16:43′ 23/06/2006 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet – Japan-Vietnam Goodwill Ambassador Sugi Ryotaro on June 22 handed cameras worth US$15,600 from the Japanese government to the Ministry of Education and Training in support of a film-making contest for local students.

The contest, to be held in Hanoi as an initiative by the Goodwill Ambassador following his visit to Vietnam in October, 2005, aims to promote local secondary students’ independent creativeness in the process of making films.

Mr Sugi Ryotaro expressed hope that the contest in Ha Noi will be a success so that a similar event can be held at national scale and even at the Asian level.

“I made my decision that Vietnam is the right place for my initiative,” said the ambassador at the ceremony, “because I always believe that the country is my second homeland”.

The competition, part of cultural cooperation and exchange between Vietnam and Japan, will help to further foster bilateral ties between the two countries in general and their cultural cooperation in particular, said Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Hattori Norio.

In Vietnam, too, government and sports officials have declared they will be tough on offenders. Vietnam’s V- League has been beset by allegations of bribery in the past year, prompting the police to investigate some 90 players, referees and coaches, according to the Vietnamese news media.


Four members of an under-23 Vietnamese squad have been detained over allegations that they were paid to fix matches in the Southeast Asian Games last December. The Vietnam Football Federation is anxious to improve the image of the sport before it is co-host of the 2007 Asian Cup, amid doubts about its suitability for staging a major regional soccer event.


But beyond appeals to law enforcement agencies to pursue corruption cases and for clubs to adopt a more professional approach to the sport, there is little administrators can do to ensure clean games. Ahead of some important games, soccer administrators have tried locking up players and coaches and denying them access to telephones. Since 2003, the Asian Football Confederation has refused to accept referees from countries where corruption is perceived to be rife.


“There are countries where we are not recruiting anyone – no officials, no managers,” Hammam said, while declining to name the countries.


Still, there is a sense of a finger in the dike in the efforts to prevent corruption. Vast sums of money are pouring into legal and illegal gambling, creating strong incentives for bribery of officials and players in poorly paid leagues.


In January, a senior bureaucrat in Vietnam’s Transport Ministry was arrested for embezzling $1.8 million in aid money. The official is alleged to have placed bets on European soccer games. But investigators in Vietnam claim players have been offered as little as $1,300 to help throw a game, according to local media reports.


The growth in legal soccer gambling is illustrated by the experience of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. After launching soccer betting in the 2003-04 financial year, the club saw annual turnover rise to 26.7 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $3.4 billion, an increase of two-thirds in the first two years. This year soccer betting is expected to reap about half the revenue the club earns from horse racing.


Vietnam and World cup

July 4, 2006

Vietnamese student hatmakers earn good money at World Cup

Vietnamese students are cashing in on World Cup mania by selling decorated hats.

Students studying in Germany contacted their families in Viet Nam to order a large quantity of hand-made hats before the World Cup’s balls started rolling in stadiums.

Thanh Truc, a student living in Viet Nam, said her brother ordered her nearly a thousand hats made of straw. He sent her a photo of a Mexican sombrero by email. It helped her to design a sample hat before asking workers to produce the desired quantity. The hats arrived a few days before the World Cup started, at a price of under a Euro a piece.

Truc said his brother sold the hats to other Vietnamese students who coloured the hats to represent the Mexican flag. The students sold the hats to Mexican fans at a price of three Euro.

With the hat business, Truc added nearly VND10 million (US$600) to her account. The amount of money can cover four years college tuition for her.

Other students also cultivated the same business, using designs for other countries. Nguyen Binh Nguyen bought all available hats in Ha Noi to send to his relatives in Germany. The receivers coloured those hats to represent certain teams, and sold the hats at games.

Nguyen and the other students earned pretty good money, allowing Nguyen to consider travelling to Germany.

Vietnamese students usually take advantage of big sports or cultural events to earn some extra money. Some take these opportunities to practice their business skills.

Cable TV boom grips southern provinces during football action

Demand for installing cable TVs are increasing largely in southern provinces, according to Viet Nam Cable TVs.

Soc Trang Town has a huge demand for cable TVs. Most of the customers hope to have the cable service for the World Cup. They are buying large screen TVs to get the best quality of service.

Some small business owners also please their customers buy installing cable service and using large screen TVs to increase their food and drink services.

FIFA supports underprivileged kids in Quang Binh

Vietnamese children in Dong Hoi, Quang Binh province will enjoy financial and facility support from FIFA, the world’s most powerful football organisation, in “6 villages for 2006 – the official charity campaign of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.”

Co-ordinators of the programme in Viet Nam expect that more than a hundred orphans and children experiencing great difficulties in the province can benefit from the programme. They will be supported and receive guidance.

A book comprising signatures of all football stars and coaches participating in 2006 World Cup will be on auction to collect money for the campaign.

The campaign has collected US$631,000 from the Ticketing Show on German ZDF Television channel since June 8, 2006.

Five other villages in Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and Ukraine will also enjoy FIFA’s assistance this year.

“FIFA for SOS children’s villages” was initiated in 1995 by then-President Joao Havelange and it has benefited hundreds of children world wide, according to the programme’s official website.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said the initiative is “one of clearest signals of social responsibility in the world of football… is the most pleasing aspects of FIFA’s work.” — VNS


by Huu Ngoc

In traditional Viet Nam, a very Confucian society, women existed only within the confines of the home and for procreation. They didn’t have the right to study. Over nine centuries of classical Sino-Vietnamese teaching, the only laureate to enter a triennial competition was Nguyen Thi Due, who lived in the seventeenth century under the Mac Dynasty in the northern province of Cao Bang. She disguised herself as a man to pursue a university title. Her ruse was discovered, but the king forgave her and employed her as a lecturer in his harem.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, with the country’s first modernisation under the colonial French regime, girls had the chance to go to school. But they didn’t go far. A minority stopped at a primary school diploma. Rare were the female holders of the baccalaureate, and extremely rare female licentiates and doctors until the end of Second World War. The first female doctor of science, Hoang Thi Nga, graduated from a French university and didn’t emerge until the 1930s.

One should note that science, as knowledge acquired by study, observation and experimentation, made a late appearance, around the 1930s, in Viet Nam. Our Confucian scholars had until then despised it, confusing it with technical applications deemed too materialist, unworthy of the attention of Confucians. However, that spirit has since changed, above all with the establishment of a series of technical schools by the colonial administration to face up to the isolation of Indochina between 1940 and 1945, and with the effort of scientific propagation made by a young generation of Vietnamese intellectuals, certain among them from France.

The Revolution of 1945, which put an end to French colonisation, favoured the development of education and scientific knowledge. In particular, a growing regiment of female scientists began to form. During the war of resistance against the French reconquest (1946-1954), our schools of medicine, pharmacy and agriculture had formed a premier contingent of female specialists, without mentioning those who studied at other branches in the Soviet Union, China, and in other socialist countries. During the American War (1965-1975), this strength was increased significantly, with more and more women in science trained in South Viet Nam and in Western countries. The policy of openness inaugurated by doi moi (renovation) in 1986 favoured an increase of in number of women in science by which the biggest handicap to research is still the traditional attachment to family.

To complete the picture, allow me to cite several important women in science.

Duong Quynh Hoa, recently deceased, was a medical doctor trained in France and was better known for her political activities than for her professional career. Minister of Health for the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Viet Nam, she was an excellent paediatrician. From the several meetings I had with her in the company of our mutual friend, French poetess Francoise Correze, I got from her the image of a female patriot, unyielding in her opinions, energetic and very good-hearted.

Hoang Xuan Sinh is also a scientist. The first foreign female to receive a Doctorate in Mathematics at the Sorbonne, she participated in anti-French activities in occupied Ha Noi. Under the American bombs, she taught in the jungle and prepared for her thesis. Very independent-minded, she created the first non-State-run university in Viet Nam.

Vo Hong Anh, who received a doctorate in science of physics and mathematics in the Soviet Union, received the International Kovalevskaia Prize for women in science. She is the daughter of General Vo Nguyen Giap and of a militant revolutionary, Nguyen Thi Quang Thai, tortured to death by the French colonial administration.

Born in a colonial prison of a revolutionary mother, Vu Thi Phan became a specialist in parasitology. A doctor in the army, she gave up 40 years of her life to fight the malaria that wreaked havoc chiefly during the American war.

Bui Hue Cau, a doctor in chemistry, made an important discovery for the oil industry. Female pharmacist Kim Chi is distinguished by numerous inventions. During the American air war against North Viet Nam, Thieu Hoa won a silver medal at the International Mathematics Competition for secondary school students in Vienna, and later received a doctorate from the Soviet Union. Born of a father who was an anti-French fighter, Nguyen Thi Le, president of the Society of Parasitologists of Viet Nam, discovered a new species of tenia (tapeworm) which came to carry her name. Le Hong Van, mathematician, was the first and only women to win a prize from the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Italy. The list goes on. — VNS