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Vietnamese millennials embrace early retirement movement



Vietnamese millennials embrace early retirement movement

Thu Huong retires from her career as a banker at 27. Photo courtesy of Huong.

Thu Huong is financially independent and has retired from her career as a banker at 27, joining the retire early movement around the world.

One morning in July Huong woke up at 4 a.m., spent an hour meditating and another hour doing yoga and then sat on the balcony watching the sun rise.

She cycled through a village in northern Hung Yen Province’s My Hao Town and went to the market to buy some fruits.

After an afternoon nap she read books, planted saplings and started making handicrafts.

But on a lazy day she just lies in bed watching movies and listening to music.

“I’ve been enjoying retired life for more than three months. I have no money pressure and don’t need to hustle. I just simply do things I like,” she says.

She has few possessions and savings of VND100 million ($4,300). She used to be a banker and also worked as an insurance agent.

Like many young graduates, she also spent many years working late at night to improve her material life. Thanks to that, she saved enough money to build a house for her parents, buy gadgets and furniture and go on long vacations.

“But I had to work 12-14 hours a day even on weekends. Every night I would come home and eat simple food.”

When she was around 25, she began to ponder a lot about “the meaning of life,” read books prolifically and decided to explore her inner self.

She had an epiphany: people find life tough because they are attached to and want to hold on to many things.

In mid-2019 Huong left Hanoi to move back to the capital’s neighboring province of Hung Yen and began her early retirement life. Every day, she goes to bed at 9 p.m. and gets up at 4 a.m.

A vegetarian, she cooked all her meals by herself, and they cost only VND10,000 each time. She gave up motorbikes and began to cycle or walk to work.

Living a slow-paced lifestyle, she is happier as she lives every moment of the present and tried not to do more than one thing at a time.

In March, she decided to retire at the ripe old age of 27.

When she shared her early retirement plans on social media, many people congratulated her on courageously following a path few would dare to. But some others said she was “selfish for not being responsible toward her family and contributing to society.”

The early retirement trend first appeared in western countries a few years ago as a protest against the hustle and bustle of the industrial lifestyle, and began to spread to other parts of the world.

Retiring does not lead to a “doing nothing” lifestyle but allows people to do what they like, including charity, while still generating some income.

Three months into retirement, Huong earns money from making handmade goods and teaching Chinese. But unlike in the past she does it now because she truly likes it.

Nguyen Thanh Trung, 33, of Da Nang retired while managing three companies. He says he suffered from scoliosis and had to be hospitalized for treatment after trying to carry a heavy object in 2019.

At the hospital, a 65-year-old woman lying on the bed next to him said she has spondy litis because she spent years working as a chief accountant.

“What is your current occupation? Please don’t forget to take care of your health and don’t let it come to retirement since you might end up in the hospital and won’t be able to enjoy life,” she said.

Trung recalled: “During that period, my boss suddenly died because of a stroke. Before that, my father and younger brother died, a classmate died, a man close to me who I often talk to also died. I started to understand that life is short.”

Currently, Trung spends his days reading books, exercising, meditating and doing the things he loves.

Trung switchs to become a vegetarian and has gotten rid of previous health problems such as congestive inflammation of the stomach lining, gastric reflux, autonomic nervous system disorders and others.

He still has an online job that brings income, besides running an ornamental plants business and and handmade item shop.

In HCMC, 30-year-old Cu Ngoc Tuyet Xuan is enjoying her early retirement without losing her strong passion for working.

She spends a lot of time doing her favorite things such as reading, writing, acquiring new knowledge, and painting. She works as a psychologist for 3-5 hours a day to earn an income though not when she is tired or uninterested.

“The year 2020 taught me that it is time for me to give up my job as a teacher and live only for my dreams, and so from the beginning of this year I have taken a break from all classes.”

For many of the early retirees their retirement has been bumpy: They are judged by people and at the same time have to learn to live frugally by giving up many comforts.

One of them said: “We as humans have lived focusing on external happiness for too long. Now we should choose to look inwards since this is also a source of happiness, yet less expensive.”

Huong said: “My biggest responsibility is to live happily. And the best way to show my filial piety to my parents is to help others by spreading my own peace and happiness to people around and help them find inner peace, not just by giving them a lot of money.”



Vietnam affirms stance on condemning use of chemical weapons



Vietnam affirmed its stance on condemning the use of chemical weapons and emphasised the need to respect and fully implement the Chemical Weapons Convention at the United Nations Security Council’s meeting 

on the implementation of Resolution 2118 (2013) on chemical weapons in Syria.

Vietnam affirms stance on condemning use of chemical weapons hinh anh 1

Destroyed buildings in eastern Aleppo city, Syria, where chemical weapons were allegedly used (Source:

Addressing the meeting on August 4, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, welcomed the readiness of Syria and the Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to hold high-level communications, saying that this is an opportunity to step up dialogue towards the complete settlement of the chemical weapon issue in Syria.

He stressed the important role of constructive cooperation and unity among the international community to create favourable conditions for collaboration efforts of the OPCW and Syria.

Thomas Markram, Deputy to the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said that the OPCW Secretariat and Syria continued to focus on addressing differences in the country’s initial report, stressing the need to find solutions to several existing issues of the initial report as soon as possible, which is considered an important basis for definitively solving the chemical weapon problem in Syria.

At the meeting, UNSC members expressed concerns over the accusations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria and called for increased cooperation in this issue.

The countries emphasised the importance of promoting collaboration between the OPCW Secretariat and Syria to resolve existing issues, towards the full implementation of obligations under the CWC and the UNSC’s Resolution 2118./.

Source: VNA


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2030 Businesspeople Club delivers necessities to people in quarantined areas



Members of the 2030 Businesspeople Club transport relief to a quarantined area in HCMC – PHOTOS: LE VU

HCMC – Through the “Food for Saigon during Social Distancing” program, the 2030 Businesspeople Club, a member of the Saigon Times Club, handed over 40 tons of vegetables, fruits, rice and other necessities to people living in areas under lockdown or quarantine in HCMC on August 3 and 4.

The event was part of the Saigon Times – Great Circle 2021 series, an initiative of the Saigon Times Group, that is aimed at supporting people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nguyen Dinh Tu, vice chairman of the 2030 Businesspeople Club, said through the program, the club expects to mobilize 8,000 gift sets for disadvantaged people across 20 districts of the city.

Up to now, the club has delivered 4,000 gift sets, each comprising 5 kilograms of vegetables and fruits and 5 kilograms of rice, to needy people in 10 districts. The club has also provided eggs, instant noodles and other necessities to poor households in the city.

Each gift set comprises vegetables, fruits, rice and other necessities

During 30 days of the “Food for Saigon during Social Distancing” program, the 2030 Business Club expects to give some 150 tons of vegetables and fruits as well as essentials to people whose livelihoods are severely affected by Covid-19 in HCMC and the neighboring provinces.

The Saigon Times Group launched the “Saigon Times – Great Circle 2021” program with the theme, “Join hands to fight off the pandemic”, on June 2. The program receives donations from organizations and individuals and then distributes them to the needy in HCMC and other provinces.

Donations for the program can be sent to:

Tap chi Kinh te Sai Gon

Bank account number: 1007 1485 1003318

Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) – Hoa Binh Branch – HCMC

Transaction content: Name – UnghoSaigon Times – NVTL – Donghanhchongdich

To participate in the program, please contact:

Huynh Huong (Phone number: 0913118711)

Or Huy Han (Phone number: 0902696617)



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Obituary: Veteran painter Đỗ Quang Em dies



Veteran painter Đỗ Quang Em, a leading artist of the South’s fine arts, died at home on Tuesday in HCM City. He was 79. Photo courtesy of the artist’s family

HCM CITY — Veteran painter Đỗ Quang Em, a leading artist of the South’s fine arts, died at home on Tuesday in HCM City. He was 79.

His funeral took place on Thursday in HCM City. 

Chairman of Việt Nam Fine Arts Association Lương Xuân Đoàn told Tuổi Trẻ newspaper: “Đỗ Quang Em was one of the four cornerstones of the fine arts world that evolved in pre-1975 Sài Gòn.” 

Đỗ Quang Em was born in Ninh Thuận Province in 1942. He studied photography from his father, owner of a small photographic studio when he was a child. 

He was sent to study at the Gia Định College of Fine Arts in Sài Gòn (now the HCM City University of Fine Arts). 

In 1965, he became involved in painting after graduating from college. His work earned recognition from art lovers and critics. 

In 1973-74, he worked as a lecturer at Gia Định College of Fine Arts. 

Đỗ Quang Em was part of a family of three generations of artists and trained himself to be a master of light in his paintings.

An oil painting called Bùa Hộ Mệnh (Amulet) was released in 2000 by late painter Đỗ Quang Em who used hyperrealism, a type of drawing technique, to create his art. Photo courtesy of the artist’s family

Em’s art focused on the use of strong contrasts between light and dark. 

Because of his love for photography, Em chose to paint realistic items but pushed his style further into the realm of hyperrealism. The technique, which takes a lot of time and skill, looks as real as a photograph.

“Em was professional in his use of this technique. The use of light and shadow helped the painter build up texture and detail,” said art critic Nguyên Hưng. 

Hyperrealism was an art movement and style popular in the United States and Europe in the 1970s with Carole Feuerman being the forerunner along with Duane Hanson and John De. 

Founded on the aesthetic principles of photography and photorealism, the artists often worked to create paintings that resembled photographs.

Hyperrealists took ordinary everyday objects and used them as a means to convey more subdued emotions in their paintings. They presented these objects as living and tangible, painted in meticulous detail to the point that they created an illusion of reality far from the original photo.

Hyperrealists often add subtle, pictorial details to create the illusion of a reality which doesn’t exist often conveying the emotional, social, cultural and even political messages of the artiste.

Đỗ Quang Em’s works feature a range of topics and objects, from people to animals and still life. Many of his paintings portray his wife and daughters. 

He also loved to draw cups, glasses, oil lamps and origami figures. 

A paiting called Chân Dung Vợ Hoạ Sĩ (Portrait of Artist’s Wife), released in 1975 by late painter Đỗ Quang Em. Photo courtesy of the artist’s family

He organised several solo and group exhibitions in HCM City, Singapore and Hong Kong. 

His works have been displayed and collected by Vietnamnese and foreign galleries and collectors, including the HCM City Musuem of Fine Arts. 

Chân dung vợ họa sỹ (Portrait of Artist’ Wife), 1975. Đỗ Quang Em

 Two of his famous paintings are Tôi và Vợ Tôi (My Wife and I) and Ấm và Tách Trà (A Teapot and Cups, which were auctioned for US$70,000 and $50,000 in Hong Kong in 1994-95.  

His paintings in the 1990s sold for $60,000-70,000 in the foreign market. —


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