible for up to seven tourists at a time, and around 15 local people will work as tour guides and porters.
Tours can be for four to six nights.

Billionaire opens big mall
On July 26, thousands of Vietnamese shoppers flooded the giant underground shopping mall in Hanoi owned by Vingroup of Pham Nhat Vuong, the country’s first billionaire.
The new attraction, touted as Asia’s biggest underground retail and entertainment complex, covers a total area of 230,000 square meters. The mall is 95 per cent full, with about 600 shops open. There’s also a water park, a 3,000 square meter ice rink, game centers, movie theatres, and a ‘food street’ with about 200 restaurants.

Following the tunes (“Spring comes to Muong Hum hamlet high up the mountains with heart-rocking distant singing…” ) of talented composer Nguyen Tai ...
In the heart of the darkness of Saigon's backpacker land,ambling along down raucous Bui Vien Street and wishing I had not come out without my ear ...
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