B: Many listeners expressed their interest in VOVWorld’s stories about Vietnam, its land and people, and said they’re excited to receive new QSL cards from VOV.
A: Christmas 2023 and New Year 2024 will arrive soon and we’re already receiving seasonal greetings from listeners around the world.
B: Bidhan Chandra Sanyal of India, one of our regular, faithful listeners, wrote: “May the twinkling lights of Christmas fill your heart with joy. I hope your year is full of happiness and joy. May you and your family have a merry Christmas. Best wishes for a happy present, a well-remembered past, and a bright future. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance.”
A: Thank you very much. We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, also.
|The Christmas atmosphere has begun to prevail along the short street, with many shops putting up festive decorations, such as Christmas trees, wreaths, golden bells, and snowmen.
B: It’s not too early to prepare for the holidays. In Vietnam, Christmas and New Year decorations are already up at hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and other public places. Christmas season is already underway on the streets and online.
A: The Consulates General of France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and the Netherlands jointly organize a Christmas charity market at the French Residence in Ho Chi Minh City on November 25.
B: The gardens of the French Residence will be transformed into a magical place, scented with Christmas cakes and mulled wine, with choirs singing traditional carols.
A: Visitors will surely find the perfect seasonal gift among all the European artisan crafts and decorations, while their children explore European Christmas traditions through fun activities. All proceeds will be donated to five charities in Vietnam.
B: There are lots of festivals in Vietnam this time of year. Tet is the big one, but many others are celebrated. Christmas is growing in popularity in Vietnam, with Christmas trees and Christmas carols becoming more noticeable every year.
|Christmas is growing in popularity in Vietnam, with Christmas trees and Christmas carols becoming more noticeable every year.
A: Although Vietnamese people may not celebrate Christmas as widely as other festivals, it’s still an important day for many. Although it’s not yet a national holiday, non-Christians are attracted to the yuletide spirit and emphasis on family and friends.
B: This week Jayanta Chakrabarty sent us a reception report on VOV’s shortwave broadcast from 16:00 to 16:30 UTC on November 14th, rating SINPO all 4s. He wrote: “Reception quality on 7220 kHz was good, with a strong signal, which made listening a pleasurable experience. “Current Affairs” highlighted the significant role played by Vietnam at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum as a responsible and dedicated member. President Vo Van Thuong will be attending the APEC Economic Leaders' Week in the US. As a long-time dedicated listener to VOV, I extend my sincere good wishes that Vietnam’s government continue its path-setting role at the APEC Forum.”
A: Thank you for your reception report, Mr. Chakrabarty. We hope to continue to receive regular feedback from you.
B: In an email to VOV this week, Jose Ignacio Cos Lezama of Spain wrote: “I wish you more health to continue your shortwave broadcast. Your programs are very interesting, useful and diverse.”
A: Like Jayanta Chakrabarty and Bidhan Chandra Sanyal of India, Johnny Antonio Ramirez Lopez of Peru is a regular, faithful listener to VOVWorld who sends us feedback on a daily basis. Thank you very much.
B: He told us that he often visits rural areas in Peru to take care of trees and live in nature and relax. He really likes VOV stories about rural Vietnam.
A: VOVWorld’s coverage of Vietnamese sports has received a lot of attention from listeners. Our Thai listeners praised Vietnam’s winning 8 gold medals at the 2023 World Bodybuilding Championship and 9 gold medals at the Southeast Asia Shooting Championship.
B: This week Dao Sangkhom of Laos asked about the night tour of Hoa Lo prison in Hanoi.
|Hoa Lo Prison was originally built by French colonists to jail Vietnamese political prisoners. The prison, also known as the Hanoi Hilton, is most notable for its torture, starvation, and even murder of local inmates. The majority of the prison was demolished in the mid-1990s and the site is now used as a museum.
A: Launched 3 years ago, the night tour of Hoa Lo prison, called “Sacred Night – Glorious Vietnamese Spirit”, has become very popular. It takes visitors on a rollercoaster ride of emotions: horror at the brutality of the colonial prison, admiration for the prisoners and their sacrifice, and pride in the unyielding spirit of those who were part of Vietnam’s glorious history.
B: The one-hour journey back in time takes visitors through the main gate to a monument, a guillotine, and gloomy cell blocks for male and female political prisoners. The claustrophobic space is embellished by dramatic music.
A: The frightening spectacle is relieved by an interlude in the yard to hear a song inspired by the Hoa Lo prisoners and written by Do Nhuan and a performance of bamboo flutes under an ancient almond tree which used to produce fruit for the malnourished prisoners, who also made chopsticks and flutes from the tree’s branches.
|Poster introducing the night tour at Hoa Lo prison relic site
B: Dang Van Bieu, assistant head of the relic site’s management board, said: “Using light and sound effects, our tour guides tell the story of this site, once called ‘hell on earth’. The one-hour tour describes the extremely poor prison conditions and forms of torture inflicted on Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers, stirring both pity and gratitude for those who sacrificed their youth and life for Vietnam’s independence and freedom.”
A: The tour includes offering incense and paying tribute to the martyrs at a monument inside the prison. Visitors receive food and beverages made from almond fruit and leaves as a souvenir of Hoa Lo prison.
B: The tour leaves a lasting impression on visitors: Such a sacred ambience! I learned a lot about the life of political prisoners. It’s really emotion-wrenching.”
“I was moved by visiting this place at night, and, at the same time, so proud of these courageous Vietnamese soldiers. What impressed me the most about this tour was the lighting and sound, which created a thrilling effect that I haven’t seen in any other historical museum,” said a visitor
B: Major General Huynh Dac Huong, former commander of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers in Laos, told VOV: “This tour provides a great history lesson. The tranquil night time calms one’s mind for contemplation.”
A: Hoa Lo prison is named after the coal-fired stoves once sold in the surrounding streets. The prison was built by the French and opened in 1896 to jail anti-French revolutionaries. During the American War in Vietnam, it was called by American prisoners of war “the Hanoi Hilton”.
B: We hope you’ll have an opportunity sometime to visit Hanoi and explore its history through tours like the Hoa Lo night tour.
A: We’d like to thank Paul Newton of the UK for sending us a letter this week telling us about the weather in the UK.
B: We’d also like to acknowledge the many letters from Fumito Hokamura of Japan and his reception reports on VOV broadcasts on October 4 and November 8, and other listeners who sent us feedback on our Facebook fanpage VOV5 English Service.
A: Thank you all for your interest in VOV, for sharing your love of our country, and for sending us your feedback. We hope to see you soon in Vietnam. Once again, thank you all for listening. Goodbye!