Women Union members participate in a performance of traditional ao dai in Gia Lam district. (Photo: Phuong Thoa/VOV)
B: International Women's Day is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women around the world. The day is also a call to action to promote gender equality.
A: International Women’s Day has been celebrated for more than a century. The first International Women’s Day gathering in 1911 was supported by over a million people.
B: In Vietnam, International Women’s Day coincides this year with the anniversary of the uprising of the two Trung sisters.
A: In 40 AD the Trung Sisters staged an uprising against the invaders from the north. In a short period of time the uprising was able to recapture the entire territory of Vietnam. After the victory, Trung Trac – the elder sister – became the country’s ruler and chose Me Linh, the place where the uprising began, as the country’s capital. Following their death a temple was built to commemorate the Trung sisters’ contribution to the nation.
|At the Trung sisters' festival
B: An annual festival is held on the sixth day of the first lunar month, the day the uprising began, to pay homage to the Trung sisters.
A: This week, the Vietnam Women Union launched an event called “Week of the Vietnamese Ao Dai” urging Vietnamese women inside and outside Vietnam to wear ao dai, Vietnam’s traditional long dress.
B: The event has been embraced nationwide. More than 1,000 women in Hanoi’s Gia Lam district joined an ao dai parade. A program called "Ao Dai - Vietnamese cultural identity" was held in Da Nang city with a procession of 300 women in the traditional long dress.
|Members of the Women's Union of Da Nang city perform folk dances in ao dai. (Photo: VOV)
A: In Hai Duong province, an audience was introduced to the history of ao dai, Vietnamese cultural values, and the changing design of ao dai in different periods.
B: Next, we’d like to acknowledge correspondence from Vicentiu Daniel Gheorghe of Romania. He sent us greetings on World Radio Day and told us about his love for VOV: “Dear VOV, we are very glad to inform you that the Facebook page of our Romanian VOV Club reached 4,500 likes. We want to promote VOV and Vietnam in Romania and the European Union as much as we can. I want to send my best wishes to VOV on the occasion of UNESCO World Radio Day, and at the same time express my attachment to your radio station, which I have been listening to since I was little and also my strong love for Vietnam.”
A: He continued: “The theme of World Radio Day, “Radio and Peace”, has reminded us of late President Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts on peace and friendship. He greatly valued peace, considering it an essential factor for the economic development and welfare of people.”
B: Thank you, Mr. Gheorghe, for your greeting and for being very active on our VOV English Service Facebook fanpage. We hope your club will be an ambassador for VOV to people in Romania and around the world.
A: Tapan Basak of India sent us a reception report for our broadcast on the frequency of 7220khz, saying the reception was weak and noisy. Thank you, Mr. Basak, for giving us your detailed reception report with an attached audio file. We’ll forward your report to our technicians and ask them to work on the problem.
B: This week VOVWorld received more than 400 emails, letters and phone calls from listeners in 37 countries and territories.
A: Many listeners shared their interest in our broadcasts and their love for VOV over many years. José Moacir Portera de Melo of Brazil wrote: “I have been listening to VOV since 1992. VOV has helped me to better understand your country. I first learned about Vietnam via foreign media during the war time in the 1960s and 70s. After that, there was a suspension of information about your country. Thanks to VOV’s programs, I’m learning more about Vietnam.”
B: Among the many questions we received from our listeners this week, we particularly wanted to answer a question from Frank Bresonik of Germany, who asked about Vietnamese family meals.
|The traditional Vietnamese family meal embodies the cultural aspects of Vietnam
A: The traditional Vietnamese family meal embodies the cultural aspects of the country that emphasize the tradition that all family members dine together. In previous years, each mealtime was important because it represented reunion and the strong bonds between family generations.
B: The happy atmosphere of the family meal and similar family gatherings create beautiful and memorable moments for those that are away from home.
A: You might already know that the Vietnamese use chopsticks to eat their food and everyone gets their own bowl of rice. This is different from the way Westerners eat their meals.
|Often on the table at a typical Vietnamese family meal are boiled rice, pork, eggs, and vegetables
B: Often on the table at a typical Vietnamese family meal are boiled rice, pork, eggs, and vegetables. As in other Asian countries, rice is the mainstay of the family meal. Older people might feel something is missing if the dining table lacks cooked rice. Other favorite items are fish soup, pickled vegetables, boiled or stir-fried vegetables, fried egg, and stewed pork or slices of another meat.
A: Generations in Vietnam remember the basic principle of “showing respect to senior family members and love to junior members.” The best bits of food are given to the eldest or to the youngest members of the family. It’s common to see people use their chopsticks to offer the tastiest morsels to the grandparents or to the youngest children.
B: Other principles of table etiquette are to observe the circumstances before you eat and don’t talk with your mouth full. There’s an old saying about table manners in Vietnam: “When you eat, check the pots and pans. When you sit, check the directions.” A traditional family meal in Vietnam involves inviting people properly to the meal. Children are expected to invite their grandparents and their parents before they are allowed to eat.
A: Nowadays some families are beginning to disregard this custom and take a more casual approach to eating.
B: Living in the hectic cities, some Vietnamese families have to sacrifice their family meals. Nonetheless, there are many families that respect the importance of dining together, so they teach their children this tradition from childhood.
A: We hope you’ll have a chance to eat a meal with a Vietnamese family when you come to our country. You will have a beautiful experience and learn more about Vietnamese culture and traditions.
B: Thank you all for your interest in VOV and for sending us your feedback. 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.
A: Check out our VOV Media App, available on both the IOS and Android platform, to hear our broadcasts. We look forward to your feedback on the mobile version of vovworld.vn. Once again, thank you all for listening. Goodbye!