B: All we want in the new year is a world free from coronavirus. Sanil Deep of India told us: “Last year ended with a lot of calamities due to Covid-19 as most countries introduced lockdowns to prevent the spread of the pandemic. It is really sad news that a new version of the coronavirus has appeared in the UK. Many European countries started lockdowns again at the end of last year.”
A: Sanil said: “In my place, Calicut Kerala state, we have seen a daily reduction in the spread of the disease, but we are still careful to comply with the authorities’ instructions. I believe there has been a big reduction in your country thanks to strict preventive measures.”
|Sa Pa resort township in northern Lao Cai province is an attrative destination during New Year holidays.
B: It’s good to hear positive news from our listeners. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global challenge, which has had a devastating impact on public health and economies around the world. Sanil asked about domestic flights in Vietnam.
A: We are lucky that the pandemic is under control here. There have been no community infections in recent weeks. Domestic travel is normal on all modes of transportation. Airlines have increased the number of domestic flights to compensate for revenue lost because of international travel restrictions.
B: Bamboo Airways opened two new routes yesterday connecting the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho with two popular tourist destinations, Con Dao island and Phu Quoc island. Flights on these routes will operate seven days a week if there is sufficient demand.
|Phu Quoc island attracts tourists for its beautiful beaches and the average temperature at 28DC.
A: Since May, when Vietnam got the pandemic under control, Vietnam Airlines has opened 22 new routes, increasing its domestic network to 61 routes with as many as 500 flights per day. Low-cost carrier Vietjet has opened 8 new routes.
B: Vietnam’s Prime Minister has decided to reduce the number of repatriation flights between now and the Lunar New Year holiday in mid-February because more contagious variants of the coronavirus have been detected in a number of countries.
A: Vietnam will only allow flights approved on a case-by-case basis by the agencies responsible and then given final approval by the Prime Minister himself. Vietnam closed its border in March of last year to curb the spread of the pandemic but has gradually opened up to a limited number of flights carrying Vietnamese citizens repatriating from overseas as well as carefully vetted foreign business executives, experts, skilled workers, and diplomats.
|Phu Quoc airport receives flights from Hanoi, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City, and other provinces.
B: During a year of social distancing and working from home, VOV has added many new shortwave listeners, website visitors, and friends on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
A: Sanil told us: “I enjoy the Music Edition on Saturday. The listeners’ Letter Box is presented in a different style, giving up-to-date information about Vietnam in response to questions from listeners. The songs that accompany the Letter Box are a good complement to the program.”
B: Rob Kuijsten of the Netherlands sent us a letter to say: “With great pleasure, I joyfully announce the reception of Voice of Vietnam at my location in Culemborg, Netherlands, using only a simple portable receiver. The reception on the frequency of 7280 khz had clear signal and good modulation.”
A: Hayato Furukawa of Japan tuned in to VOV’s program on 9840 khz on January 1. He rated SINPO 45444 on a Tecsun PL 310 receiver with a rod antenna.
B: Saleem Akhtar of Pakistan wrote on our website: “In the Letter Box I received information about Vietnam and her progress in information technology, her cultural events, New Year celebrations, workers’ stories, education policies, folk art, music, and much more.”
A: He asked what Vietnamese dishes are the most popular in the winter time?
B: There are so many! My picks for winter days are stewed pork, grilled meat such as pork, duck, chicken, or fish, and all kinds of noodles served with hot broth. A hotpot or grilled meat is the best option for a year-end party.
|Rice dumplings filled with green bean paste, black sesame paste or grated coconut and served in a hot ginger syrup.
A: I like those dishes, too. In the winter we prefer hot food. Vietnamese noodles are made from rice, arrowroot, green bean, or cassava flour. Pho noodles are served with beef or chicken, Banh canh rice or cassava noodles are served with crab, fish, or fish balls. And rice vermicelli is served with Hue beef.
B: There is one cold dish that is very popular in winter. It’s made from frozen chicken, pork, pork skin, goose, and some vegetables. In the old days, when there were no refrigerators in Vietnam, winter gave people an opportunity to cook meat and preserve it in the cold for several days.
A: The meat is stewed slowly with peppers and dried mushrooms and then left to congeal into a block in the winter cold. The block will have a thin layer of fat at the top and a jelly-like layer of meat at the bottom. It’s great served with hot rice and pickled onion. The hot rice will melt the congealed fat and meat into a soup.
B: Now we have refrigerators, so we can freeze cooked meat anytime we want, but frozen meat still seems to taste best in cold weather. In winter people drink less water and their bodies feel like consuming something refreshing. Fresh summer rolls give your body vitamins, protein, starch, and the water it craves.
A: Fresh summer rolls are a popular snack consisting of rice paper wrapped around pork, shrimp, herbs, and rice vermicelli, and dipped in a sweet and sour fish sauce or a thick peanut dip. CNN recently listed Vietnam’s fresh summer rolls among the world’s 50 best dishes. Gourmet magazine's description sums them up nicely: "a salad packed into an edible container".
B: Before we close today, we have an announcement of seasonal frequency changes for our English broadcasts. Beginning March 28, VOV’s frequency of 7280 khz beaming to Central Europe and Central Asia will change to 11885 khz.
A: Beginning March 28, listeners who now tune to 7280 khz should switch to 11885 khz to hear VOV. We will keep reminding you of the frequency change between now and March 28. We hope the change will bring you better reception quality.
B: We always 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 platform, 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 until next time.