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Vietnamese celebrities cuss, netizens cry foul



Social media cussing by Vietnamese celebrities has upset both netizens and experts who are concerned that it sets a bad example for the youth.

In a live-streamed video late last month, Misthy, or Le Thy Ngoc, a streamer with 5.75 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, was profane in responding to a comment on her video.

“F*** you,” she said, naming the fan who had commented on the celebrity’s close friend.

Ngoc’s swearing evoked a community backlash, with netizens saying they cannot accept a famous person using dirty words in her videos, especially considering that many of the viewers are under 18, the age when a person becomes an adult in Vietnam.

The 25-year-old streamer is not the only one to cuss on social media. Many of her peers are well known for the use of F-bombs in their videos.

Phung Thanh Do, owner of the “Do Mixi” YouTube channel with more nearly 4.5 million subscribers, is one of them.

In September 2020, a lot of netizens condemned Do for the use of swear words in dozens of his videos, making them his “signature.”

“I am tired of hearing you swearing, how can everyone watch your video if you keep using those filthy words?” one viewer commented.

Several Vietnamese celebrities have used swear words in their posts and videos on social networks. Photo illustration by Shutterstock/ durantelallera.

Several Vietnamese celebrities have become known for using swear words in their posts and videos on social networks. Photo illustration by Shutterstock/durantelallera.

Models, actresses, singers and other celebrities have also been caught using vulgar language on various fora, including Facebook and TV programs.

Senior model Trang Tran is one of the more “notorious” ones.

“I do not give a f***,” she responded to complaints about her cussing in a live-streamed video.

In 2014, when Trang participated in adventure reality game show Amazing Race, the program had to censor many of her swear words with beep sounds.

Other celebrities like models Ngoc Trinh, Vu Hanh Nguyen, singer Tuan Hung and rising rapper MCK have also used swear words in their Facebook posts.

Sorry, not really

Several artists have explained their use of profanity saying it was unplanned, an emotional outburst that happened unwittingly.

In 2018, singer Khac Viet apologized in public at a press conference after using swear words to curse people criticizing his brother, triggering a boycott wave against him.

“I was drunk and could not control myself. This is a lesson for me. I apologize to my brother and fans,” he said.

A couple of months ago, rising streamer Do also expressed regret, saying he was wrong to use a lot of swear words in his YouTube videos.

There are several celebrities who don’t think swearing is a big deal, that it makes them look “cool” and strong.

Sociologist Trinh Hoa Binh says there are people who think using foul language is evidence of courage and toughness.

Trang Tran is not repentant about her cussing on live-streamed videos.

“Oh, I am famous again. I thought they headlined other things about me, but it was about my swearing… This means that I am still hot,” Trang commented after local media featured her use of profanity.

There is a section of the audience that also does not take offence.

“Don’t be serious. Don’t you and the people around you use swear words? She is just like us,” a netizen commented on a video of Ngoc Trinh, who uses the F word regularly.

“Stars have their own emotions, they may get angry, sad, or jealous like anyone of us, so expressing it or cursing is not harmful,” commented another viewer on a video by Do.

Recently, people were divided over rapper MCK’s use of a lot of curse words in an old Instagram post and a video.

While some said it was not acceptable, others felt it was alright that the young rapper, who initially refused to apologize for his language, to use the words he did.

Senior actress Lan Huong said foul language and daily life jokes may be acceptable in private, but not in front of many fans and people on stage or social media.

“Artists belong to the public, so they should be careful,” Huong said.

With a majority of local netizens spending more than two hours a day on apps like Facebook, YouTube, Messenger and Zalo, according to a survey by HCMC-based market research firm Q&Me in 2019), experts say that social media content is bound to exert an influence on users, especially, the youth.

Several psychologists have said that artists who express extreme emotion and use extreme language can set bad examples for their fans.

The Do Mixi channel on YouTube, has put a warning line before its video to tell those under 18 to stop watching, but it has not turned on the age restriction mode that filters out potentially “mature” content.

“My 15-year-old son likes video games so he enjoys Do’s videos. I looked at it the other day and was shocked by the swearing,” said Nguyen Thanh Tuan, a father.

Sociologist Pham Thi Thuy said the father’s reaction was understandable, likening filthy language to a dirty stream watering youngsters’ minds.

She said adults were not paying due attention to the problem. “When our children eat dirty food, we are scared. But when their ‘food for the soul’ is dirty, many of us are nonchalant.”



Vietnam supports UNMISS’s activities: Ambassador



The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has played an important role in promoting political and security progress in South Sudan in the past time, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, has said.

Vietnam supports UNMISS’s activities: Ambassador hinh anh 1

Vietnamese Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN (Photo: VNA)

At the UN Security Council’s virtual conference with countries joining the UNMISS’ activities on March 2, Quy laid stress on Vietnam’s positive contribution to the UN’s peace keeping activities in the African nation with the implementation of the level-2 field hospital, affirming Vietnam will continue support for the UNMISS’s activities in the coming time.

He expressed his hope that the UNMISS’s activities will suit the changes in South Sudan, including enhancing assistance to the transitional process in the nation as well as improving efficiency of civilians’ protection work.

At the same time, Quy emphasized the significance of ensuring safety for UNMISS forces in the context of COVID-19 as well as favourable conditions for women to join the UNMISS.

The virtual conference was attended by Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for South Sudan and Head of the UNMISS David Shearer. Participants listened to a report from David Shearer, and discussed UNMISS’s operation in the past 12 months.

The UNMISS was established in 2011, and its mandate is extended every year. Its objective is to consolidate peace and security, and help establish conditions for development in South Sudan, with a view to strengthening the capacity of the Government of South Sudan to govern effectively and democratically and establish good relations with its neighbours.

Vietnam officially engaged in the UN’s peace keeping activities and sent representative to the UNMISS in 2014. Currently, the country is running the second level-2 field hospital in Bentiu with 63 staff members, including 10 women. It is preparing to dispatch the third level-2 field hospital to the nation at the end of this month./.VNA


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Hanoi’s Covid-19 fight leaves street food vendors in the lurch



The latest Covid-19 outbreak has left Hanoi’s street food workers high and dry as the city has allowed restaurants and coffee shops to open again, but not street food stalls.

Nguyen Thi Nhung, 39, decided to stay back in Hanoi instead of returning to her hometown for the Lunar New Year holidays (Tet) because she hoped to open her tea stall soon after the national break.

But two weeks after the holiday ended, her hopes have been dashed as the tea stall remains banned from opening.

Beginning Tuesday, indoor coffee shops in the capital city have been allowed to welcome their patrons, but outdoor ones like Nhung’s tea stall, closed since February 16, will remain closed until further notice.

“It is like an everlasting earthquake shaking my livelihood, but I have no choice but to cling to whatever I have and wait,” Nhung said.

Suffering Nhung’s fate are thousands of street food vendors in the capital city, mostly low-income residents. The Covid-19 pandemic has robbed them of their livelihood and left them in dire straits.

A street food vendor in Hanoi, October 2017. Photo by VnExprress/Giang Huy.

A street food vendor in Hanoi, October 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.

Le Thi Chinh, 47, who runs a xoi (sticky rice) stall near the Gia Lam Bus Terminal, has earned next to nothing since early February. The diabetes afflicted woman ticked off what she lacked.

“Money to rent the house, to pay for my children’s education, to buy my medicines… I made nothing last month.”

Her four-member family has to depend entirely on her husband, who earns around VND8 million ($349.15) per month working for a paper-making factory in Hanoi’s Long Bien District.

In their cramped accommodation, Chinh’s pots, stove, dishes and other materials for her xoi stall lie idle in a corner. She has no idea when she will be able to light up her stove again.

“I have cut our spending on food and milk for our sons. I cannot send them to my hometown because traveling back and forth costs a significant amount of money,” Chinh said, adding she used to earn up to VND600,000 ($26.19) per day.

All street vendors selling tea, fruits and noodles around the bus station have disappeared since the latest Covid-19 outbreak.

Since the social distancing campaign last April, street food vendors have suffered badly. In addition to the closures mandated by authorities, pandemic fears have also kept patrons away when they open.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), the unprecedented impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have forced 32.1 million Vietnamese workers aged 15 or above to either lose their jobs or have their working hours reduced in 2020.

Informal sector dependants like Nhung and Chinh, having no social support and living far from their hometowns, are likely among the hardest hit, says sociologist Trinh Hoa Binh.

“Who knows what will happen if there is another year of Covid-19?,” Chinh said sadly.

Something’s better than nothing

Some street food vendors are trying to cope with the situation by finding some job, despite much lower earnings.

In Cau Giay District’s Nghia Tan Market, where many street food vendors ran their businesses before the city banned them, some have begun working as delivery men, women, or temporary motorbike taxi drivers.

“Prices keep going up after Tet, the only thing stands at zero is my income,” said Le Van Tinh, employee of a pho stall outside the market.

Since the holiday ended, he has worked as a delivery man for “anyone who wants to send their goods to their patrons.” If he’s lucky, he can earn around VND200,000 a day. His wife, meanwhile, is staying back in their hometown in Bac Giang Province, working as a trash collector.

A small number of people trying to stick to their livelihoods are delivering food to their customers.

“They do not allow me to sell my fish noodles on the sidewalk, so I cook at home and my husband delivers them,” said Le Thanh Hoa, owner of a noodles stall near the My Dinh Bus Terminal.

Hoa said Covid-19 fears keep many of her patrons away, so she has only around 40 orders per day, “but it is okay as long as I can make some money during this storm.”

Many other street food vendors have opted to stay back in their hometowns until they can reopen.

“So we can save some money because things are more expensive in Hanoi,” said Tinh, explaining why his wife has stayed back in Bac Giang Province since Tet.

Foreign tourists enjoy beer and food at the intersection of Hanois Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets before the pandemic. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

Foreign tourists enjoy beer and food at the intersection of Hanoi’s Ta Hien and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets before the pandemic. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.

No support

Last year, the government rolled out a VND62 trillion ($2.6 billion) support package to help around 20 million poverty-stricken people and small businesses affected by the pandemic.

But most street food vendors are unable to get any support because of complex procedures.

When Nhung applied for the governmental support, she was told by local authorities she was disqualified because she had violated regulations that prohibit peddlers from selling goods on the streets, and because she had no business license.

Nguyen Hong Dan, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, once said the slow progress in handing out the aid is mainly due to the difficulty in verifying workers who do not have formal contracts.

Several local officials said it was a “headache” to determine the incomes and nature of applicants’ work.

“These informal workers and officials are both in a difficult situation,” sociologist Binh commented.

This year, Nhung, hoping life will return to normal soon as people have learned from several outbreaks, has given up on the idea of looking for help. She knows the only one she can rely on is herself.

When she heard that the city has allowed coffee shops to open on March 2, she was happy, thinking street food stalls were in the same category.

“But I was wrong. Now I have to keep waiting until my tea stall can have patrons again, or until I am drained by this pandemic and have to find a different path.”


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Quảng Ninh reopens intra-provincial tourism activities




The aerial view of Hạ Long Bay in Quảng Ninh Province. It is re-opened to tourists from within the province since March 2, together with other provincial renowned destinations. — Photo

QUẢNG NINH — Popular destinations in Quảng Ninh re-opened to tourists from within the province yesterday as the area has recorded no community transmission of COVID-19 in 20 days.

However, Quảng Ninh is not ready to receive tourists from other provinces yet.

The provincial Party Committee asked tourism businesses and tourist sites to develop a process for receiving tourists to ensure safety during the pandemic, strictly complying with the instructions of the Ministry of Health as well as disease prevention measures.

Specifically, Hạ Long City is required to strictly control the tourism activities on Hạ Long Bay. Meanwhile, other localities and institutes must monitor their destinations, especially where spiritual activities take place, to limit gatherings.

According to local authorities, Quảng Ninh will continue to apply appropriate measures to strictly control people returning and coming from pandemic-hit areas throughout the country to ensure safety.

For people coming or returning from areas with no new cases of COVID-19, they only need to fill in medical declarations.

The province also strictly controls the vehicles transporting goods in and out of the province and requires the implementation of pandemic control measures.

Localities including Hạ Long, Uông Bí, Đông Triều, Cẩm Phả and Quảng Yên need to proactively apply appropriate and necessary measures to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in preventing and controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vân Đồn International Airport will resume operations today and Quảng Ninh Province is urgently building a new anti-pandemic process to ensure safety for the airport, airport staff and the community.

According to the Secretary of the Quảng Ninh Provincial Party Committee, the province still has COVID-19 patients that are under treatment and isolation. Therefore, the province is not qualified to serve quarantine of cases from outside the province, including Vietnamese citizens, foreign engineers, workers and experts who enter Việt Nam via Vân Đồn airport.

In terms of the normalisation of economic and social activities, including those related to business and services that are operated under certain conditions such as karaoke parlours or bars, Quảng Ninh has assigned local police to research and propose the plan and appropriate time of their reoperation. —


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