B: Every country is trying to stay safe and fight the pandemic. Siddhartha Bhattacharjee of India told us that India is going to partial lockdown. Some of India’s states are already blocked down and have begun vaccinating people 18 to 45 and all frontline staff.
A: I read in the news yesterday that India had recorded its lowest daily COVID-19 death count in 90 days, and new cases had dropped to the lowest daily count in 111 days. We hope India will soon contain the pandemic.
B: Our listeners in the US and Europe said they were vaccinated and eager to resume activities they stopped because of the pandemic.
A: The Vietnamese Health Ministry has issued its initial vaccination rollout plan defining priority groups. As an eligible recipient of the WHO-led Vaccines Global Access initiative, VN is set to receive millions of doses this year.
|Youth Union members grow trees (Illustrative photo)
B: Vietnam’s 11 priority groups take into account the current limited supply of vaccines and include people integral to VN’s anti-pandemic efforts, like the staff of the COVID-19 prevention and control steering committees at all levels, and quarantine facility staff. Other priority groups include reporters, soldiers, diplomats, customs officers and people carrying out entry and exit procedures, people in virus-hit regions, people going to study or work overseas, people with chronic health issues, seniors over 65, and essential workers in the aviation, transportation, tourism, and service sectors.
A: Vietnamese authorities are awaiting the arrival of sufficient vaccine doses. This year’s goal is to receive 100 million doses - 38.9 million from COVAX, 30 million from AstraZeneca, and 31 million from from Pfizer/BioNTech.
B: We are hoping that when a majority of people worldwide are fully vaccinated, we can return to a semblance of normalcy.
A: Indian listener Shivendu Paul told us about Van Mahotsav, the annual one-week tree planting festival in India celebrated in the first week of July. His state, West Bengal is celebrating Tree Plantation week now.
|Vietnam targets to grow 1 billion trees from 2020-2025.
B: He wants to know if Vietnamese people like gardening and growing trees.
A: India’s festival sounds like Vietnam’s Spring Tree Planting Festival. Planting trees at the beginning of the year is a VNese tradition, and gardening and growing trees indoor is a hobby of many people. We use the terms “urban farmers” and “balcony farmers” to refer to people who grow trees and other plants at home.
B: On November 28, 1959, President Ho Chi Minh wrote an article for Vietnam’s People newspaper, stressing the importance of tree planting for the nation. The first tree planting festival was held in the spring of 1960. Following late President Ho Chi Minh’s call, VN’s tree planting festival has been held every spring, becoming a Vietnamese tradition for the last 62 years.
A: Last year the Government called for planting 1 billion trees by 2025 and stepping up forest protection. People of all social strata and sectors will plant trees in urban areas, industrial zones, concentrated residential areas, cultural-historical and memorial sites, traffic corridors, agricultural areas, and elsewhere.
|Many families grow edible plants on the roof. (photo: internet)
B: This ambitious plan does not include the usual reforestation after logging. Priority will be given to large, perennial, multi-purpose trees that are part of the national forestry development strategy and sustainable development goals. An assessment of the program will be conducted each year to draw lessons and improve the program.
A: In recent years, severe and unusual natural disasters have occurred in many regions. Protecting and developing forests has become an urgent, long-term strategy for reducing the harm storms, floods, landslides, droughts, and salinity do to people’s lives.
B: We need to raise public awareness of the importance of our forests and the great value of tree planting and afforestation. The motto of our tree planting festival is ‘every person grows trees, every family grows trees’.
A: To keep their home cool more cost-effectively than by using an air conditioner, many Vietnamese fill their house with plants. There are scores of groups on social networks encouraging people to share their hobby of growing vegetables and flowers on their balcony, in-door trees, bonsai trees, and trees for their office, industrial park, or residential area.
B: Some popular in-door trees suitable for offices and living rooms in Vietnam are fiddle leaf fig, fishtail palm, majesty palm, areca palm, Madagascar dragon tree, corn plant, umbrella plant, and Swiss cheese plant. Many people like to keep ornamental trees like the areca nut and dracontomelum to help reduce the effects of dust and pollution in their house.
A: There are many ornamental plant markets in and around Ha Noi to meet the increasing demand for bonsai and other ornamental plants. The Buoi Market in Ha Noi’s Tay Ho District sells bonsais grown in the flower villages of Nhat Tan, Nghi Tam, Quang Ba and Phu Thuong. Sellers from the northern provinces of Lang Son, Bac Ninh, Hai Duong and Hung Yen also come to this most crowded ornamental plant market in Hanoi.
|A bonsai tree shop in Buoi market
B: Planting trees at home is a way to relax after work. Now during the COVID-19 pandemic we spend more time working at home. Gardening and bringing more green plants and flowers in to the houses will surely bring you more pleasure moments of staying safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A: This week we acknowledged letters and emails from Vicentiu Gheorghe of Romania, Anand Mohan Bain of India, Fumito Hokamura of Japan, Mitul Kansal of India, Maciej Janczara of Poland, and Garry Garcia of the Philippines.
B: 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 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.