In Defense of Bảo Tàng Địa Chất, Saigon’s Most Neglected Museum

By (un)conventional standards, Saigon’s Geological Museum may warrant a score of 1.3/9, but if one considers it as a source of whimsy, it’s a solid 8.2/9.For years, Saigoneer’s editorial staff has discussed visiting and writing about the Geological Museum (Bảo tàng Địa chất), but it never got done. I’ve lived here for half a decade, and when I moved to a new neighborhood a year ago my daily walk to the office took me past the museum; yet I still had never entered. Then, on a whim, one random Tuesday morning several weeks ago, I went. The result? I didn’t think I could love Saigon more than I already did, and yet…

The Collection

When a meteor, a hulking hunk of prehistoric mass, shreds through Earth’s atmosphere and slams into the surface, the impact vaporizes terrestrial scraps of minerals and sends debris into the sky. The molten globs float like glassy raindrops and fall thousands of kilometers away. Buried under layers of rock laid over millions of years, occasionally the shiny shards work their way to the surface; shimmering examples of Earth’s immensity and the intensity of time. Have you ever seen one? If not, you can.

A case filled with these tektites awaits in District 1 alongside literal pieces of lava, impressions made by long-extinct sea creatures straight out of a science-fiction movie, and wood transformed to stone. Can you imagine, wood to stone! What was once a tiny seed and then a towering tube of pulp pumping sap to a canopy of soft leaves made into solid rock by the geological machinations of our exceedingly strange planet. No one seems to care. Tiếp tục đọc “In Defense of Bảo Tàng Địa Chất, Saigon’s Most Neglected Museum”

Hanoi building festooned in Vietnamese colors to support Covid-19 fight

By Nguyen Quy   April 22, 2020 | 09:27 pm GMT+7

Hanoi building festooned in Vietnamese colors to support Covid-19 fight

An apartment building in Hanoi is festooned with red national flags on April 19, 2020. Photo courtesy of Prabu Mohan.

A photo capturing a Hanoi apartment block festooned in red flags to support Vietnam’s Covid-19 fight and those on the frontline, has gone viral.

The image, shot by Indian lecturer Prabu Mohan last Sunday, was posted on the Facebook community Hanoi Massive, frequented by 136,000 expat and local netizens living in the capital.

Over a hundred Vietnamese flags were hung from the balconies of an apartment building on Tam Trinh Street in Hoang Mai District, garnering thousands of Facebook likes and shares.

“One of the ways to show your support in difficult times,” Mohan wrote in the caption.

Tiếp tục đọc “Hanoi building festooned in Vietnamese colors to support Covid-19 fight”

Where the dead help the living

By Trong Nghia   December 24, 2018 | 09:57 am GMT+7

In northern Vietnam, old people risk their lives to pick up small notes drivers toss out on a highway to honor the dead.

It’s around noon and Hoang Van Dang sits quietly in a shabby hut on a national highway, his eyes glued to the street.

Then, suddenly, he plunges into the highway before returning with three VND500 and VND2,000 (8.6 cents) currency notes in his palm. The 76-year-old man in a pair of worn-out flip-flops is quick and agile.

Within 10 minutes he runs out to pick up bills five times.

Tiếp tục đọc “Where the dead help the living”

Hoang Van Dang sits in his hut by a national highway that runs near his house in Lang Son Province in northern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Trong Nghia

Hoang Van Dang, 76, sits in his hut along a national highway that runs near his house in Lang Son Province. Photos by VnExpress/Trong Nghia

Betel and areca chewing custom in Asia – Tục lệ ăn trầu cau ở Châu Á


> Vietnamese people’s betel chewing custom and its existence in today’s modern society

> CNN: Nothing to smile about: Asia’s deadly addiction to betel nuts << The term is incorrect because the areca-nut, not betel-nut, is chewed.

Image result for betel and areca chewing

The ubiquitous red-stained lips and blackened teeth associated with betel chewing are sported by one-tenth of the human race and one-fifth of the global population. The custom pervades Asia, yet it is hardly known outside of the continent. It has no sex barriers and embraces all ages and classes. Even though it has long-established roots in Asian culture, history of the custom relies mainly on oral tradition, probably because it is most prevalent amongst the agrarian population. Since the eleventh century, however, the royal use of betel in South-East Asia is described in written records which provide a rich source of details about the protocol of sharing a quid with a king and the use of betel in royal ceremonies.From the sixteenth century onwards, when Europeans reached the East, accounts include descriptions of the royal use of betel but the custom has consistently been misrepresented by early western travellers who wrote about it, either from their own observations or those of others.

The custom, so alien to foreigners, was viewed from a western perspective. Nearly all of them were repelled by it and called betel chewing an ‘…unhygienic, ugly, vile, and disgusting…’ habit. Even the name given to the custom by Europeans, ‘betel-nut chewing’ is a misnomer. The term is incorrect because an areca-nut, not a betel-nut, is chewed. Tiếp tục đọc “Betel and areca chewing custom in Asia – Tục lệ ăn trầu cau ở Châu Á”

Shrimp Paste and Fish Sauce: A Brief Primer on Vietnam’s Dipping History

It is a well-known fact among Vietnamese that their home country has a rich portfolio of fermented food, from mắm chua (pickled shrimp) to mắm tôm (shrimp paste). Here is a comprehensive look into not only these funky condiments’ history, taste and production, but also the emerging food science behind them. 

For thousands of years, Vietnamese cuisine has taken great pride in its arsenal of preserved foodstuffs. Indeed, the category constitutes some of the most essential elements of Vietnamese flavors — think nước tương (soy sauce), nước mắm (fish sauce) or mắm tôm (shrimp paste) — these are condiments that few dishes go without.

Nước Mắm (Fish Sauce)

Fish sauce is fiercely coveted by diners across Southeast Asia and even in smaller pockets across the continent as a whole. For example, in Japan it is known as shottsuru and widely used in nabemono, the nation’s version of a hotpot. Indeed, any self-confessed addict of Vietnamese cuisine must have a soft spot for the sauce. An iconic example was Anthony Bourdain imparting the flavors of Hanoian bún chả to former US President Barack Obama. It is incredibly versatile, useful to garnish any dish in its concentrated form and makes an exquisite broth on its own if diluted. Tiếp tục đọc “Shrimp Paste and Fish Sauce: A Brief Primer on Vietnam’s Dipping History”

Carrying Way Too Much Stuff

man on motorcycle transporting ducks

In most western nations, goods are transported on trains, ships, and trucks.

But in areas where those vehicles are less available, people who need to move a lot of stuff from place to place get much more creative.

These photos reveal how people from all over the world use bikes, carts, boats, and animals in amazing ways to get themselves and their stuff where Tiếp tục đọc “Carrying Way Too Much Stuff”

The world’s required reading list: The books that students read in 28 countries


This compilation of reading assigned to students everywhere will expand your horizons — and your bookshelves.

In the US, most students are required to read To Kill a Mockingbird during their school years. This classic novel combines a moving coming-of-age story with big issues like racism and criminal injustice. Reading Mockingbird is such an integral part of the American educational experience that we wondered: What classic books are assigned to students elsewhere?

We posed this question to our TED-Ed Innovative Educators and members of the TED-Ed Community. People all over the globe responded, and we curated our list to focus on local authors. Many respondents made it clear in their countries, as in the US, few books are absolutely mandatory. Below, take a look at what students in countries from Ireland to Iran, Ghana to Germany, are asked to read and why. [Note: To find free, downloadable versions of many of the books listed below, search Project Gutenberg.]


What it’s about: The revelations of God as told to the prophet Muhammad, this is the central religious text of Islam and remains one of the major works of Arabic literature.
Why it’s taught: “Overall, there is no culture of reading novels in my country, which is sad,” says Farokh Attah. “The only book that must be read in school is the holy Quran, and everyone is encouraged to read it starting from childhood.” Tiếp tục đọc “The world’s required reading list: The books that students read in 28 countries”

Historic soccer run brings unequal Vietnam together

Under-23 team’s trip to Asian finals fosters sense of national camaraderie

ATSUSHI TOMIYAMA, Nikkei staff writer

Fans in Hanoi react after Vietnam’s loss in the AFC U23 Championship final against Uzbekistan on Jan. 27. © Reuters

HANOI — The Vietnam national team’s first-ever appearance in the finals of the Asian Football Confederation U23 championship, triggered mass celebrations across the country, despite a close defeat in the final game on Saturday. Tiếp tục đọc “Historic soccer run brings unequal Vietnam together”

Chuyện tử tế: Phim tài liệu năm 1985

(Theo wiki) Chuyện tử tế  là một bộ phim tài liệu Việt Nam của đạo diễn Trần Văn Thủy. Tác phẩm được sản xuất năm 1985 nhưng bị cấm cho tới năm 1987 mới được công chiếu rộng rãi. Được coi là phần 2 của bộ phim tài liệu gây tiếng vang Hà Nội trong mắt aiChuyện tử tếtiếp tục là một tác phẩm phản ánh những suy nghĩ của Trần Văn Thủy về cuộc sống và xã hội thời bao cấp. Bộ phim đã khắc họa hình ảnh của những người dân nghèo khổ trong xã hội để tìm ra lời giải đáp cho câu hỏi: “Thế nào là sự tử tế?”. Cả Hà Nội trong mắt ai và Chuyện tử tế đều chỉ đến được với đông đảo khán giả sau khi có sự can thiệp của Tổng bí thư Nguyễn Văn Linh vào năm 1987. Tác phẩm sau đó đã giành giải Bồ câu bạc tại Liên hoan phim Quốc tế LeipzigCộng hòa Dân chủ Đức và được nhiều đài truyền hình mua bản quyền để phát lại. Cho đến nay đây vẫn được coi là một trong những tác phẩm xuất sắc nhất của đạo diễn Trần Văn Thủy.

The magic of Khmer classical dance


Review: ‘Walk With Me,’ an Invitation From Thich Nhat Hanh

 A scene from “Walk With Me,” about a community of Zen Buddhists in rural France.CreditSpeakit Productions Ltd/GathrFilms

nytimes_Cooling to the mind and soothing to the spirit, the documentary “Walk With Me” offers a tiny oasis of relief to anyone overheated by current events. When you feel like freaking out, the movie’s commitment to slowing down and drawing inward doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.


Tiếp tục đọc “Review: ‘Walk With Me,’ an Invitation From Thich Nhat Hanh”

Special culture of Dao ethnic minority people in Tuyen Quang

Last update 07:00 | 07/09/2017

The northern mountainous province of Tuyen Quang is home to nearly 100,000 people of Dao ethnicity whose culture boasts unique customs, rituals and arts.

Special culture of Dao ethnic minority people in Tuyen Quang , entertainment events, entertainment news, entertainment activities, what’s on, Vietnam culture, Vietnam tradition, vn news, Vietnam beauty, news Vietnam, Vietnam news, Vietnam net news, vietna

A ritual at the coming-of-age ceremony of Dao ethnic people

Tuyen Quang is the only province in Vietnam home to all nine Dao subgroups, namely Dao Do, Dao Tien, Dao Cooc Mun, Dao Quan Chet, Dao O Gang, Dao Cooc Ngang, Dao Quan Trang, Dao Thanh Y, and Dao Ao Dai.

Unique worship rituals

Phung Chuong Chi, a shaman in Tho Binh commune of Lam Binh district, said the group’s worship customs are very diverse, including typical rituals like coming-of-age ceremonies and funerals. Tiếp tục đọc “Special culture of Dao ethnic minority people in Tuyen Quang”

Chinese ballet show draws protests for ‘glorifying Red Army’

Minister says staging The Red Detachment of Women is a privilege but protest organiser says government needs to understand what the story is about

Red Detachment of Women
A performance of The Red Detachment of Women in Tianjin, China. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters


Protesters in Melbourne have called for a boycott of a visiting Chinese ballet performance that they say “glorifies the Red Army”.

The National Ballet of China is performing The Red Detachment of Women, created in 1964, , at the Arts Centre in Melbourne.

The state minister for creative industry, Martin Foley, said staging the ballet was a “privilege”, but protest organiser Frank Ruan described it as “like putting salt on the wounds of some Chinese people”. Tiếp tục đọc “Chinese ballet show draws protests for ‘glorifying Red Army’”

Cách mạng dưới lòng đất: vấn đề mai táng và chôn cất ở châu Á

English:  Underground revolution: Asia’s grave problem

Để giải quyết vấn đề thiếu đất, nhiều quốc gia châu Á đã khuyến khích “mai táng sinh thái” bao gồm quá trình hoả thiêu. Nhưng xét đến các tác động môi trường của việc hoả thiêu, lợi ích đạt được nhiều nhất có lẽ cũng chỉ là tạm thời

Các ngôi mộ lớn, công phu nhưu thế này ở Trung Quốc là một biểu tượng của lòng hiếu thảo và kính trọng tổ tiên, nhưng cái giá phải trả cho vấn đề môi trường là bao nhiêu? Tiếp tục đọc “Cách mạng dưới lòng đất: vấn đề mai táng và chôn cất ở châu Á”