B: Fumito Hokamura of Japan is a loyal listener, who sends us letters almost every week. He listens to VOV’s programs in both Japanese and English. Fumito asked “Do you have cool days in summer in Hanoi? When does winter begins?”
A: We are at the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. On the solar calendar the first day of autumn falls on August 7th this year and autumn will end in late October.
B: Bridging the interval between scorching summer and chilly winter, autumn is the "cooling off" season. We can see and feel the weather changing in the early days of autumn. Nighttime arrives earlier and temperatures begin to drop. The average daily temperature is about 30 degrees Celsius with the low temperature at night around 27 degrees Celsius and high around 32 degrees Celsius.
|In summer, Hanoians love to take photos at lotus ponds on the West Lake.
A: Autumn breezes have already driven away the blazing heat of summer. Just last month Hanoi experienced the hottest days of the year. The city was immersed in blazing sunshine, under a clear blue sky without a breath of wind. But after a hot, dry week there is often a heavy shower or storm in the afternoon or evening to cool down the temperature.
B: It’s the best time of the year to walk about Hanoi, explore its old buildings and pagodas, or go shopping on the busy city streets with a minimum of sweating.
A: Bidhan Chandra Sanyal of India listens to VOV’s shortwave program and visits our website vovworld.vn every day. We love reading his feedback and comments on interesting issues.
B: Bidhan told us: “It was very nice to learn about the Vietnamese Vu Lan or All Souls Day Festival on the 15th day of the 7th lunar month. Vietnamese people believe that on this day the spirits of the dead return home and reunite with family members. It is therefore an occasion for family gatherings and a time to express love and gratitude to ancestors and parents.”
A: He told us about a similar ceremony in India. “It is a tradition of this time of year to light lotus lanterns during a ceremony. The Rakhi Bandhan ceremony will be celebrated in India on August 11. This festival is a festival of love between brother and sister. Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs all celebrate this festival. On this day sisters tie a sacred thread called Rakhi on the hand of their brother as a symbol of the sister's love.”
B: Vietnam, like many other Buddhist countries, has a custom of offering food, clothing, and other items to hungry spirits in the seventh lunar month, when the realms of Heaven and Hell are open. There is a day of forgiveness, when people pray for souls who are walking the earth hungry and thirsty.
A: Historian Le Van Lan says this custom originated from the idea that ‘death does not mean the end’ and ‘everything is the same in the living world and in the other world.’
B: Above all, the ceremony is a time for offspring to fulfill their filial duty and repay their parents’ love and care. Preparing food and burning votive papers and incense provide individuals a moment to reflect on their positive memories of the deceased and their prayers express their hope for a better future for the living.
A: On this day people don’t wonder whether there are spirits or wandering souls. It’s an opportunity to teach the younger generation to respect their deceased ancestors and show filial piety to their parents while they are still alive.
B: Siddhartha Bhattacharjee of India asks about the status of handloom artisans and how popular handwoven products are in VN.
B: Handweaving is a traditional craft of Vietnamese people in many parts of the country. Although it’s not a large commercial industry, it has its niche market and provides a stable income for many ethnic communities.
A: In previous programs, we talked about the weaving craft of ethnic groups like the Thai, Tay, Nung, and Dao. Local authorities have helped people establish clubs and cooperatives to preserve and develop their traditional weaving craft.
B: Brocade is a symbol of the cultural and spiritual lives of many ethnic groups. Many ethnic communities have taken steps to preserve and develop it.
A: Measures have included preferential loans and vocational classes. One difficulty has been that handwoven products are sold mainly to tourists and sales have been slow since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
B: In one of our stories about brocade weaving of the Ede people, we told you about Hler Eban in Kniet hamlet in Dak Lak province, who runs a successful small business called Ami Sia Tailor. She and other Ede women creatively combine traditional brocade with modern materials to diversify their products.
A: They make wallets, bags, belts, tablecloths, and wall decorations for restaurants and hotels. Brocade apparel is custom made for customers who want a traditional outfit.
B: The women say brocade weaving has been their main job for more than ten years. Most learned to weave and spin yarn when they were little. Today they use modern weaving machines to increase their productivity. In the past Ede people wore brocade clothes mainly at festivals, but today they use brocade products every day, so the women have had to diversify their dresses, bags, and wedding outfits.
B: We’d like to acknowledge letters and emails from Fumito Hokamura of Japan, Ratan Kumar Paul, Siddhartha Bhattacharjee, and Sanil Deep of India, Saleem Akhtar Chadhar of Pakistan and other listeners who sent us emails or posted comments on our Facebook fanpage, VOV5 English Service.
A: That concludes today’s program. We welcome your feedback at: English Service, VOVWorld, the Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at: email@example.com. You’re invited to visit us online at vovworld.vn, where you can hear both live and recorded programs.
B: Check out our VOV Media App, available on both the IOS and Android platforms, to hear our live broadcasts. We look forward to your feedback on the mobile version of vovworld.vn. Once again, thank you all for listening. Goodbye.