The Institute for Studies of Society, Economy, and Environment (iSEE), in collaboration with Vietnam-based LGBT+ rights group ICS Center, re-launched the LGBTI+ campaign Toi Dong Y (I Do) 2022 in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday in the hope of garnering social support for same-sex marriage in Vietnam.
Under the theme Hon nhan khong khuon mau (Marriage without model), the campaign will host activities from August to September with the aim of boosting public support for same-sex marriage in Vietnam.
The first iteration of the campaign was held in 2013 and was considered a resounding success, culminating in the abolishment of Vietnam’s ban on same-sex marriage in 2014 – a landmark event owed, in part, to a 12,000-signature petition submitted by Toi Dong Y to Vietnam’s National Assembly.
Vietnam neither prohibits nor recognizes same-sex marriage now.
In addition to hosting discussions at ten universities across the country about gender equality, publishing the first book about same-sex marriage in Vietnam, and publishing research on the positive economic and societal effects of legalizing same-sex marriage, this year’s campaign aims to gather 250,000 signatures in support of same-sex marriage through the toidongy.vn website.
Though same-sex marriages generally receive a great deal of attention and support from the community, homosexual couples continue to face many barriers given that their matrimony is not awarded the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual wedlock.
|A representative of ‘Toi Dong Y’ 2022 signs the event banner at the campaign’s opening in Ho Chi Minh City on August 10, 2022. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tuoi Tre News|
Longstanding cultural norms and assumptions of what constitutes a ‘legitimate family’ do give way to prejudice and discrimination.
Speaking at an event hosted by Toi Dong Y, Nguyen Lang Mong, team leader of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), addressed the pressure placed on parents of homosexual children to ensure their happiness.
“The process of parents recognizing their child as a member of the LGBTI+ community is arduous and stressful,” Mong said.
“There are families that take as long as ten years to embrace their child’s [sexual orientation], and some never accept their child’s sexuality.
“When an LGBTI+ child brings a partner home to meet their parents, the pressure on the parents increases due to concerns about the child’s happiness and the acceptance of their sexual orientation by other relatives.”
|Luong The Huy (left), director of iSEE Institute, and Ngo Le Phuong Linh (right), director of ICS Center, deliver a speech at the opening of ‘Toi Dong Y’ 2022 in Ho Chi Minh City on August 10, 2022. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tuoi Tre News|
Mong also pointed out that fully legalizing same-sex marriage will likely lead to a more tolerant view of LGBTI+ individuals and, therefore, more widespread acceptance by their families.
Minh and Hoang, a same-sex married couple who have been living together for over ten years, shared that being unable to make an important life decision for each other due to legal restrictions is a constant source of anxiety.
“If my spouse needs surgery and the doctor asks a relative to sign a medical power of attorney, then I have no rights,” Minh said.
According to Ngo Le Phuong Linh, a representative of Toi Dong Y, homosexual spouses will continue to face numerous obstacles as long as their rights differ from those awarded to heterosexual spouses.
Linh stated that these obstacles relate to legal procedures, civil status documents, real estate ownership, shared property, and legal representation for lovers and spouses.
|Vietnamese celebrities representing ‘Toi Dong Y’ 2022 deliver a speech at the campaign’s opening in Ho Chi Minh City, on August 10, 2022. Photo: Vu Thuy / Tuoi Tre News|
For many members of the LGBTI+ community, the opportunity to marry their lifelong partner was once an inconceivable fantasy.
The 2014 Marriage and Family Law was a significant milestone when, for the first time, positive signals were sent to the LGBTI+ community in Vietnam.
However, to reach the true goal of equality, the LGBTI+ community needs the backing of the entire society.
“There is no foundation for declaring that the model family must consist of one man, one woman, and children,” said Nguyen Thi Minh, a participant in the ‘Toi Dong Y’ 2022 campaign.
“This model is oppressive.
“Numerous nations, including France and the United States, have already accepted same-sex marriage.”
Ho Chi Minh City youth celebrate 25 years of Harry Potter in Vietnam
A series of activities were held at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday to mark the 25th year since the first Harry Potter book, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, was released in Vietnam.
The Tre (Youth) Publishing House, which owns the copyrights for the novel series in Vietnam, hosted numerous events including interactive games, trivia and drawing contests.
Making its debut 25 years ago, the novel quickly became a firm favorite among young Vietnamese readers.
|Young people pose for a photo with accessories from Harry Potter books, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
|Young fans attend a quiz during a series of activities held at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City to mark the 25th year since the first Harry Potter book, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, was released in Vietnam, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
Many Harry Potter lovers expressed their joy during the celebration on Sunday.
“To me, Harry Potter is not just a novel, it’s another world that anyone can be immersed in,” said Le Hoang Phuong Vy, a girl from District 7 who claimed to have read the series since she was still in elementary school.
During the celebration, the Tre Publishing House also introduced the illustrated Vietnamese edition of the ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ – the fifth novel in the world-famous series.
|The illustrated Vietnamese edition of the ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,’ the fifth novel in the world-famous series, is introduced at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
|Young fans cosplaying as characters in Harry Potter books, a best-selling series by British author J.K. Rowling, pose for a photo at Nguyen Van Binh Book Street in Ho Chi Minh City, September 25, 2022. Photo: T.T.D. / Tuoi Tre|
Domestic destinations remain popular following peak summer season in Vietnam
The domestic tourism market in Vietnam remains bustling following the peak summer season with autumn-winter tours to popular mountainous destinations in the northwest and northeast regions.
As many autumn-winter tours to foreign countries are not yet favorable following the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers in Vietnam have decided to visit the country’s northwest and northeast provinces to admire the beauty of nature.
Some of the popular choices include Mu Cang Chai District in Yen Bai Province, home to magnificent terraced rice fields, and Moc Chau District in Son La Province, famous for the beautiful buckwheat blossom.
The number of bookings for tours to mountainous localities in northern Vietnam has been increasing, according to local travel agents.
A representative of Vietravel said that more than 6,500 visitors have booked the company’s tours to such destinations.
At Saigontourist has also sold their tours to about 6,000 customers, meeting 60 percent of its target for this travel season.
To meet this demand, travel companies have focused on tailoring new products for the autumn-winter season, which include high-quality services and new experiences for visitors.
According to a representative of TST tourist, the firm’s clients often seek tours to South Korea, Japan, or the United States during this time of the year.
As overseas travel is not yet convenient in the current context, domestic tourism continues to be the choice of local travelers.
To seize this opportunity, travel agencies across the country should form close cooperation to introduce their services to a wider range of tourists, said Lai Minh Duy, general director of TST tourist.
Pham Ngoc Thuy, director of the Department of Tourism in northern Quang Ninh Province, stated that the province is focusing on preparing for the autumn-winter tourism after the peak summer season.
In addition to popular destinations such as Yen Tu and Ha Long Bay, the locality is promoting new places like Dong Trieu, known as the original homeland of the Tran Dynasty, Binh Lieu, Mong Cai, and Uong Bi, Thuy elaborated.
The autumn-winter travel season often runs from September to October.
150-year-old French consulate edifice in Ho Chi Minh City opens to public on European Heritage Days
The Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday again opened its door to visitors for one day as part of the European Heritage Days.
The 150-year-old building welcomed visitors who were required to register in advance and divided into small groups for 30-minute tours from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm within the day.
The tours took visitors to the special architectural spaces inside the Consulate General, the artworks and furniture of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802–1945) displayed at the venue, and a 1.5-hectare park home to ages-old trees.
The visitors also had the chance to try specialties from France.
|A visitor takes a picture of an eight-piece folding screen displayed on the wall of the large living room at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
According to French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser, the European Heritage Days was initiated by the French Ministry of Culture in 1984 and has been celebrated around the world thanks to its success.
The annual event offers opportunities to visit buildings, monuments, and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public.
|French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser (L, 2nd) introduces the statue of Marianne, the symbol of France, displayed at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
|French Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Emmanuelle Pavillon-Grosser sits at the French-style banquet table in the large dining room at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
Visiting the French consulate for the first time on Saturday, art researcher Ngo Kim Khoi said having the building open to visitors is a good way to educate about heritage and culture, as it is not easy for the public to have the opportunity to set foot in the 150-year-old edifice.
|Art researcher Ngo Kim Khoi admires an artwork by renowned Vietnamese artist Nguyen Gia Tri during his visit to the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
In 2008, the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City welcomed more than 1,300 visitors on the occasion and a bigger number the next year.
|Visitors take pictures at the corridor while visiting the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City on September 17, 2022. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
|The small living room with original cement floor tiles from 1872 at the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
|A green space inside the Consulate General of France in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Huynh Vy / Tuoi Tre|
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