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The end of ‘train street’, but maybe only as we know it

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A policeman stands by a barrier blocking access to the train tracks. VNS Photo Seán Nolan

Seán Nolan

HÀ NỘI Last week, authorities in Hà Nội passed a decision that has been coming for a while, ordering the coffee shops and businesses that line the train tracks known as ‘train street’ to close for good.

The reasoning is sound; it is impossible to guarantee the safety of those sitting just a few feet away from a train rushing through a residential area, and a serious accident is just waiting to happen.

However, while this is the end of ‘train street’ as we know it, it doesn’t have to be the end full stop.  

With the right idea and appropriate permission, this decision could instead be a springboard to further capitalise on the tourism revenue that ‘train street’ provided. 

While patrons are rightly no longer allowed to lounge on seats next to the track, a glass-fronted establishment in one of the buildings along the track would ensure that trade could continue in a safe way. 

Patrons could sit and sip a cà phê sữa đá or nibble a cake while watching the train pass a few feet in front of them, from behind the safety of the glass-fronted establishment.  

Taking the idea a step further, if two establishments were to open opposite each other, and with all the correct planning in place, what is to stop them connecting via a bridge over the tracks? People could then stand above the tracks while a train passes safely below and cross the line without endangering themselves or anyone else.

This unique area could be so much more than a series of coffee shops capitalising on the train tracks too. In the heart of the city, ‘train street’ could be fashioned into a cultural centre à la the Barbican Centre in London, dedicated to Việt Nam’s urban past while showcasing the brilliant present.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that these ideas are big ones and would require a significant amount of investment, planning and redevelopment in the area.

However, the popularity of ‘train street’ cannot be denied and to give it up entirely, along with the associated tourism revenue, would be a real shame. 

The decision to close the businesses on ‘train street’ was the right one. However, that shouldn’t spell the end of ‘train street’ forever. On the contrary, perhaps, I hope could be the start of a new beginning. VNS

 

 

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/life-in-vietnam/the-end-of-train-street-but-maybe-only-as-we-know-it_337490.html

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Hà Nội to celebrate Ninh Thuận Culture-Tourism Day

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Tourists pose for a photo in front of Po Klong Garai Temple in Phan Rang City, Ninh Thuận Province. VNA/VNS Photos Nguyễn Thành

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội’s Department of Cultural, Sports and Tourism will organise a special event to highlight the cultural features and tourism potential of the central province of Ninh Thuận on September 30.

Ninh Thuận Culture-Tourism Day 2022 aims to strengthen cooperation between Ninh Thuận Province and Hà Nội in culture and tourism.

It is also expected to introduce the original cultures of the ethnic groups in the province, the provincial tourism products and specialities to both domestic and international friends.

Held by the Victory monument on Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street, Hoàn Kiếm District, Ninh Thuận Culture-Tourism Day 2022 will feature arts programmes showcasing the cultures and traditional arts of ethnic groups from Ninh Thuận Province like Chăm dance. In addition, visitors can play ethnic musical instruments themselves or try special lamb dishes of the province.

The craft of making Bàu Trúc pottery will be part of Ninh Thuận Culture-Tourism Day 2022 in Hà Nội. 

The event also includes booths introducing handicraft products and traditional crafts like making pottery and weaving brocades of the Chăm people in Bàu Trúc and Mỹ Nghiệp Villages.

Another part of the Ninh Thuận Culture-Tourism Day 2022 is the promotion of Ninh Thuận’s tourism via the screening of videos, the introduction of tours and free distribution of handbooks, maps, brochures and postcards to tourists.

The event will also hold a photo exhibition showcasing Ninh Thuận’s tourism, cultural heritages and tourist attractions.

Ninh Thuận Culture-Tourism Day 2022 will conclude on October 2. — VNS

 

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/events/ha-noi-to-celebrate-ninh-thuan-culture-tourism-day_337691.html

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First nature film festival takes place in Việt Nam

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A scene from Il Était Une Forêt, a French film screened at #It’s Time To Act – A Nature Film Festival in Việt Nam. Photo courtesy of #It’s Time To Act – Nature Film Festival in Vietnam

HÀ NỘI International and local environmentally themed films are being screened at an environmental film festival organised in Việt Nam for the first time.

Held in response to the UN General Assembly (UNGA)’s Climate Week this year (September 19-25), the film festival, entitled  #It’s Time To Act – A Nature Film Festival in Việt Nam, is coordinated by the Spanish Embassy in Việt Nam with movies from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Norway, Peru, Venezuela, Spain, the UK and Việt Nam.

WildAct Vietnam, a wildlife conservation organisation, is the organisational partner of the first edition of this festival, joined by Vietnam Film Development Association, the Delegation of EU to Việt Nam and nine environmental organisations from Việt Nam.

The festival will be showing 17 feature films, documentaries, and short films with subtitles in Vietnamese. Many film screenings will be free for the public and in a hybrid format (both online & offline) at more than five venues in Hà Nội and HCM City.

The venues are: The National Cinema Centre, National Documentary Film Studio, University of Hanoi, Casa Italia, Goethe Institute and ƯƠM Arthub.

Spanish Ambassador to Vietnam María Del Pilar Méndez Jiménez said: “It is always a Spanish priority to be a bridge bringing together countries and peoples in favour of global public goods.

“As the coordinator of #It’s Time To Act – A Nature Film Festival in Vietnam, we are very honoured to work together with institutions, civil society, individuals and the environmental community of 14 countries across three continents, with the common intention of fostering international cooperation in raising awareness around what a sustainable future looks like, to pool one message: Only One Earth”.

Dr Oriol Solà Pardell, Secretary, Administrative, Consular and Cultural Affairs of Embassy of Spain, coordinator of the festival, is confident that the film festival will inspire audiences to protect and preserve Nature, and that the festival is an international effort to bring Hope to Nature.

“Let’s save the future,” he said.

Dr Trang Nguyễn, founder of WildAct Vietnam, said the festival will leave an impact among the young audience:

She said: “Documentaries may serve as an increasingly important tool for engaging people in conservation efforts, as outdoor experiences become less common in human’s lifestyle.

“Scientific evidence has shown that nature documentaries increase sensitivity to the species portrayed, increase environmental citizenship, increase support for conservation organisations, and generate positive attitudes and social norms that can support policy change.

“This film festival is a wonderful opportunity for the Vietnamese citizens to celebrate, connect and most importantly, act for nature.”

The film screening schedule, ticket registration and introduction about each film can be found on  naturefilmfestival.vn or facebook.com/itstimetoact.naturefilmfestival. VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/events/first-nature-film-festival-takes-place-in-viet-nam_337628.html

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Yên Bái hosts ceremony to receive UNESCO certificate on Xòe Thái dance

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YÊN BÁI — A ceremony to receive the UNESCO certificate of recognition of Xòe Thái art as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was held on September 24 in Nghĩa Lộ Town, Yên Bái Province. 

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, speaking on behalf of leaders of the Party and State, congratulated the authorities and people of ethnic groups in Yên Bái, Sơn La, Lai Châu, and Điện Biên on the recognition of Xòe Thái art as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during his remarks at the celebrations.

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and delegates joined in the Xòe Thái dance at the ceremony. VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

The Prime Minister has expressed his belief that the recognition of Xòe Thái as Việt Nam’s 14th heritage inscribed by UNESCO is a moment of great pride for the Thái people and the community of the country’s 54 ethnic groups.

PM Chính praised generations of folk artists and the Thái ethnic community for their tremendous efforts to conserve this priceless cultural heritage.

He also thanked and praised the efforts of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the National Council for Cultural Legacy, other relevant ministries, agencies, and localities, collectors, and researchers to preserve and promote Xòe Thái art and Việt Nam’s cultural heritage.

The Prime Minister expressed his hope that UNESCO’s Representative Office and Christian Manhart, UNESCO’s Chief Representative, would continue to provide Việt Nam with close cooperation and effective help to ensure that the country’s cultural values are widely disseminated and in tune with the cultural quintessence of humanity.

To continue to create new vitality, spread, and strongly inspire the value of Xòe Thái art, the Prime Minister suggested that the authority, people, and Thái community in the Northwest provinces, as well as the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, work cooperatively to effectively implement the “National Action Programme to protect and promote the value of the intangible cultural heritage of Xòe Thái art” in accordance with the commitment to UNESCO.

“Let us do it with enthusiasm, with heart, with pride, with inner strength, so that the lyrics and music of Xòe khăn, Xòe nón, Xòe quạt, Xòe sạp, Xòe gậy, Xòe hoa,[ Xòe dancing using various props such as scarves, hats] continue to be nurtured, developed, and spread throughout the community of ethnic groups,” he said.

According to PM Chính, the noble and beautiful value of Xòe Thái art should be protected and promoted internationally as well as domestically. Therefore, it is vital to recognise that this is the representative intangible cultural legacy of humanity and take appropriate action.

“Xòe Thái represents the convergence of cultural beauty, therefore, promoting Xòe Thái is our shared responsibility,” he added.

The Prime Minister suggested expanding studies and coming up with concrete plans to protect and enhance ethnic groups’ and Xòe Thái’s identity and customs in socio-economic growth and tourism development.

He urged everyone to take steps to improve the lives of skilled artisans who are committed to preserving the heritage while also making it easier for people to experience and perform Xòe Thái in light of the country’s new development conditions. 

At the ceremony, Pauline Tamesis, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Việt Nam, presented the UNESCO certificate recognising Xòe Thái art as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity to the representative of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, as well as leaders of the People’s Committees of the provinces of Yên Bái, Sơn La, Lai Châu, and Điện Biên.

Tamesis offered congratulations for this significant event and wished that the Thái community and Vietnamese people would continue to maintain, promote, and disseminate the significance of Xòe Thái art, while also contributing more to UNESCO’s activities and human culture.

Hoàng Đạo Cương, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, receives the UNESCO certificate of registration for the art of Xòe Thái from Pauline Tamesis, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Việt Nam. VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

Following the UNESCO certification ceremony, attendees were able to enter the art space and experience the local distinctive culture through an art programme centred on the theme “Xòe Thái – Essence of the heritage region.”

Artists from Yên Bái, Sơn La, and Lai Châu all participated in the beautifully staged art programme, which featured dancing, singing, and performing arts acts of Xòe Thái.

The programme ended with the performance “The quintessence of Xoè art,” which brought together traditional folklore values that have become the heritage of the Thái people in the Northwest, with the involvement of more than 2,000 artisans and performers. VNS

Source: http://ovietnam.vn/events/yen-baihosts-ceremony-to-receiveunesco-certificate-on-xoe-thaidance_337591.html

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