B: This year, the coronavirus pandemic has prevented us from traveling and attending events and gatherings. We are adapting to a new normal way of life, which means carrying on with our work while following measures to avoid contracting COVID-19.
|Huong Mountain Festival is the longest spring festival in the north. Boats carry pilgrims to Huong Mountain before the COVID-19 pandemic.
A: Our listeners keep congratulating us on Vietnam’s success in containing the pandemic. Ivan Lebedev of Russia said: “I congratulate your radio station and all Vietnamese people on the main holiday of the lunar calendar – Tet. I wish you prosperity and joy. With the arrival of spring in Vietnam, nature begins to live and happy moments come.”
B: Yes, despite the coronavirus pandemic, nature continues and so do we, in a new normal state. Ivan said: “It is always nice to feel that on the other side of the world there are kind and interesting people - Vietnamese.”
|Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Huong Mountain Festival and other spring festivals have been cancelled.
A: Thank you very much, Ivan. We wish you happiness and health. I’m reading an email from Bill McDavitt, who lives in Florida, in the US. He says he enjoys VOV’s English service programs every day at 23:30 GMT with a very good signal on 9840 Mhz.
B: Bill enjoys shortwave programs from around the world. “Happy New Year and keep up the great service, very much appreciated” he said.
A: It’s great to know that you can receive VOV’s programs on 9840 Mhz. We’re looking forward to receiving a reception report from you soon. We’ve visited your shortwave QSL Card Museum online, which has QSL cards from radio stations in almost every country in the world, collected by you and many other listeners.
B: It was interesting to see QSL cards from VOV, some from as far back as 1963. We hope you will add more recent QSL verification cards from VOV to your online museum.
AYou can find the QSL Card Museum at http://www.dallasadmall.com/swlqsl/
B: Raju Neupane of Nepal asked us to tell him how to make soy sauce. Soy sauce is a very popular dipping sauce in many countries. Many foreigners have told us that Vietnamese soy sauce has a flavor that’s different from other countries’ fermented soybean paste.
|Tuong Ban is made in terra cotta jars. (photo: nhandan.com.vn)
A: Soy sauce is called Tuong in Vietnamese. It’s made from soybeans, sticky rice yeast, salt, and rain water. The sauce has a high nutritional value because it’s made from soybeans fermented with a type of mold or fungi made from steamed rice. The jar used to store the sauce must be terra-cotta. You can find a detailed recipe for Tuong among the Food Delight postings on our website. Now we’ll talk about some dishes we often eat with soy sauce and the best known Tuong-making villages in Vietnam.
B: The Tuong dipping sauce traditionally enjoyed by vegetarian Buddhists is becoming less popular in the cities. Recipes and techniques for making good Tuong are handed down within families. Family production has been shrinking due to shrinking market demand. There is mass-produced Tuong by food processing companies, but the taste is not authentic.
|Banh duc lac to eat with Tuong soy sauce
A: In Vietnam, Tuong is mainly used as a dipping sauce for dishes served with rice, such as tofu, boiled vegetables, steamed beef, and summer rolls. It can also be used as a seasoning when cooking braised fish, meat, or vegetables. Especially in the North, banh duc lac is a popular snack. It is a savoury cake made of rice flour and peanuts, which is dipped in fermented sweet Tuong.
B: The best-known Tuong villages in Vietnam are Bần village in Hưng Yên province, Cự Đà village on the outskirts of Hanoi, and the Nam Đàn district of Nghe An province. Many people use Tương and Tương Bần interchangeably to refer to fermented soybean paste wherever it is made because Tương Bần is the most famous soy sauce in northern Vietnam.
|Dipping sauce for summer rolls is soy sauce mixed with peanuts, dried ornions, and fermented carrot. (photo: bestslim.org)
A: In southern Vietnam there is a type of fermented soybean paste called Tương hột. It is made from boiled whole-grain soybeans mixed with ground roasted soybeans, and fermented using rice or corn mold, sometimes using ready-made soy sauce to speed up the fermentation process. Whole-grain Tương is often used as a condiment for braised fish, tofu, or vegetables.
B: Each region mixes Tuong with other ingredients to make it sweeter, saltier, or more sour to bring out the flavor of a dish. We encourage you to try making Vietnamese soy sauce at home. And don’t forget to tell us about your dish.
A: Earlier this week people in Hanoi were buzzing about a 3-year-old girl who fell from a 12th-floor balcony, but was caught and saved by a “superhero” delivery driver.
B: Nguyen Ngoc Manh was sitting in his car waiting to make a delivery at 5pm on Sunday when he heard a child crying, he told VOV. He first thought it was a child having a tantrum, but quickly realised it was something else. Then he heard a woman screaming. He stuck his head out the window to see what was going on. There was a child hanging from an apartment balcony about 50 metres above the ground.
A: Manh said he immediately jumped out of his car and climbed up a two-meter fence onto a metal roof to get directly underneath the child. It was raining and the sloping roof was slippery. Manh said he had to fling himself forward to catch her. She landed so hard that the two of them fell and left a dent in the roof.
|Nguyen Ngoc Manh said he wishes his life will return to normal soon. (VOV)
B: The child was taken to the National Children’s Hospital where doctors told local media she had dislocated her hip but suffered no other injuries. Three days after the incident, the girl is well on the road to recovery. She talks normally with her parents and can draw pictures. One leg is in a plaster cast.
A: Manh told VOV that everything happened within a minute and he didn’t know how he was able to reach the roof so quickly. He said his life has 'turned upside down' since saving the toddler from death and he has received thousands of positive messages on social media. Manh is humble about his brave act and said he doesn’t see himself as a hero. He just wants to do good.
B: That comes to the end of the Letter Box today. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.