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HCM City celebrates New Year with year-end performances



Firework performances were held at 12pm yesterday at Thủ Thiêm Tunnel in District 2, Landmark Tower in Bình Thạnh District and Đầm Sen Theme Park in District 11. — Photo courtesy of the organiser

HCM CITY — HCM City has hosted a series of cultural activities to celebrate the New Year.

A music gala titled HCM City welcomes New Year 2021 took place at the Nguyễn Huệ Pedestrian in District 1 on New Year’s Eve.

The event, organised by the city’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and its partners, featured music, theatre, puppet and circus shows. 

Pop star Phương Thanh and young singers including Ái Phương and Quân AP were featured. 

Young rappers Yono Bigboi, Lil Shady and Beatboxer Max also performed with dancers from the groups Game On Crew and ABC. 

Highlighted performances were staged by traditional artists from the dance group Mặt Trời (The Sun) with music by violinist Tân Titan and flutist Đinh Nhật Minh. 

Love, peace, youth and spring were the themes featured in their performances. 

Young singer Ái Phương. She performed in the music gala titled HCM City welcomes New Year 2021 at the Nguyễn Huệ Pedestrian in District 1 on the New Year Eve.— Photo courtesy of the organiser

 A photo exhibition of more than 100 photos of late President Hồ Chí Minh and the city named after the President opened this week on Đồng Khởi Street in District 1. 

On display are photos and documents on the life and career of the President and the city’s achievements in economy, society and culture, and international integration. 

The works feature local authorities and residents, their creativity and dynamism in the cause of building HCM City into a centre for culture, education and training, science and technology, and international integration, and into a smart city. 

The city’s Youth Cultural House in District 1 hosted a live performance featuring dance and songs praising life and youth on the first day of the New Year. 

The performance featured veteran and young singers, as well as amateur singers from the Youth Cultural House and the districts’ cultural houses.

Cultural centres from the rural districts Nhà Bè, Bình Chánh, Cần Giờ and Củ Chi have organised cultural programmes to usher in the New Year. These events are expected to attract several thousand people and children at the weekend. 

A 3D light performance took place outside the city’s People’s Committee Hall at 86 Lê Thánh Tôn Street in District 1 on New Year’s Eve. 

Firework performances were held at 12pm yesterday at Thủ Thiêm Tunnel in District 2, Landmark Tower in Bình Thạnh District, and Đầm Sen Theme Park in District 11.—



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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