Illustration by Trịnh Lập By Nguyễn Mỹ Hà The Mid-Autumn Festival has become the second largest celebration after the Lunar New Year. On the first day of the eighth lunar month the country turns into a festive mood celebrating the clearest and fullest moon of year. As well as joyful street parties, many would release lotus lanterns on streams and rivers both to make individual wishes and add to the celebratory atmosphere at night. However, this year, the practice of using plastic lanterns will come to an end. Joining the rest of the country in the fight against plastic waste, the Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha sent a circular to its chapters nationwide asking Buddhist followers to help in reducing plastic waste. The letter asked each and every Buddhist community to persuade followers and citizens to avoid using plastic lanterns if they wish to release them during the Full Moon festival. “If we don’t put forward … [Read more...] about No more plastic lanterns this Mid-Autumn Festival
Talk Around Town
Illustration by Trịnh Lập By Phương Hà After getting married recently, a young couple in the southern province of Kiên Giang led a life of Japanese-style minimalism, refusing all furniture presented by their parents and friends. “We don’t use a wardrobe, TV set, cupboard, unnecessary kitchen kits or furniture in the living room,” the wife Nguyễn Thị Hân says. They spent VNĐ150 million (US$6,500) on adapting their house to minimalism. The husband Võ Hoàng Bắc made a bed-plank, several wooden shelves, a table and wooden toys for his nine-month-old boy by himself. One of the two bedrooms in their 100sq.m house has been dismantled to make the living room more spacious and airy. Hân, who is a full-time mother, has three sets of pyjamas, three shirts and two pairs of jeans for going out while her husband, working for a rice exporting company, has even fewer … [Read more...] about Is minimalism the answer to a complicated life?
Illustration by Đàm Minh Chí by Khoa Thư Pursing his lips, 3-year-old Bin holds tightly to the sides of his pram. His face turns red and he shakes his head angrily as his mother tries to push a spoonful of food into his mouth. The battle of minds could last forever if Bin doesn’t knock the bowl from his mother’s hands or the mother, conversely, gives him a smartphone so he will be willing to open his mouth and eat in peace. In my neighbourhood, when the clock hits 6pm, wartime starts. Every corner of the playground has mothers chasing children – persuading, appeasing, fighting and crying at each over dinnertime. “To eat or not to eat,” is their motto. And there is nothing in-between. Growing up chubby is a standard for every Vietnamese child, set by adults who were born and raised during the country’s hard times. “You must not be good at taking care of your child,” is a common … [Read more...] about For children, exercise is the key to battling obesity
Illustration by Đàm Minh Chí by Thu Trang Milk flowers, or hoa sữa, are a familiar sight for Hanoians. They are praised as a symbol of the capital city’s beauty, besides other famous spots like Hoàn Kiếm (Returned Sword) Lake, Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám (Temple of Literature) and the Old Quarter. The flower is also mentioned in famous songs and poems such as Nhớ mùa thu Hà Nội (Remember Hà Nội’s autumn) by Trịnh Công Sơn, Em ơi Hà Nội phố (My dear, Hà Nội Streets) by Phú Quang and Phan Vũ and Hoa sữa (Milk flower) by Hồng Đăng. When news broke that nearly 100 milk flower trees along Trích Sài Street near the West Lake will be moved to the Nam Sơn rubbish dump in Sóc Sơn District, many people were surprised and disgusted. Đỗ Tuấn Anh, chairman … [Read more...] about Are flowers suitable for planting in a rubbish dump?
Illustration by Trịnh Lập by An Phương Among the nine results listed on Google when I asked the question “Should women drive?” in Vietnamese, six of them gave me negative answers, which inspired me to talk with many people about the topic. This topic has caused controversy among many people recently, especially after several serious car crashes with female drivers occurred. I’m a woman who can’t drive and I don’t plan to learn how to drive anytime soon as I’m totally fine with riding my own motorbike, taking taxis, or booking a GrabBike when necessary. However, I have to admit I have a conflict of interest. While I encourage all my female friends to take driving lessons or drive, I judge, albeit in a low-key way, other women that cut me off as they drive a car. Quang Minh, 32, told me that women are generally not solid drivers of cars. “I’m not saying this because … [Read more...] about Should Vietnamese women drive a car?