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Hàng Mã street decked out in red ahead of the Lunar New Year

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Hàng Mã is one of the 36 old streets of Hà Nội and is now decked out in brilliant red ahead of the Lunar New Year. It is home to the traditional craft of making joss paper in different shapes such as horses, shoes, clothes and even houses. These items are burned as offerings to worship ancestors.

The street is also famous for selling themed decorations.

On special occasions such as Christmas, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and Valentine’s Day, the street sells decorations that match the theme of the holiday.

Now Hàng Mã Street has had a bright makeover as Tết (Lunar New Year), the biggest and most important holiday of the year, is just around the corner.

Hàng Mã Street puts on a brilliant red makeover as Tết (Lunar New Year) is just around the corner. VNS Photo Trương Văn Vị

Paper firecrackers, handmade Tết wreaths and posters of calligraphy are among the most sought-after items ahead of the holiday. Wishes of luck, peace and happiness are written on these decorations.

Paper firecrackers, handmade Tết wreaths and calligraphy are among the most sought-after items during the occasion. VNS Photo Trương Văn Vị

The wishes of luck, peace and happiness are written on the decorations. VNS Photo Trương Văn Vị

Decorative hangings replicating traditional foods during Tết, such as bánh chưng, bánh tét or watermelon are also snapped up by many customers as they believe that these items will bring prosperity to their families.

Locals go to Hàng Mã Street to buy decorations and necessities for upcoming Tết celebrations. VNS Photo Trương Văn Vị

For Vietnamese people, no holiday is as significant as Tết. It’s an occasion for family reunions, worshipping ancestors, taking a once-a-year rest and preserving traditional values.

Children are brought to Hàng Mã Street by their parents to enjoy the Tết atmosphere. VNS Photo Trương Văn Vị

Many families have taken their children to the street to explore the Tết atmosphere and give the kids a chance to embrace the traditional and cultural values at a young age. — VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/life-in-vietnam/hang-ma-street-decked-out-in-red-ahead-of-the-lunar-new-year_330634.html

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Scientist brings solar energy closer to people

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When beginning his journey to the US at the age of 20, Nguyễn Trọng Hiếu showed an endless passion for science. From a young student, Hiếu has become one of the nation’s leading scientists in engineering. With pioneer initiatives in solar energy, he and his team have taken humanity one step closer to a future where solar energy can thrive. Việt Nam News reporter Hoàng Hồ talks with Hiếu about his journey.

With excellent scientific research works, Nguyễn Trọng Hiếu was honoured to be nominated by the Central Committee of the Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union in the list of 20 outstanding young Vietnamese in 2021. Photo courtesy of ANU

Inner Sanctum: How did you feel when your name was announced among 20 outstanding young Vietnamese in February? What were the turning points in your career?

I’m thrilled and proud to be honoured as one of the outstanding young faces of Việt Nam as a rep for the scientific research category. This motivates me to continue what I have been doing — performing good research and supervising and teaching my students, and mentoring junior colleagues.

I won a full scholarship to study at the Portland State University, USA, thanks to my performance in the first two years of studies at the Hồ Chí Minh City University of Technology. It was a huge step for me. But the turning point was when I started my PhD at the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, Australia, immersing myself in their world-class solar device fabrication and characterisation facilities. I received excellent mentoring from many world-renowned researchers and collaborated with many world-leading research groups.

Inner Sanctum: What are the challenges in reaching sustainable solar energy? 

The Earth receives thousands of times more solar energy from the Sun annually than the world’s total energy consumption. However, solar energy usage is still limited due to its higher cost than conventional electricity sources.

This is primarily because of the commercial solar cell efficiency (20 per cent), which is still far below the theoretical limit. The current challenge in improving solar cell efficiencies is the poor understanding of factors that can potentially cause efficiency losses at various stages. My work is well on the way to addressing this knowledge gap and providing the community with new tools to characterise these losses and novel processes to minimise them.

Inner Sanctum: Can you explain your research, its goals and the specific applicability of the research in daily life?

Dramatic climate change forces humanity to seek clean energy sources that are efficient, cost-effective, and reliable. Solar energy is an obvious solution. My research goal is to make solar energy cheaper and closer to everyone. I’m doing it innovatively – exploring light emitted from solar materials.

Nature gives physical things beautiful colours, which are a key to unlocking the potential of solar technologies. The secret is that every part of light emitted from materials contains important information. Examining the emitted light allows me to determine the most efficient material to use.

Because emitted light has unique features corresponding well to certain material properties, I can diagnose the material characteristics by just ‘looking at’ but not ‘touching’ them. I am taking it a step further – after understanding the material properties, I apply the knowledge to the fabrication process.

Much of my research directly supports R&D engineers to improve the efficiency of solar cells. These innovations could be applied to make better solar cells by different solar cell and module manufacturers. Then, the devices will be distributed around the globe, including in Việt Nam.

This will help the industry make more efficient and cheaper solar cells, unlocking the full potential of solar energy and providing low-cost renewable energy for humanity.

Hiếu founded two optical laboratories at the Australian National University, used by more than 50 researchers from nine different groups. Photo courtesy of ANU

Inner Sanctum: Can you share your passion for a field that is difficult for many people? Did you have any difficulties at the beginning of your journey in the US? 

My love for physical science took me to engineering. Then, my bachelor’s study was in electrical engineering, grounded in semiconductors. Ten years ago, solar cells were a hot topic, a path to tackle our climate change. The bulk part of solar cells is semiconductors. I decided to follow this area to utilise my background and do something meaningful for the world.

The greatest difficulty at that time was my English, particularly my writing and speaking skills. To overcome them, I just practised and practised. Practice makes perfect.

Inner Sanctum: How is your time working abroad? What in the US and Australia can Việt Nam learn from?

So far, I have enjoyed my time working in the US and Australia very much. I have built collaborations with numerous leading research groups around the world. These collaborations have provided me with unique opportunities to learn a wide range of state-of-the-art solar cell fabrication processes and characterisation techniques.

I am happy with their open working culture. I’m free to express my opinions and ideas even though they sometimes contradict the majority. VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/life-in-vietnam/scientist-brings-solar-energy-closer-to-people_333942.html

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National Senior Golf Championship to start early next month

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HÀ NỘI—The Vietnam Senior Championship presented by T99 2022 will open on June 4-5 at Vinpearl Golf Nam Hội An (Quảng Nam Province), the Việt Nam Golf Association (VGA) and the Vietnam Golf Services (VGS), it was announced yesterday.

The organisers said the tournament would be followed by the T99 Vietnam Amateur Series 2022.

Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Dung won VGA’s golf champions in 2008 and 2021. Photo by GolfNews

About 100 amateurs aged 45-55 for women and 50-60 for men and higher aged golfers are expected to join the tournament.

The championship started in 2008, with Andrew Hùng Phạm (men) bagging five championships in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, and 2021.

Nguyễn Thị Ngọc Dung (women) won in 2008 and 2021.

The VGA and VGS signed a strategic cooperation deal with the Technology Finance, namely T99 Group, in which T99 will become the main sponsor of the T99 Vietnam Amateur Series 2022.

Andrew Hùng Phạm bagged five VGA golf championships in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021. Photo by GolfNews

Nguyễn Ngọc Tuấn, deputy general director of T99, said: “National golf tournaments have been improving over the past years and lured an increasing number of golfers into joining.

“T99 wishes to join the VGA to develop this sport further to attract more golfers, particularly to improve the quality of golf tournaments and bring the country’s golf to international tournaments.”

The tournament will be broadcast live by VGS Media via GolfNews channels. VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/events/national-seniorgolf-championshipto-startearly-next-month_334016.html

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Fencer, volunteers collects rubbish in Mỹ Đình Gymnasium

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Lê Hương

HÀ NỘI — Famed fencer Vũ Thành An and nearly 100 volunteers collected plastic rubbish in Mỹ Đình Gymnasium on Friday in the “Collecting Plastic Rubbish – Getting Green Medals” activity as part of the ongoing ‘For A Green SEA Games’ campaign.

They divided into groups to pick up rubbish, bottles and cans. By the afternoon, over 30 volunteers who collected the most rubbish won Green medals from the SEA Games organiser.

Fencer An (right) collects rubbish with a volunteer at Mỹ Đình Gymnasium on Friday. —  Photo SEA Games organiser

With the spirit of “For a Stronger Southeast Asia”, the event has not aimed just at fair play but also for green-clean-beautiful and environment-friendly purposes.

The Natural Resources and Environment Communications Centre and the WWF have coordinated with the SEA Games 31 organiser on a project to minimise plastic disposal in the ocean and implement a national plan on controlling plastic disposal in the sea by 2030, aiming to set up a recycling economy and focus on environmental protection.

These plastic reducing activities are part of WWF efforts to protect Việt Nam’s biological diversity, including the Sao La (Asian unicorn), chosen as this SEA Games mascot.

This is the very first time such a rare and valuable mammal has been chosen as the mascot.

Volunteers at the event. —  Photo SEA Games organiser

The programmes “Collecting Plastic as Gifts” and “Collecting Plastic Rubbish  Getting Green Medals” have been implemented in Hà Nội’s Mỹ Đình Gymnasium since May 12.

They aim to enhance people’s awareness of various kinds of plastic that can be recycled and encourage people to sort rubbish to protect the environment.

Volunteers at SEA Games venues have been joining the activities. — VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/life-in-vietnam/fencer-volunteerscollects-rubbish-in-my-dinh-gymnasium_334007.html

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