|A cat statue at Thong Nhat park in Hanoi (photo: VOV)
B: Parks and public places have set out bonsai plants and decorations with the image of the Cat, the totem animal for 2023.
A: Hanoi has opened 91 spring flower markets throughout the city for sightseeing and shopping until January 21, the last day of the current lunar year. The city filled with a wide variety of flowers, ornamental plants, fruit trees, and handicraft products. Temporary traditional markets and fairs will be set up in every district to promote Vietnamese brands and commodities.
B: In recent programs we’ve talked a lot about activities leading up to Tet. Listeners Khamchan and Channhalat of Laos want to know about the most popular flowers and ornamental trees for Vietnamese Tet.
A: Fumito Hokamura of Japan said Vietnam is one of his favorite countries. He loves to hear about Vietnamese culture and traditions.
|Cat decorations in Dong Nai province
B: Well there are many things to talk about concerning Tet, both old traditions and new. Vietnamese people love to display various types of flowers and plants in their house during Tet because they are symbols of the vitality of spring.
A: The icons of Vietnamese Tet are peach and apricot flowers and kumquat fruit. Other popular flowers are daisy, marigold, orchid, gladiolus, dahlia, and rose. Before Tet, flower gardens and fairs are crowded places where people can enjoy the atmosphere of spring in full bloom.
|People visit Nhat Tan peach village before Tet 2023 (photo: congluan.vn)
B: Nhat Tan peach village and Tu Lien kumquat village in Hanoi are the favorite places for Hanoians to buy flowers and take photos. Here’s some of the things they’re saying:
“I come here to buy peach blossoms every year. The flowers are blooming and the plants are thriving beautifully. I come to sight-see and buy a peach branch to display at home.”
“I buy peach trees for my office, partners, and family. I go to the farm early to choose the best ones and feel the joyful Tet atmosphere. I love to display peach flowers before, during, and even after Tet. I also display kumquats and pears to crate a plentiful Tet.”
“During the years of COVID-19 I could not go sight-seeing in the flower gardens. This year I’m very excited and happy that the pandemic is under control. I feel joyful and younger when a new year comes.”
|Tu Lien kumquat are grown in ceramic pots. (photo: dangcongsan.vn)
A: To meet the demand Tu Lien kumquat farmers have planted bonsai kumquats in ceramic pots of different shapes and sizes. Hoang Van Toan, owner of the Toan Xuyen kumquat garden, said the price of a kumquats plant this year is the same as in previous years, between 25 and 300 USD.
“Shaping kumquat trees in ceramic pots is easier than growing regular bonsai. Bonsai trees are shaped over many years. Kumquats are bent to cover the vase. The best kumquats have many buds, flowers, and green and yellow fruit. Strong trees can bear fruit for 3 or 4 months,” said Toan.
B: While people in the north see peach flowers and kumquats as Tet symbols, southerners celebrate Tet with yellow apricot blossoms, which also symbolize good luck, wealth, good health, happiness, and love.
A: Peach flowers from the north and apricot flowers from the south are transported to every locality before Tet, so flower markets in Hanoi are full of yellow apricot flowers, and southern people can easily find peach flowers.
|It takes 2 to 3 years to shape such big kumquat tree. (photo: dangcongsan.vn)
B: The lunar year 2023 is a year of the Cat. The Chinese and Vietnamese zodiacs, both have 12 animals. In the Chinese zodiac the 4th animal is the Rabbit. In the Vietnamese zodiac it’s the Cat.
A: The difference is explained by the countries’ legends. One Vietnamese legend says the Jade Emperor organized a race and the cat finished 4th of the 12 animals.
B: Another explanation is that most Vietnamese are farmers, and the rabbit has nothing to do with farming in Vietnam. The cat, though, has always been a good friend to farmers, killing the rats that threaten their crops.
A: The Cat symbolizes tenderness, gentleness, and kindness. The Vietnamese believe that people born in the year of the Cat share the characteristics of the Cat – grace, intelligence, and ability to adapt to new situations. Despite its delicate appearance, the Cat is quite strong and tough and is known for its slyness and ability to dissemble.
|A decoration to welcome the Year of the Cat in Ca Mau province
B: John Zachary Alvarez of the Philippines emailed us a reception report for a program on January 8 on 12020 kHz. He heard the Sunday Show, which was about art performances on pedestrian streets around Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi and Vietnamese pop music.
A: John said: “I'm very happy to have listened to your station since 2020, because it has the best information about Vietnam, as well as traditional and contemporary Vietnamese music. My signal reception on this frequency was excellent with little noise. SINPO rating was all 5s.”
B: MD. Abdul Mannan of Bangladesh tuned in to VOV’s English program on January 6th on 7220 kHz. There was good signal and clear sound with SIO at 4s, he said.
A: Ding Lu is a regular listener in China. He told us: “I received the English language program signal at 10:00-10:30 UTC on the frequency of 9840 kHz. The signal was very strong but the sound was not very clear.”
B: Mrityunjoy Bera if India commented on our website that he knew about VOV’s writing contest and the prize winners’ visit to Vietnam. He wrote: “I convey my heartiest congratulation to all of them. I am an old listener of VOV. But due to my other activities I could not write to VOV regularly. In my leisure time I listen to your programs on my shortwave radio.”
A: Johnny A. Ramirez Lopez Lima, the first prize winner of VOV’s writing contest “What do you know about Vietnam?”, will come to Vietnam to receive his prize when he gets a break from his business.
B: He told VOV: “We, your radio listeners, thank you with all our hearts, from the most diverse nations of the world, where the ether brings us your beautiful and interesting radio programs, your message of solidarity, and brotherhood that inspires us in our lives to continue fighting day by day for a greener, healthier, safer, entrepreneurial, creative, fair and dignified world for all. Thank you VOV for being the truth, the critical opinion, the analysis, the reflection, the love and the feeling of Vietnam in the world.”
A: He added, “We wish you in this New Year many blessings of health, peace, love, harmony, spiritual strength, prosperity, and happiness. May all your projects and goals be realized!”
B: Thank you all, dear listeners, for tuning in to VOV every day and sending us feedback. 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.
A: 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.