Illustration by Đàm Minh Trí Viet Nam News Khoa Thư What is the secret of a successful Facebook-based business? A huge flock of followers, striking content and thousands of interactions all help, according to internet gurus. If so, the owner of an online maternity clothes shop named Mami has mastered the art by making a post on Facebook saying pork products made from African swine fever-infected pigs were being sold in Việt Nam. With outbreaks of the disease in several northern areas, the post shocked the shop’s target customers, scaring mothers and mothers-to-be. With nearly 300,000 followers, the information was spread at lightning speed, dominating Facebook and making the shop’s page well-known. A wave of anxiety was created, simply by the clicks to express emotions or share to users’ circles of friends. Another Facebooker called Trang Thao Mandy panicked netizens by making a post saying “Two people are infected with the … [Read more...] about Fake news creates real problems
Talk Around Town
Illustration by Trịnh LậpViet Nam News Bảo Hoa My father and I get along well and rarely disagree, but a month ago he said something that puzzled me. It was after dinner during the Lunar New Year holiday and I had just finished washing the dishes. I don’t remember if it was something I said, but when I went to clear some glasses in front of him, he pinched my cheek and said in a joking tone: "You should act a little dumber. Don’t be perfect at everything like that, it scares people off." Given that I was a few months short of turning 26 and had never brought a boyfriend home, and it was not the first time we had joked about me being too smart, I knew by "people" he meant "boys". And to be honest I was as much flattered as I was annoyed, because it felt like my dad was telling me not to be myself so that I could get a husband. In my eyes I am pretty much like any other girl, except that I can play the piano to a classical level that makes everyone … [Read more...] about Let strong women be strong
Illustration by Đàm Minh ChíViet Nam News by Mai Hiên An accident between a car and a motorbike that left one person dead in the northern province of Lào Cai on March 1 has drawn public attention in recent days. The collision was blamed on the teenage motorbike driver who was not old enough to legally drive, was travelling over the speed limit and was not wearing a helmet. However, relatives of the victim and other locals gathered at the scene of incident, demanding the car driver pay them VNĐ400 million (US$17,220) as compensation. Later, the driver had to hand over VNĐ200 million ($8,600) to pay for the victim’s funeral. The collision and ensuing controversy caused congestion on highway 4D for six hours. The incident has sparked debate among netizens, with most of them opposing the actions of the victim’s relatives and local residents. In the past, most Vietnamese people believed the owner of the more expensive vehicle involved … [Read more...] about Awareness of traffic laws must be enhanced
Illustration by Trịnh LậpViet Nam News By Minh Thu The burning of joss paper in the form of personal items is a popular tradition around Việt Nam. The paper is burned as part of rituals to honour dead ancestors and the gods. However, as society becomes more environmentally-conscious, the practice has caused controversy. A group of artists has tried to find a solution to satisfy everyone – making the paper models smaller. “It’s a good way to respect the long-standing tradition, pay tribute to ancestors, save money and protect the environment,” said artist Lê Đức Hùng. Old tradition It’s common to see Vietnamese people burning joss paper and offerings during anniversaries, festivals and rituals. The most popular items include replicas of houses, cars, motorbikes, clothes, smartphones, rice cookers, and even servants. In recent years, the offerings have kept pace with modern trends. … [Read more...] about Mini paper offerings make tradition green
Illustration by Trịnh LậpViet Nam News by Mary Pecaut I first set foot in Việt Nam in 2014. As a US citizen embarrassed by my country’s policies during and following the American-Việt Nam War, I was uncertain about the welcome that awaited me. Because I spoke French and had family members living in Toronto, I prepared to answer that certain-to-be-asked question: Where are you from? By replying, Canada. I was pleasantly surprised to find that US citizens are very welcome in Việt Nam and that there was no need to hide my identity. Upon arrival, I started my quest to understand my new home country and her people. Usually when I arrive in a newly assigned country, I dive into the local culture through food, art and language. I soon discovered that the best window into Vietnamese culture was by understanding a unique Vietnamese national holiday. Tết Nguyên Đán, otherwise known as Tết, is the most important and popular … [Read more...] about Can a holiday explain a national identity?