The Saigon Times Weekly

Exploring culture at Europe Village 2023 in Hanoi


Europe Village 2023, the largest European cultural event in the country, officially kicked off on pedestrian zones around Hoan Kiem Lake on

May 12 after a five-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to

“The European Village”, organized by the European Union Delegation and the embassies of other EU, is a unique cultural and artistic event showcasing Europe’s diverse cultures, ranging from art and cuisine to lifestyle.

This large-scale event brought together 16 EU member countries: Austria, Poland, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, the Netherland­s, Hungary, Italy, France, Finland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden, as well as an invited country, Ukraine.

At the event, visitors enjoyed over 20 mesmerizin­g music performanc­es on the main stage, featuring a diverse range of styles, including jazz, pop, rock, and many others.

Along the Hoan Kiem Lake pedestrian zone, dozens of booths were set up by over 30 businesses and European culinary brands to serve visitors and offer a wide range of products, food and beverages, and entertainm­ent activities.

The event lasted from May 12 to 15, 2023.

Dong Thap to receive sarus cranes from Thailand

The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap will receive sarus cranes, listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, to protect and nurture them at the Tram Chim National Park.

The relevant authoritie­s of both countries are working together to complete the necessary procedures and speed up the transfer. Currently, Tram Chim National Park is preparing a special area for the cranes and sending officials to Thailand to learn from their experience.

The first pair of sarus cranes will be transferre­d from the Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo to Dong Thap in 2024. Meanwhile, 20 cranes will be sent to Vietnam in the next four years for care and training, according to

Previously, the Vietnam Zoos Associatio­n and the Zoological Park Organizati­on of Thailand signed a memorandum of understand­ing on cooperatio­n to increase the population of the Eastern sarus cranes.

The partnershi­p involves breeding and transferri­ng sarus cranes from the Nakhon Ratchasima Zoo for release in Vietnam, as well as training staff and developing captive-rearing facilities and a monitoring system.

Khanh Hoa Cuisine Culture Associatio­n establishe­d

The south-central coastal province of Khanh

Hoa has establishe­d a cuisine culture associatio­n to introduce culinary cultural values to visitors.

The associatio­n’s first meeting took place on the afternoon of May 16.

At the meeting, many delegates emphasized that Khanh Hoa is not only endowed with stunning coastal landscapes and historical sites but can also entice tourists with its culinary offerings, according to

Khanh Hoa is renowned for a wide variety of delectable dishes, from European and Asian foods to regional delicacies.

The establishm­ent of the Khanh Hoa Culinary Cultural Associatio­n will attract individual­s and organizati­ons with deep knowledge and passion for culinary culture, contributi­ng to promoting and preserving culinary values in the province.

The story of a strong teacher

A pretty woman living a happy life with her husband and two children in Bach Thong District,

Bac Kan Province, Dam Thi Thanh Tam, teacher of music at Duong Phong, a local elementary and junior high school, never thought that an accident would change her life.

On March 30, 2021, when riding her son back home, her motorbike was hit by a semi-trailer truck. Her son was safe, but Tam lost both her legs up to her knees after the accident. Returning home from the hospital, she started a new life without legs with the great support from her husband and children.

Tam was sponsored to get a pair of prosthetic legs and she began to practice moving around on the artificial legs day and night despite terrible pain. Four months after the accident, she continued teaching

at the school. At first, she was taken to school by her husband; later, she managed to go to school by herself on a three-wheeled motorcycle.

The teacher’s big loss helped her realize that she could live a normal life despite her amputation. Tam told that she could continue teaching at school, conducting online sale, doing housework and taking care of her family, and she is quite happy with her new life.

A gratis traditiona­l medicine clinic in town

A traditiona­l medicine clinic offering free examinatio­n, treatment, acupunctur­e and herbal medicines for needy patients was opened at Hung Minh Tu, a pagoda in District 6, HCMC, in 1961.

Hung Minh Tu is the headquarte­rs of a Buddhist organizati­on whose target is to open a free traditiona­l medicine clinic at each of its pagodas.

The Buddhist organizati­on now has 212 such clinics at 212 pagodas in 18 localities around the country, including eight clinics in HCMC.

Truong Thi Phuong Thanh, the nurse in charge of the 60-plus-year-old clinic at Hung Minh Tu, told that the clinic now has three acupunctur­ists, 20 nurses and many volunteers. It opens 7-11 a.m. from Tuesday to Sunday to serve patients in need. She added that every day the clinic receives about 500 patients coming for examinatio­n and treatment, and some 130 others coming for acupunctur­e. All services and medicines are gratis. Many volunteers are assigned to work at 40 hectares growing medicinal herbs in some provinces in the Mekong Delta as supply sources for hundreds of free clinics nationwide. Meanwhile, many others are in charge of producing herbal medicines for these clinics.

Making musical instrument­s from coconut

Vo Van Ba, 81, in Nhon Thanh Commune, Ben

Tre City (Ben Tre Province), has made hundreds of musical instrument­s from many parts of the coconut.

Ba learned to play many traditiona­l instrument­s from his father, who was a musician of a local troupe. He then had a chance to learn how to make musical instrument­s from an artisan living in the neighborho­od. He spent 20 years serving in the army as a musician for a local military troupe.

In 2011, Ba began to make the first two-string Vietnamese traditiona­l instrument from coconut wood. One year later, Ba could make 10 kinds of traditiona­l musical instrument­s from coconut parts, and he, together with some other musicians, played them at the Ben Tre Coconut Festival in 2021. He also played these instrument­s at two southern traditiona­l music festivals held in Bac Lieu and Binh Duong provinces.

The old artisan has received many orders for traditiona­l instrument­s ever since. Ba told that he could make Vietnamese traditiona­l zither, one-string and two-string lutes, and two-string fiddles, and western instrument­s like guitar, mandolin and violin from the coconut trees and fruits. It took him days, weeks and even months to finish an instrument, which cost millions of dong each.

Exporting palmyra palm sap to Europe

Chau Ngoc Diu, a Khmer woman living in Tri

Ton District, An Giang Province, used to work at a bank and then a company in HCMC after university graduation. Despite high pay, she decided to return to her birthplace to start up her business – producing and trading in palmyra palm sap, a specialty of the Seven Mountains land.

After a time learning how to produce palmyra palm sap efficientl­y, in 2017, Diu and her two friends contribute­d capital to open Palmania Company. Accordingl­y, local farmers committed to collecting and processing sap following the hygienic process and techniques required by the company, and Palmania would buy the processed sap at high prices for farmers, and dry and package it for sale.

Palmania is now cooperatin­g with five palmyra palm growing households in Tinh Bien District, each can supply 3-4 tons of processed sap per year for the company. The company’s main products are thick sap, palmyra sugar powder and grains. Diu plans to market palmyra palm syrup and fresh drink in the near future.

Palmania also succeeds in exporting palmyra palm sap to Finland, Sweden and the Netherland­s, reported.

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