|Lotus tea, a specialty of Hanoi (baovanhoa.vn)
A: It seems that extremely hot weather is spreading around the world. Our listeners in the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and other countries said they are experiencing scorching heat as a record heat wave sweeps through Europe.
B: They told us that high temperatures are common in India and Pakistan, but what makes this heat wave unusual is that it started so early and has lasted so long. India recorded its hottest March since record keeping began 122 years ago. The hot, dry weather continued through April, and so far May has brought no relief.
A: Vietnam’s northern provinces and cities have been experiencing hot, dry weather since June, with peak temperatures reaching 39 degree Celsius in some localities. Due to the urban heat island effect, temperatures on city streets have gone even higher.
B: Longer, hotter heat waves are just one aspect of the global climate change scientists have been noticing and warning about for decades.
A: Health experts advise people to take special care because hot weather can cause dehydration, exhaustion, and heat stroke in people who are exposed to high temperatures for as little as 15 minutes.
B: Although summer is a season for outdoor activities and entertainment, please protect yourself from exposure to direct sun and limit your physical activity on hot days.
A: I’m reading an email from Keo Uddom of Cambodia, who asks about Vietnam’s tea culture. Some Japanese listeners have also asked about tea drinking in Vietnam.
B: Vietnam is one of the oldest tea-producing countries in the world. Vietnamese people have been growing tea for over 2,000 years. Tea drinking in Vietnam has been raised to a simple, elegant art.
A: Sharing a cup of tea is a friendly way to start a conversation and bring people closer together. A good pot of tea shows the host’s hospitality and respect for his guests. It strengthens family bonds and friendships.
B: Over thousands of years, Vietnamese tradition has boiled the art of tea drinking down to six key elements: first – the water, second – the tea, third – the brewing method, fourth – the pot, fifth – the venue, and sixth – the ambient sound.
A: The venue can be a tea table in a living room, a porch, a communal house, the middle of a forest, or the quiet of a temple or pagoda.
|A full set of pots and cups for a tea ceremony
B: The ambient sound might include water boiling, people talking, music, and sounds of nature – wind blowing through bamboo and bird songs.
A: Those are the six essential elements that create a satisfying tea drinking experience. None of those six is more important than the others, but each is controlled by the tea maker.
B: Tea has a philosophical significance to scholars, a long tradition in Vietnamese history, and a special place in the life of ordinary people today, whether in the city or the countryside.
A: Vietnamese drink tea anywhere at any time – at home, at work, at sidewalk tea shops, in formal tea rooms, at weddings, and at funerals. We offer tea to our ancestors at worshipping ceremonies.
B: Tea is grown in many regions of Vietnam, but mostly in the northern provinces of Thai Nguyen, Tuyen Quang, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, and Phu Tho and in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. Plain green tea is the most popular variety. Rustic tea is often scented with lotus, chrysanthemum, or jasmine.
|Tea hills in Thai Nguyen province
B: West Lake lotus-scented tea is one of the most famous teas in Vietnam. A Hanoi speciality for centuries, it is scented with the anthers of lotus flowers which bloom in West Lake only during the three summer months.
A: The tea most often used is Shan Tuyet tea, which grows at an altitude of 800-1,300 meters in the mountains of Thai Nguyen province. Sweet and not too acrid, this tea perfectly complements the lotus fragrance.
B: West Lake lotus has a hundred petals and a distinctive fragrance. People pick the lotus at the break of dawn when the lotus is not fully open and the dew remains heavy. After picking, the anthers are quickly separated from the flower before they wither and lose their fragrance. Then the anthers are mixed with high-quality dried green tea.
A: The mixture is stored in a closed container for two days to allow the lotus fragrance to infuse into the tea. After two days, the lotus anthers are removed from the tea and replaced with fresh ones. This process is repeated seven or eight times over a span of three weeks or more before the tea is sold.
B: Despite the popularity of new tea fads like milk tea and bubble tea among young people, Vietnamese tea drinkers still drink pure tea in the traditional way Vietnamese have been drinking it for thousands of years.
|Ice tea, a popular drink which can be found everywhere in Vietnam
A: Last week we received a number of emails from listeners in India, who told us that the frequency of 7220khz remains the best for them. Overall the signal was good with a SINPO rating of 54444.
B: Bidhan Chandra Sanyal of India listens to VOV’s shortwave programs and visits our website almost every day. He sent his congratulations to the Vietnamese students who won 5 medals at this year’s International Physics Olympiad. The Vietnamese team finished 5th out of 77 teams who participated in the online competition hosted by Switzerland.
A: “It was a great result of successful Vietnamese students. In the past they achieved excellent results in the Mathematics Olympiad,” said Bidhan.
B: Thanks a lot, Bidhan. Vietnamese students also won medals at this year’s Chemistry and Biology Olympiad.
A: 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.