B: Since we expanded to the digital platform, we have had a lot of interactions with our shortwave listeners. Vicentiu Daniel, Eddy Setiawan, Ralf Urbanczyk, John Hamill, Mosrur Zunaid and many others have regularly responded to our online programs.
A: Listening to our story about the Vietnamese national football team’s success in the second round of the World Cup 2022 qualifiers, many listeners have shown interest in the team’s achievements.
|Vietnamese national squad advances to the third round of the World Cup 2022 qualification
B: Vietnam made history on Tuesday by advancing to the third round of the World Cup qualifiers for the first time ever, after a five-goal thriller against the hosts United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A: Though they fell 3-2 to the UAE and lost the top spot in Group G, Vietnam still advanced as one of the second round’s five best runners-up.
B: They will be the sole Southeast Asian team in the final qualifying round this September.
A: International sports newswire ESPN ran an article this week lauding the golden generation of Vietnamese football, right before the match against the UAE.
B: ESPN said that in the history of football, very few national teams have had the privilege of boasting exceptionally talented players breaking through at the same time. But having a prodigious group of players is one thing, delivering on its potential is a completely different matter. With Vietnam on the brink of going the furthest they have ever gone in the quest to reach the FIFA World Cup, there is no better time for the golden generation to shine.
|Vietnamese national football team
A: So what makes the current Vietnamese cohort so special?
B: It began in January 2018 when they reached the final of the AFC U-23 Championship beating Australia, Iraq and Qatar in the process.
A: They backed that up at the senior level at the end of that year, ending a decade-long wait to be crowned champions of Southeast Asia for a second time when they won the AFF Suzuki Cup, despite having a squad with an average age of just 23.7 years.
B: A month later, they made their first AFC Asian Cup appearance in 12 years and again proved they had mettle to go with their talent. They progressed out of a tough group that included heavyweights Iran and Iraq and then beat Jordan in the Round of 16 before narrowly bowing out to mighty Japan. According to the ESPN article, plenty of credit has to go to Vietnam’s coach Park Hang-seo.
A: This week, many listeners sent emails and letters asking about summer drinks that Vietnamese people often prepare to get through hot summer days.
B: The extreme summer with its scorching sun, sweltering temperature, and never-ending rain can make life unbearable for everyone in Vietnam. Staying hydrated is the easiest way to beat the heat and what better way to do it than sipping a summery drink to quench your thirst and keep your body cool.
A: Vietnamese summer drinks are varied by region across the country. Dracontomelon juice is a specialty in northern Vietnam. Dracotomelons or “sau” can only be collected in the summer, from very tall trees that line the streets of the capital city. The small, green fruit tastes very sour and is hard to eat on its own, but after it is soaked in sugar and ginger for weeks, it makes a drink that would give the more popular lemonade a run for its money.
|Dracontomelon juice is a specialty in northern Vietnam (Photo: internet)
B: Take a spoonful or two of the syrup in a cup, add water and ice, and your thirst quencher is ready to do its job. For added flavor, the drink is garnished with fresh jasmine flowers.
A: Apricot juice has been a favorite drink of Hanoi for many years. The fruit is not very juicy and has a lightly sweet, tart taste. This drink is becoming more difficult to find these days, and not many street-side stalls are still selling it.
B: After they’re soaked in the sugar syrup, the apricots get crunchy and sweet. A cup of apricot juice will drive the summer heat and the tiredness out of your limbs.
A: The salted version has a very different taste, of course. The addition of sea salt to the sugar syrup changes the texture of the fruit, too. The mixture is delectable, though.
|Nuoc sam - a cool drink for summer (Photo: internet)
B: Nuoc sam is one of the most-loved Vietnamese summer drinks and is more popular in southern Vietnam. Although the recipe varies from one shop to another, it primarily contains sugar cane, corn silk, and cogon grass. These ingredients give the drink a cooling effect and delicate sweetness.
|Coconut juice (photo: internet)
A: A glass of chilled coconut juice will beat the heat and keep your summer blues away. The mild sweetness and fresh taste of coconut will not only leave you feeling rejuvenated but will nourish you with a rich source of electrolytes. Coconut juice tastes its best when you have it in the Mekong Delta – the home of Vietnam’s coconut. Creative as they always are, the locals take a step further by developing coconut kumquat juice. With a hint of tanginess and a beautiful aroma, it proves itself the winner in the summer time.
|Sugarcane juice (Photo: internet)
B: As the most sought after summer drink in Vietnam, fresh sugarcane juice is also the cheapest refreshment to beat the heat. Contrary to what some might think of it as unhealthy and sugary, fresh sugarcane is rich in antioxidants to help fight infections and boost immunity. The most popular way to enjoy this tasty drink is with a splash of citrus Kumquat juice and a dash of salt to bring out the flavor. Just a glass of sugarcane juice can guarantee to make you fully awake and beat all your fatigue and tiredness.
A: There is nothing more enjoyable on a summer day than a full-to-the-brim glass of black bean sweet soup. The natural sweetness of the beans blends so well with the creamy coconut shreds. It's a combination that makes for a very lovely summer treat.
B: Today, we’ll give you a recipe of making black bean sweet soup at home.
|Sweet black bean soup (Photo: internet)
A: The black beans should be selected carefully. Young beans that are medium-sized and have matte black skin are your best choice. The beans should be soaked really well to get rid of any dirt and sand.
B: The soaked black beans are simmered over low heat until they become tender, which takes about an hour. Remember not to add salt or sugar to the soup until the beans are almost entirely cooked, as this may harden the skin of the beans and prevent them from cooking properly. When the soup is done, use yellow sugar to taste, as dishes made with yellow sugar have a richer flavor than dishes made with regular sugar.
A: Black bean sweet soup should be served with some shredded coconut and some agar jelly on top. It can be served hot or cold. Either way it has such an amazing flavor.
B: We shared our recipe for these Vietnamese summer drinks so you can make them yourself at home. They’ll cool you down this summer while cafes, bars and restaurants are closed due to the pandemic. If you want to know about Vietnamese cuisine, please visit the Food Delight segment on our website: vovworld.vn.
A: Welcome back to VOV’s weekly Letter Box. In Vietnam, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat. As of Wednesday noon, Vietnam had reported nearly 11,500 COVID-19 infections. So far, more than 4,500 patients have fully recovered and 61 have died.
B: Vietnam has begun its largest-ever vaccination campaign. 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed to vaccinate 70% of the population of 100 million, according to Vietnam’s Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long.
A: Six million doses– half from the AstraZeneca and half from Pfizer – will arrive in Vietnam in the third quarter of this year. Vietnam has already received approximately 2.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
B: The vaccine will be offered to industrial park workers and other priority groups including frontliners, diplomats, customs officers, and teachers. Doses supplied by the COVAX vaccine sharing mechanism have been distributed to all 63 cities and provinces and several units of the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Public Security. More than 200,000 doses have been delivered to the pandemic-hit provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang for their industrial park workers. Nearly 1.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far and 64,000 people have received two shots.
A: Since its launch, Vietnam’s national COVID-19 vaccine fund has received donations of more than 220 million USD.
A: We hope that vaccination will be accelerated around the world so that things will be back to normal soon. Stay safe!
B: Thank you all for tuning in to VOV’s English broadcast and leaving your comments on our Facebook fanpage. This has been another edition of VOV’s Letter Box. 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. Thank you. Goodbye until next time.