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Hà Nội’s insect-loving answer to Ant-Man

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Nhật Hồng

*With additional reporting by Thu Hà & Linh Chi

Bùi Ngọc Cường might appear to be an ordinary Hà Nội-based office worker, but he has made a name for himself with an unlikely hobby: raising ants as pets.

He grew up with different pets before taking up his ant-keeping hobby five years ago by watching online videos about indoor ant-keeping. 

“I like the feeling of having an ant colony of my own. I like watching them go hunting, clean up their place, and build their nest together,” Cường said.

“I have raised about 30 types of ants. The biggest colony has about 5,000 or 6,000 individuals, and I want to raise even more species in the future.”

FEEDING TIME: Cường says his hobby is not time-consuming, which fits a busy person like him. VNS Photo Nhật Hồng

Most of the colonies are sourced from regions across Việt Nam or shipped from abroad – usually Singapore and China, where the hobby is popular.

With the help of a few locals, Cường has collected different types of ants from their natural habitat and put them in plastic containers along with a few dried leaves, which are then sealed tight with tape for shipping. 

“For the common species, you can raise a colony from a queen or collect one from the natural environment,” said Cường.

But these are very different from house ants. To pick out the species that can be raised in an artificial container (formicarium) at home, the ant hobbyist has learned from the experience of others. 

“It is not difficult once you have some knowledge and skills,” Cường added.

“The two most important factors to be mindful of are temperature and humidity. You must create conditions for the ants as if they are underground – so they can live and grow indoors.

“When I started, I liked unique, peculiar species. But now I stick to the more ordinary types – especially those that are odourless, easy to adapt, don’t bite, and don’t destroy furniture around the house.”

While these crawly creatures are plenty in numbers, taking care of them requires little time and resources. 

Their diet mainly consists of sugar mixed in water, alongside a few bits of protein now and then, like minced meat or small worms. 

“It doesn’t require a lot of time – only five to 10 minutes a day, and their food doesn’t cost much either, so it’s very fitting for a busy person like me,” Cường said.

IN-SECTION: A close-up view of an ant farm box that houses Cường’s tiny pets. VNS Photo Thu Hà

Beginning from a simple pastime activity, Cường started sharing his experience online and now has nearly 137,000 followers on his TikTok account.

“People kept asking me if the colonies or the containers are up for sale, so I started providing kits with concise, easy instructions on how to raise ants, along with easy-to-raise species,” he said.

The lower component of the tank is a super-lightweight concrete block with pathways running through it, resembling an ant nest underground. The upper component – a transparent plastic box decorated with replica tree bark and leaves, is where the ants hunt their meals provided by the keeper. 

Depending on the ant species and their size, these artificial nests can contain thousands upon thousands of the eusocial insects at the same time.

All the modules of the ant containers can be taken apart for cleaning, which Cường does for all his ant nests every week. 

Cường designed his ant homes after studying ant nests of other hobbyists on the internet. When the blueprint was finished, he contacted a local manufacturer and started commercial production, which adds a decent income to his regular office job. 

Though a niche hobby, the ant-keeping community is growing fast.

“Aside from young people like me, parents also like to buy these for their children so they can have pets to take care of at home. Children can learn about unity, patience and hardworking spirit from the ants,” Cường said.

“The ant-growing community is becoming even more active now.” — VNS 

ANT LOVER: The containers are designed by Cường himself, which he has now commercialised to share the hobby with other people. VNS Photo Nhật Hồng

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/entertainment/ha-nois-insect-lovinganswer-to-ant-man_340258.html

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Free film screenings celebrate founding of the Communist Party of Việt Nam

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A scene from Vietnamese blockbuster Tôi Thấy Hoa Vàng Trên Cỏ Xanh (I See Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass) that is being screened for free at National Cinema Centre.— Photo courtesy of Galaxy Cinema

HÀ NỘI — The National Cinema Centre is giving out free tickets for the Vietnamese blockbuster Tôi Thấy Hoa Vàng Trên Cỏ Xanh (I See Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass) and the documentary Đoàn Kết Là Sức Mạnh (Unity is Strength) from now until Sunday (February 5).

The free screenings are to celebrate the Lunar New Year and the 93rd anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of Việt Nam(February 3, 1930 – February 3, 2023).

‘Unity is Strength’ affirms the right path to independence, freedom and reunification of the country chosen by President Hồ Chí Minh, the Vietnamese Communist Party and the people. —  Photo courtesy of People’s Army Cinema

Unity is Strength is part of the series Con Đường Đã Chọn (Chosen Path) produced by the People’s Army Cinema. The 30-minute documentary shows the path to independence, freedom and reunification of the country chosen by President Hồ Chí Minh, the Vietnamese Communist Party and the people.

The feature I See Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass, directed by Victor Vũ and adapted from the novel by best-selling author Nguyễn Nhật Ánh, is an emotional story about the homeland, family, and childhood.

Released in 2015, the film was a cinematic phenomenon in the domestic box office, earning over VNĐ80 billion (US$3.6 million). It was listed among the top 10 outstanding cultural events in Việt Nam and won the Bông Sen Vàng (Golden Lotus) prize at the 19th Việt Nam Film Festival in 2015.

It was screened at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. It also won many prestigious awards, including Best Film at the TIFF Kids International Film Festival 2016, the Golden Lotus award at the 19th Việt Nam Film Festival, the Golden Kite award at the Việt Nam Film Festival 2015, and Best Film at the second Silk Road International Film Festival in 2015 in China. The film competed in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 89th Oscars in February 2017.

Free invitation tickets are being distributed at the ticket counter of the National Cinema Centre, located at 87 Láng Hạ Street. Each person can get a maximum of four tickets. The films are screened every day until Sunday at 5.40pm. VNS

 

 

 

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/entertainment/free-film-screenings-celebratefounding-of-the-communist-party-of-viet-nam_341367.html

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HCM City’s theatres ready for Tết

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LAUGH IT UP: The Thế Giới Trẻ (World of Youth) Drama Club on Cống Quỳnh Street in District 1 will offer a new comedy Thả Thính Mà Không Dính (Fail at Flirting) to entertain audiences during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. — Photo courtesy of the club

HCM CITY — HCM City’s theatres promise a variety of new shows to suit audiences of varying musical and dramatic tastes during the Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.

The Small Theatre on Võ Văn Tần Street in District 3 will offer the musical Đại Náo Thuỷ Cung (Fight for the Ocean) for children from January 22 to 29.

The play sends a message of environmental protection, featuring a group of children on a journey to protect the ocean.

Meritorious Artist Mỹ Uyên, the theatre’s director, told to local media: “I decided to stage a play for children because they also need entertainment during Tết. All the artists and I very feel happy when staging a special performance for children in such a special occasion.”

For comedy fans, the Thế Giới Trẻ (World of Youth) Drama Club on Cống Quỳnh Street in District 1 will offer two new comedies Thả Thính Mà Không Dính (Fail at Flirting) and Nghiệp Quật (Retribution) each night from January 22-30.

Thả Thính Mà Không Dính, a co-production with the HCM City Theatre Association, highlights funny stories happening daily at a coffee vendor, featuring veteran and young actors such as People’s Artist Hoài Linh, Nam Thư and Hồng Trang.

Nghiệp Quật has attracted young actors from the HCM City University of Theatre and Cinematography. The play focuses on messages about karma.  

According to the theatre’s representative, they are trying to create more new exciting plays to serve audiences and offer opportunities for young actors to show off their skills.

Another option for laughs is the musical Em Em Chị Chị (Brother and Sister) staged by the IDECAF Drama Stage.

Directed by Quốc Thịnh, the play focuses on the challenges and competition in the entertainment industry, featuring young actors Võ Minh Lâm and Lệ Trinh.  

The play will be first staged at 4pm and 8pm on January 23, 25 and 29 at the Thanh Niên (Youth) Stage at 4 Phạm Ngọc Thạch Street in District 1.

Traditional art

TRADITIONAL PLAYS: Meritorious Artist Vũ Luân will play a leading role in two cải lương plays, Hoa Mộc Lan (Mulan) and Kiếp Tằm (Life Cycle of Silkworm), which will be staged during Tết. — Photo courtesy of Sen Việt Theatre

For fans of cải lương (reformed opera), there will be more quality plays from popular theatres.

The Gia Bảo Entertainment Company will stage the classic cải lương play Hoa Mộc Lan (Mulan) on January 25, or the fourth day of Lunar New Year.

The play will attract the performance of veteran actors such as Meritorious Artists Vũ Luân, Kim Tiểu Long and Tú Sương, along with young actors Bình Tinh and Lê Thanh Thảo.

Bảo said: “Hoa Mộc Lan is a lovely and funny play which is suitable for the holiday season. I hope the play will become a good start for the cải lương art of Việt Nam in 2023.”

The play will be performed at the Trần Hữu Trang Theatre on 136 Trần Hưng Đạo Street in District 1.

The Sen Việt Theatre will perform Kiếp Tằm (Life Cycle of Silkworm), a historical play written by playwright Lê Duy Hạnh and directed by Meritorious Artist Lê Nguyên Đạt on January 26, 27 and 28, or the sixth, seventh and eighth of Lunar New Year.

The play highlights a conflict in politics to gain power between two best friends, featuring Meritorious Artists Vũ Luân and Lê Trung Thảo.

Meritorious Artist Đạt said: “Renewing a classic play is also a way to attract audiences, especially youth, and remind them of the country’s history, traditional culture and lifestyle.”

The play will begin at 8pm at 5B Võ Văn Tần Street in District 3.

The Trần Hữu Trang Theatre, the city’s leading cải lương troupe, will offer an interesting feast for cải lương lovers with two new plays, Ngai Vàng và Tội Ác (Throne and Crime) and Tuyệt Tình Ca (Goodbye Song).

The performances will feature Meritorious Artists Trọng Phúc and Ngọc Đợi, together with young actors from the theatre.

The two plays will be staged on January 30 and February 4 at 136 Trần Hưng Đạo Street in District 1.

As is their tradition, the theatre will offer free shows for residents living in outlying districts such as Nhà Bè and Củ Chi and workers at industrial parks and export processing zones during the holiday.  

The shows began this week and will continue through January 26. — VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/entertainment/hcm-citys-theatres-ready-for-tet_341117.html

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‘My goal is always the same’: Linh aims to be V.League 1 top scorer

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Striker Nguyễn Tiến Linh competing in V.League 1 last year. He aims to become the top scorer of the V.League 1 this year. Photo danviet.vn

Football

HÀ NỘI — Nguyễn Tiến Linh, the star striker for the national team, has set his sights on dominating the V.League 1 this year and ending the season as top scorer.

“My personal goal is always the same in the national premiere league. I always want to score a lot of goals. Hopefully, this year I can become the top scorer,”  Linh said on Monday.

His nearest competition will be a little bit closer to home this season than last. Linh will be competing alongside last season’s V.League 1 top scorer Rimario Allando Gordon, who joined Bình Dương from Hải Phòng where he scored 17 goals last season.

In addition to Gordon, Bình Dương also have Việt Cường, Sỹ Giáp and rookie Neto Nogueira.

“Bình Dương having V.League 1 2022’s top scorer Gordon is good news for the team. For Linh, it is an honour to compete with Gordon. We will unite and fight for the club’s achievements. Competition to be the leading striker will be fierce,” Linh said.

Meanwhile, Bình Dương’s target is to compete for accolades this year.

“In the 2023 season, Bình Dương’s players have changed a lot, but we will definitely keep the spirit of solidarity and confidence,” Linh said.

“I think the goal set by the club’s leaders is not too difficult. We are ready to fight and hope to achieve our goal this season.” Linh added.

Linh has been nominated for the Golden Ball award 2022, along with other four players: Đỗ Hùng Dũng of Hà Nội FC, Nguyễn Hoàng Đức of Viettel FC, Đặng Văn Lâm of Topenland Bình Định, and Nguyễn Văn Quyết of Hà Nội FC.

“Being in the top five of the Vietnamese Golden Ball 2022 is an honour for me. Last year, I finished third in this award. In my opinion, every Vietnamese player wants to take this title. All players in the top five have had a successful year in their club and national team. Everyone has his advantages, and this year, if anyone is named, I congratulate him. In the short term, I hope to be invited to the awards gala night before being named,” Linh said.

In the 2022 season, Linh scored nine goals and was the second-best domestic striker in the league after striker Tuấn Hải (10 goals). VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/sports/my-goal-is-always-the-same-linh-aims-to-be-vleague-1-top-scorer_341255.html

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