|Vietnamese women in traditional long dress
B: Aside from International Women's Day on March 8th, Vietnam also celebrates Vietnamese Women's Day on October 20th. It's among several occasions when society shows their love and respect for women - mothers, sisters, aunts or friends.
A: October 20th marks the establishment of the Vietnam Women’s Union back in 1930. To mark this event, the Communist Party of Vietnam decided to observe October 20 as the day to honor Vietnamese women and called it Vietnamese Women’s Day.
B: Many countries have their own unique celebrations which make our culture rich and diverse and inspire us to explore other cultures. In an email to VOV this week, Shivendu Paul of India told us about Dugra Puja Festival of West Bengal, India.
A: He wrote: “From October 6 to 15, we celebrate Durga Puja Festival. We visit various pandals of the goddess Durga. Durga Puja, a major festival of Hinduism, traditionally held for 10 days in the month of Ashvina (September–October), the seventh month of the Hindu calendar. It is a popular festival in Bengal, Assam, and other eastern Indian states. Durga Puja celebrates the victory of the goddess Durga over the demon king Mahishasura. It begins on the same day as Navratri, a nine-night festival celebrating the divine feminine.”
|Durga Puja, a major festival of Hinduism
B: Shivendu Paul continued: “Celebrations and worship begin on Sasthi, the sixth day. During the following three days, the goddess is worshipped in her various forms as Durga, Lakshmi, and Sarasvati. The celebrations end with Vijaya Dashami or “Tenth Day of Victory”, when, amid loud chants and drumbeats, idols are carried in huge processions to local rivers, where they are immersed. That custom is symbolic of the departure of the deity to her home and to her husband, Shiva, in the Himalayas.”
A: Thank you, Mr. Shivendu Paul, for telling us about this interesting festival. At this time of the year, in Vietnam, we celebrate the Keo pagoda festival in the northern province of Thai Binh.
|The Keo Pagoda Festival is recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage
B: The Keo Pagoda Festival was recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2017 by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. It is held annually from the 10th to the 15th day of the ninth lunar month to honor Zen Master Khong Lo (1016-1094) – founder of the Keo Pagoda.
A: It features religious rituals and communal activities, such as Buddhist offerings, palanquin parades, love duets on boats, and folk games. In addition to traditional religious rituals commemorating the Ly Dynasty Buddhist monk, the festival also hosts a variety of cultural activities that reflect the lifestyle of the Red River Delta’s agricultural communities.
|The Keo pagoda festival features religious rituals and communal activities, such as Buddhist offerings, palanquin parades, love duets on boats, and folk games.
B: Many folk activities, such as racing shells, trumpets and drums, a traditional dance performance, and the preparation of “phoenix-winged” betel quids are organized at the festival.
A: Meanwhile, Keo pagoda is also a favorite destination for tourists and religious followers. The site is comprised of a number of structures including a three-door temple, a pagoda, a Genie temple, a bell tower, and a tower garden.
|Keo pagoda is also a favorite destination for tourists and religious followers.
B: The pagoda collapsed in a typhoon in 1611. It was rebuilt in 1632. At that time, the pagoda had 157 apartments covering 58,000 square meters. Now, it has 128 apartments covering 2,000 square meters. Despite being upgraded and repaired several times over the past 400 years, Keo pagoda retains its unique architecture from the 17th century Le dynasty. In September 2012 it was designated a special national relic.
A: Next, we’d like to welcome back to VOV, Otto Schwartz of the US. In a letter to VOV this week, he reported listening to our Sunday Show about the Mid-autumn festival and its toy figurines made of glutinous rice powder.
B: Mr. Schwartz said: “It’s been quite a while since I last wrote to you. During the pandemic, many of my overseas letters were returned to me, so I suspended my correspondence. But recently, some of my letters have gone through. Vietnam received quite a hit of media coverage during Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to Vietnam last month. This encouraged me to resume my writing to you.”
A: “I tuned in to your English language Sunday Show program yesterday and I very much enjoyed the features on the Mid-autumn festival toy figurines made out of glutinous rice powder and Mr. Quang’s moon cake mold making craft. I also liked the music session with Vietnamese rock music.”
B: In the letter, Mr. Schwartz also shared his life during the pandemic. “We’re now approaching two years of this COVID-19 pandemic. It had a devastating impact throughout our world: millions of people getting infected and dying, facemasks and social distancing requirements, quarantines, in-person to virtual education, cancellation of sports, concerts, and other mass gatherings, and now mandatory vaccination. My life has changed dramatically. I stay mostly at home doing house-yard and garden work, caring for six feral cats and 11 turtles in my algae-filled swimming pool. I occasionally do grocery and other necessary shopping.”
A: Otto Schwartz, thank you very much for keeping tuned in to our English broadcast and writing to us again and we’re happy to hear that your family members are all fine.
A: We hope to continue to hear more regularly from you. Stay safe and sound during the pandemic.
B: Sanil Deep sent us reception reports this week. In his email, he wrote: “This week, the COVID-19 situation in my place is continuing without reduction. 94 % of the people in Kerala state have taken the first doze of vaccine. Colleges were opened this week and the schools are expected to open shortly. I hope that you will soon contain the pandemic.”
A: “Both Saturday music program and Sunday Show are my favorite programs which are well presented. The way you present the Letterbox makes the program much colorful and attracts new listeners to write to the program. The response from listeners from distant places clearly indicates how much the programs are loved by listeners around the world. Wish you all success.”
B: Thank you, Mr. Sanil Deep, for your feedback on our programs. In a letter to VOV this week, Richard Lemke of Canada wrote that he has been listening to VOV on shortwave bands for a long time and on the morning of October 16, he found our signal in the 25 meters is heard in English broadcast which is irregular. He asked whether 11885 kHz is a relay or VOV’s own transmitter.
A: We appreciate your reports on our broadcasts, Mr. Richard Lemke. VOV broadcast is beamed to Europe on the frequency of 11885 khz and we’re not sure whether our English program could be heard on that frequency in Canada. We’ll check with technicians and send you feedback. We hope to hear more from you.
B: This week, VOVWorld continued to receive hundreds of letters from listeners around the world. We’d like to share some of their feedback and connect you all.
A: Dieter Feltes shared his interest in our Village life segment praising our stories about rural development in Vietnam.
B: Chanthabun of Laos sent congratulations to the 67th anniversary of the Lao language section and praised VOV’s programs’ contributions to enhancing Vietnam’s external relations with other countries.
|Hanoi in October
A: Daniel Rodrigo Troncoso Murillo of Colombia, a listener of the Spanish language program, shared his interest in the Facebook fanpage for VOV’s listeners called AmigosVov Dx.
B: Johnny Antonio Ramírez López of Peru said he likes songs about Hanoi composed by young Vietnamese songwriters. He wrote: “Though not many listeners understand Vietnamese, they can feel love for Hanoi through these songs”.
A: Thank you all for your feedback.
B: We always welcome your comments and suggestions 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 can also leave your comments on our website at www.vovworld.vn or on our Facebook fanpage at VOV5 English Service. Thank you all. Stay safe and healthy. Goodbye!