B: Ivan Lebedev of Russia sent us photos of spring tulips and summer flowers. Other listeners told us that travel restrictions have eased and people can now go for a walk or cycling.
A: It’s summer now in Vietnam. In Hanoi, the summer daily high temperatures are around 36 or 38 degrees, or even 40 degrees Celsius. It’s the time when trees blossom and bear fruit.
B: In the Vietnamese capital during the summer, you will see many kinds of flowers.
|Flamboyant blossoms in Hanoi streets in summer.
A: Summer is the season of lotus in Hanoi and many other localities across Vietnam. Lotus flower season usually lasts from late May to September, but the peak of the season is in May and June. There are many lotus varieties, including pink lotus, white lotus, and hundred-petal lotus.
B: Most of the lotus sold in Hanoi is from West Lake, Tu Liem, Thanh Tri, and Thuong Tin district. Besides displaying lotus flowers at home, people can use different parts of the lotus for scenting tea, cooking, or making herbal medicines.
A: The lotus flower is a symbol of purity, commitment, nobility, and optimism. It is known as the flower of the dawn because at night the flower closes, opening again sunrise.
|A lotus pond at the Hanoi University of Agricutlure
B: Every part can be used in cuisine and medicine. Young lotus stems are added to salads. Stamens are dried and made into an herbal tea. Lotus seeds can be eaten raw, dried, or boiled. Lotus leaves are used to wrap food such as steamed sticky rice and cakes.
|Sugar-coated lotus seeds is best tasted with lostus-scented tea.
A: Sugar-coated lotus seeds, or “Mut sen”, are a traditional snack at ceremonies, weddings, and Lunar New Year celebrations. Sugar-coated lotus seeds are delicious and healthy.
B: Lotus seeds contain a good amount of carbs and are rich in micronutrients to support bone health, reduce blood pressure, and decrease cholesterol levels.
| Lotus-scented tea
A: Lotus-scented tea is a specialty of Hanoi. Lotus tea scenting is a meticulous art which requires experience, special techniques, and dedication. The harmony between the rich flavor of tea and the light fragrance of lotus from West Lake is highly valued by connoisseurs.
B: In the summer, a dish of lotus stem salad is refreshing. Lotus stems are airy and crunchy, so they are a good ingredient for a salad. In Vietnam, we like to eat salad with a sweet and sour dressing made from sugar and lemon or vinegar.
A: Well, we can get carried away talking about lotus dishes. You can find lotus recipes on vovworld.vn just look for Food Delight. Lotus is grown in many countries. Please share your lotus stories with us and other listeners.
B: You can leave your comments on our website vovworld.vn or our Facebook Fanpage VOV5 English Service, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Attention: it’s email@example.com. Some listeners have told us their letters came back because they went to our old email address.
|A street vendor sell many kinds of flowers.
A: Now let’s continue reading letters and reception reports from our listeners. S B Sharma, President of the SBS World Listener Club of India, said: “We are happy listening to VOV programs on the digital platform. There is no reception problem. It is always excellent listening. We will continue to listen to you via the Internet and VOV Media apps.”
B: Thank you, Mr. Sharma and other members of the Club, for supporting VOV. We continually improve our programs on the Internet and VOV Media app to bring our audience an enjoyable experience and the latest news about Vietnam.
A: Mr. Sharma told us they learned that Vietnam has launched a free rice ATM in Ho Minh City to help needy people get through the COVID-19 pandemic. He wrote: “Some families have lost their income, so this free rice program will help them a lot. India has copied this beautiful program to help our needy citizens. Thanks for the informative, interesting, and useful facts about Vietnam.”
B: It’s great to know that this humanitarian model is being replicated in other countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. We heard that Indian coronavirus hotpots are easing restrictions as coronavirus numbers continue to fall. Delhi, the capital, and financial hub Mumbai are among the cities that are opening partially.
|People queue to get free rice from ATM in Ho Chi Minh city. (photo: vietnamnet.vn)
A: Sanil Deep of India told us: “This week there was a decrease in COVID-19 cases reported from Calicut in Kerala state where I am staying. A lockdown was introduced on May 8th and has been extended to June 9th as a safety measure. Shops are opening on alternative days and are closely monitored by the authorities.”
B: Congratulations to India’s people. Health experts continue to advise caution, with a lagging vaccination drive and the threat of new variants. We hope mankind will soon eradicate the pandemic from this earth.
A: Sanil Deep said he still enjoys the wonderful songs played in our daily programs. The 15-minute Wednesday program "Letter box” is one of VOV’s best listener integration programs.
B: Thank you, Sanil. VOV maintains this program for our listeners to share their opinions. We and our listeners want to know what others think about issues like COVID-19, natural disasters, political events, and armed conflicts.
A: Just to remind you, you can leave your comments on our website or Facebook Fanpage or send us emails.
B: Sanil Deep asked: “Has a new lockdown been introduced in Vietnam due to the resurgence of the coronavirus?”
A: The current coronavirus outbreak is spreading more rapidly than before, but it is still under control within a few localities. Vietnam implements different levels of social distancing, depending on the seriousness of the local situation. Areas with COVID-19 patients are temporarily closed until everyone who has had close contact with the patients test negative.
B: As of Wednesday morning, Vietnam had more than 5,900 cases under treatment. Bac Giang and Bac Ninh province, two epicenters in the north, have imposed lockdowns, social distancing, and travel restrictions because there are thousands of workers in industrial parks infected with the virus.
A: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and several provinces have imposed social distancing measures. Activities which involve a high degree of interaction have been ordered suspended.
B: Theatres, massage businesses, spas, gaming rooms, street food vendors, and cafés are closed down. Sporting events, non-emergency meetings, and conferences are also suspended. Religious institutions must limit the number of participants at each event. Markets, supermarkets, shopping malls, and other essential services are still open, but large gatherings are banned.
|People go to the beach when Da Nang city eases social distancing on June 9.
A: A bit of good news is that Da Nang city has eased social distancing because it has not recorded any new infections in the community in the last 3 weeks. Restaurants can serve customers at half their normal capacity, and must close by 9 p.m.
B: People can go swimming at beaches from 4h30 to 7h30am and 4h30 to 6h30pm. No large gatherings are allowed, including for sports. But festivals, mass religious ceremonies, bars and karaoke, and dance clubs remain shut shown.
A: Last, but not least, in our program today, we acknowledge reception reports from Samina Gul of Pakistan’s Jinnah DX Club, Siddhartha Bhattacharjee of India, Shivendu Paul of the Metali Listeners Club of India, Ashik Eqbal Tokon of Bangladesh, Hose Luis Gomez of Spain, and Hayato Furukawa of Japan.
B: We hope you will spend more time listening to VOV’s English programs and write to us regularly.
A: We always welcome your feedback at: English Service, VOVWORLD, the Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! Take care and be safe!