|We thank Hermann Zitz for your greeting card.
B: This week we received a number of Christmas and New Year greetings from our listeners. Thank you so much for your postcards and letters, which have created a festive atmosphere in our office.
A: I think the wish from Siddhartha Bhattacharjee of India conveys what we all want in the New Year – to be safe and successful in the fight against the coronavirus. We pray the number of COVID-19 patients will not increase. Best wishes for a joyful Christmas filled with love, happiness, and prosperity.
B: That’s also our wish for all of you in the year 2022. Shivendu Paul, a regular listener to the Voice of Vietnam, who lives in West Bengal, India, asks “How do you celebrate Christmas and New Year in Vietnam?”
A: Christmas is one of the year’s biggest holidays in Vietnam, for both Christians and non-Christians, particularly young people who want to enjoy celebration with no particular religious purpose.
|Hang Ma street sells Christmas decorative items. (photo: VOV)
B: According to a survey conducted in 2019, Vietnam has 5.9 million Christians, more than 6% of the population. There are 4,500 churches in Vietnam and about 4,000 priests.
A: A week before Christmas churches and parishes are beautifully decorated with ornaments and lights. A festive and colorful Christmas is bringing joy to people at the end of a hard year fighting COVID-19, but shopping malls, churches, and pedestrian streets are seeing smaller and less jubilant crowds than in pre-pandemic years.
B: It’s a pity that the pandemic has put a damper on Christmas. Many churches will hold masses online on Christmas Eve to avoid big gatherings. If the local pandemic situation allows, people can attend masses at churches in limited numbers.
|St.Joseph Cathedral in Hanoi at Christmas 2021 (Photo: Cam Thi)
A: In recent years, a lot of Vietnamese and foreign families have decorated their houses and offices with fresh pine trees to create an authentic Christmas atmosphere. The pine tree market in big cities, like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, sells pine trees of all sizes imported from Russia, Denmark, and East European countries.
B: Danish trees from 1.25 meters to over 3 meters sell for 700 to 1,700 USD. Russian pine trees are available in the Vietnamese market for the first time this year at scarcely more affordable prices - 1,500 USD for a 3-meter tree. The importers say Russian pine trees can be delivered direct from Russia to Phu Quoc, while trees from Denmark have to transit in a third country.
A: Danish pine trees last longer and can be displayed for one to two months if treated properly. If you want a Christmas atmosphere at a more reasonable price, Vietnam pine trees of the Cupressus macrocarpa variety can cost less than 20 USD.
|A shop sells imported pine trees in Ho Chi Minh City. (photo: Hoang Minh/VOV in Ho Chi Minh City)
B: I’m reading an email from Ian Pillar of Australia. He tells us that he and his dog Romeo recently moved to a new home and have not had time to listen to a shortwave broadcast for several months. He was happy to find the time last Wednesday to listen to VOV and wrote to us as it has been a while since he sent a report to VOV.
A: Mr. Pillar said he has been enjoying VOV’s English broadcast for many years and last Wednesday’s broadcast was very enjoyable as always. He sent us a recording of the program on 9840 kHz made with a Tascam Dr-05 portable digital audio recorder. He said Voice of Vietnam was very noticeable and readable with SINPO at all 4s.
B: He said he’s interested in Vietnamese culture, cuisine, the Day of Pho, and noodle dishes. The Letter Box he heard also talked about Vietnamese K Pop artists and female rappers. “I love Vietnamese cuisine and enjoy hearing about it,” said Pillar.
A: Thank you, Mr. Pillar, for listening to VOV and writing to us. We wish you good luck and love in your new home.
|Vietnamese Pho (photo: Vietnam Tourism)
B: Siddhartha Bhattacharjee of India asked us, “Are people concerned about energy conservation in your country?” and “Do you celebrate Energy Conservation?”
A: Viet Nam has been promoting energy conservation at the household, enterprise, and national level. Over the past 3 decades, Viet Nam has taken important legal and institutional measures to protect its environment and conserve its natural resources with the Environment Protection Law that was enacted in 1993 and the Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency Decree that was enacted in 2003.
B: This year, Hanoi has implemented a number of activities under the National Program on Economical and Efficient Use of Energy. Assessment of Hanoi’s energy conservation and efficiency efforts shows that Hanoi leads the country in energy savings. Hanoi has helped businesses improve energy efficiency and develop and popularize high-efficiency energy-saving equipment to replace low-efficiency equipment.
A: The Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade has helped 53 businesses conduct energy audits and 32 facilities implement energy efficiency forecast systems, and has developed 41 models of green energy usage incorporating more than 1,000 technical solutions.
B: Some 65 enterprises involved in industrial production, and construction have received technical support to improve their energy efficiency. More than 1,000 model households have been recognized for electricity conservation.
A: At Vietnam Energy Efficiency Building Week was observed last month. The event brought together organisations and experts involved in planning, investing, designing, consulting, and providing materials for renewable energy from Vietnam and developed countries.
B: Energy conservation and efficiency has become a concern not just for industrial zones, office buildings, and administrative agencies but also for households. So far, there are no regulations on energy use in households so energy conservation depends on people's personal responsibility.
A: Ho Chi Minh City authorities have been appealing to every individual and household to take part in an energy conservation campaign. Through the network of women's unions at the district level, thousands of households have pledged to cut their electricity use. Women have been targeted to spearhead the campaign because they are ones mainly responsible for managing family finances, educating children, and using electrical appliances such as televisions, freezers, washing machines, electric cookers, and microwave ovens.
B: That concludes today’s program. We welcome your feedback at: English Service, VOVworld, the Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Our email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. You’re invited to visit us online and leave your comments at vovworld.vn.
A: Once again, thank you all for listening. Goodbye.