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Dried persimmon – a delicacy of Đà Lạt



Nguyễn Thu Hiền

Đà Lạt is more than a land of romance and brings different feelings to visitors depending on the season.

In summer, the mountain streets of the city in the Central Highlands province of Lâm Đồng may bring a bit of boredom to tourists with rain. But in autumn, the orange colour of persimmon will spread among the gardens. That means it’s the harvest season for the ripe fruit.

Walking on any road, one can easily find persimmon trees full of fruit. The orange colour of ripe persimmon looks like lights in the daylight. The harvest season starts in mid-September. But the trees look best from October when all the leaves fall and remain only ripe fruit on branches.

A garden of ripped persimmons. Photo Thủy Liên

Tourists coming to Đà Lạt in this season can visit gardens of ripe persimmons in yellow sunlight.

One can also taste sweet persimmons in the gardens and bring them home as gifts for family and friends.

Such gardens can be found in Khe Sanh Road, Mimosa Pass Road, Xuân Trường area and Trại Mát area.

Some cafes in Đà Lạt also have persimmon gardens like Túi Mơ To (Big Bag of Apricots), In the Forest and Vĩ Tuyến Số 6 (The 6th Parallel) cafes.

Đà Lạt persimmons can be processed into various kinds of food. Many people like eating them fresh as they are sweet, soft and juicy. But some others may like them crispy.

The best persimmons will be put into plastic bags and tied up for 10 days. Then the fruit can be eaten with crispy bites.

The persimmons with more flaws will be selected to dry for further preservation.

Persimmons hung in a cool, sunny place for drying. Photo

In the past few years, many local farmers have applied Japanese technology to make dried persimmons.

According to Đặng Thị Thu Vân, a woman who runs a persimmon processing workshop in her garden, this kind of persimmon requires lots of energy through various stages.

First, people should select suitable fruit, which should reach a certain maturity where the fruit is big enough, tender, with an orange cover, and does not have any insect bites or bruises on the body.

The fruit should have a short stalk to tie a string on. Locals often choose oval-shaped or square-shaped persimmons from Đơn Dương area in Đà Lạt for this.

The fruits are peeled, except the stalk to tie the string on. They are then cleaned and tied up in a string. The fruits should be hung separately so that they do not scratch each other.

They may be then dried in an oven for three hours at 50-60 degrees Celsius.

Then the persimmons should be hung in a windy, cool area with sunlight but should be safe from rain and fog, free from insects and birds.

After 5-10 days, the persimmons will be softer and turn a dark orange and light brown colour. The workers should do gentle ‘massages’ on the fruits so they gather honey and avoid being hard outside or too soft in the middle.

Persimmons are hung for a few weeks. Photo 

After some three weeks, at 25-30 degrees Celsius in sunny, dry weather, the persimmons can be harvested. On average, some 7-8kg of fresh fruit will be condensed into 1kg of dried fruit. Hence, the price is fairly high compared to fresh fruit, some VNĐ400,000 – 500,000 (US$17.2 – 21.5) for a kilo of dried persimmons.

Vân said the workers should make sure there is no mold or fungus on the fruit during the hanging period and no preservatives are added.

According to food and health experts, persimmon contains a high amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and can supply 80 per cent of daily vitamin C need for the body. It supplies 20 per cent of the daily need for fibre, which is useful for digesting food.

Persimmon contains a lot of other vitamins, including vitamin A, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthin, all of which prevent fatigue and weakness in eyesight and muscles.

Kali in persimmon can help prevent heart and vein diseases as well as high blood pressure.

Naturally dried persimmon is a delicacy of Đà Lạt. Photo Thu HIền 




Vietnamese-American songtress Lệ Thu dies



Vietnamese-American songtress Lệ Thu, who was well-known in southern Viet Nam in the 1970s, died of COVID-19 in the US on January 15. She was 78. — File photo from

HCM CITY — Vietnamese-American songtress Lệ Thu, who was well-known in southern Việt Nam in the 1970s, died of COVID-19 in the US on January 15. She was 78.

Lệ Thu, whose real name was Bùi Thị Oanh, was born in Hải Phòng City in 1943.

She moved to Sài Gòn, now HCM City, with her family when she was 10 years old.

She began her singing career in 1959, and became famous for love songs by well-known composers Trịnh Công Sơn, Phạm Duy, Trường Sa,  Vũ Đức Sao Biển and others from 1968 to 1971.

Her career is associated with many songs by Trường Sa, such as Rồi Mai Tôi Đưa Em (Tomorrow I Send You Away), Xin Còn Gọi Tên Nhau (Please Call Out Our Names), and Mùa Thu Trong Mưa (Autumn Rain).

After 1975, Lệ Thu emigrated to the US with her family and continued her music career in the Vietnamese community.

She worked with Thúy Nga Paris By Night, a music show produced by US-based Thúy Nga Productions.

She recorded 24 solo albums and numerous albums with famous overseas Vietnamese singers like Khánh Ly, Hương Lan and Tuấn Ngọc.

She also performed at music concerts for overseas Vietnamese in the US and other countries.

In 2007, she returned to Việt Nam to take part in concert memorialising late composer Trịnh Công Sơn.

After that, she took part in many concerts and became a judge for several TV music shows.

In 2014, Lệ Thu hosted her first live show in Việt Nam, receiving a very warm welcome from local audiences. —








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UNFPA provides aid to support older Vietnamese people in Covid-19 context



Old people receive free healthcare services at a community program in Hanoi. The UNFPA has donated personal protective equipment and hygiene items to help Vietnam improve healthcare services for the elderly amid Covid-19 – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam handed over personal protective equipment and hygiene items to the Social Protection Department on January 14 to support caregivers and social care workers who provide services to older people in the Covid-19 context.

The supplies, including gloves, face masks, anti-droplet face shields, thermometers and hand sanitizers worth US$30,000, will be distributed to social protection centers and community caregivers in high-risk cities and provinces such as Hai Duong, Danang and Quang Nam.

According to the UNFPA, Covid-19 has had devastating effects on older people as they are at an increased risk of developing severe conditions and seeing higher death rates from the disease.

As one of the fastest-ageing populations in the world, with the number of older persons aged 65 and above accounting for 7.7% of the total population, Vietnam has done an exemplary job in coping with the Covid-19 pandemic so far.

However, it is critical to prepare the country well to ensure dedicated and uninterrupted care and social security for the elderly to protect them from the pandemic, paying special attention to the elderly who live alone, in facilities and those with disabilities.

Addressing the handover ceremony, Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA representative in Vietnam, said, “Covid-19 is giving us excruciating challenges by amplifying the vulnerabilities of old people. It is clear that the fatality rate for older people is higher and for those above the age of 80, it is five times higher than the global average. Therefore, older people must be a priority while dealing with Covid-19 to ensure no one is left behind in the humanitarian response as well as in development efforts.”

Pham Thi Hai Ha, deputy director of the Social Protection Department under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, highly appreciated UNFPA’s support and affirmed, “Protecting people’s health, particularly healthcare and support for older persons during the Covid-19 pandemic is the top priority of the Government. The protection of health workers and caregivers must also be prioritized as critical and lifesaving and they should be provided with personal protective equipment.”


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Vietnamese diva Le Thu dies of COVID-19 in US



Vietnamese diva Le Thu died in the U.S. on Friday (local time) at the age of 78 after a period combating COVID-19, according the artistscommunity in the States.

Thu’s passing away was announced by her daughter, Tu, emcee Jimmy Nhut Ha said on Saturday morning.

Accordingly, Le Thu was admitted to Memorial Coast Hospital in California and had to stay in the intensive care unit.

On January 3, Thu’s daughter said she was in critical condition because of COVID-19.

On Thursday, her family said the diva was still in a coma and ventilator, with her family, friends and  Vietnamese artists in the U.S. praying for her health.

However, Thu passed away at 7:00 pm on Friday (U.S. time) after a critical period of treatment for COVID-19.

Thu’s funeral will not take place in a couple of weeks as the funeral services in her locality is currently overloaded due to the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to singer Quang Thanh – one of Thu’s juniors in the music industry living in the States.

Information about Thu’s funeral in the U.S. will be updated later.

Singer Le Thu, whose real name is Bui Thi Oanh, was born on July 16, 1943. 

She is one of the leading vocalists of the Vietnamese music in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Le Thu, along with Thai Thanh and Khanh Ly, were three singers that took the Vietnamese music world by storm during that period for their performances of popular love songs and pre-war songs by famous composers such as Pham Duy, Cung Tien, Doan Chuan, and Trinh Cong Son.

In 1980, Le Thu relocated to the U.S. with her family.

She remained active in singing before catching COVID-19 .

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