Folk show for foreigner

July 11, 2006

10:06′ 10/07/2006 (GMT+7)

Foreigners visiting Vietnam often like to see at least a few cultural shows. In HCMC, they can now get to know Vietnamese traditional music and dance in the Huong Viet folk show.

Artists in ao dai (Vietnamese traditional dress) performed a folk dance at the Young World Theater last Wednesday.

The one-hour show comprises eight music and dance pieces, including southern folk songs, folk dances from the center and performances of a lithophone-adaptation of the Central Highlands, monochord and flute.

The show premiered at the Young World Theater on Wednesday. It undoubtedly introduces a part of traditional Vietnamese culture and is performed by professional artists.

However, some spectators who saw the program said Huong Viet was not a perfect show, and it seemed like unconnected folk songs and dances had just been strung together.

Pham Cao Nguyen, marketing manager of organizer Vietnam National Culture Tourism Joint Stock Co., said his company was working on improving the show.

While few people come to the show now, the company expects more foreigners to visit the theater to watch Huong Viet from September when the high season for foreign tourism begins.

Huong Viet‘s put on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Young World Theater at 125 Cong Quynh Street in District 1. A ticket costs US$5.

In additional news, the HCMC Service of Tourism will also organize a show to introduce cai luong (southern opera) to foreign tourists in Hung Dao Theater on 30 Tran Hung Dao Street near the back-packers’ quarter tonight.

(Source: SGT)

Updated: 2006-07-10 14:28 Sixteen Vietnamese bookmakers and bettors have been detained in the biggest soccer betting ring detected in Vietnam during the World Cup 2006, local newspaper Saigon Liberation reported Monday.The bookmakers, three men from southern Ho Chi Minh City, acted as intermediaries between bookies of an international betting ring and Vietnamese bettors. The 16 people were detained in the city on Sunday when they gave and received money totaling 100,000 U.S. dollars regarding bets on the last two games of the soccer event.

During the World Cup, local gamblers made bets of between thousands and tens of thousands of dollars via the three bookies, including a 35-year-old man named Le Cong Hai.

Gambling, especially in the forms of soccer betting and card playing, is widespread in Vietnam, although all kinds of it, except for casinos designated for foreigners and overseas Vietnamese, are illegal in the country.

In Vietnam, where many people are passionate for both soccer and betting, dozens of local bettors and bookmakers were detained during major national and international soccer tournaments.

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The percentage of HIV infection among Vietnamese pregnant women rose to 0.37 percent in 2005 from 0.02 percent in 1994, local newspaper Labor reported Monday.

Annually, 5,000-7,000 local women having HIV give births, some 8,500 children aged 0-15 contract the virus, and 22,000 children become orphans because their parents die of AIDS in recent years, the paper quoted sources from the country’s Health Ministry.

Under a 2006-2010 national action program on preventing HIV/ AIDS transmission from mothers to babies, Vietnam plans to keep the percentage of pregnant women having HIV below 0.5 percent by 2010.

Vietnam detected a total of 2,177 HIV carriers, including 307 fatalities in the first three months of this year, posting respective year-on-year decreases of nearly 28 percent and over 17 percent, according to the ministry.

As of early this year, the country reported nearly 106,300 HIV cases, including roughly 17,830 AIDS patients, and 10,700 fatalities.

Source: Xinhua

14:20′ 11/07/2006 (GMT+7)

With limited inter national success to date on the fashion scene, young Vietnamese designers need an influx of international training and exchange to improve upon garment industry styles.

Design for living: Viet Nam Grand Prix Fashion Week is a chance to discover new talent in the fashion industry.

With some success on international catwalks, poor designs and an inability to build international trademarks plague the Vietnamese fashion industry.

Over the last 10 years, young designers like Vo Viet Chung, Le Minh Khoa, Cong Tri, Quoc Binh, Truong Thanh Long, Trong Nguyen, Kieu Viet Lien, and Ngo Thai My Uyen have emerged as new faces among veteran designers like Minh Hanh and Si Hoang.

Ngo Thai Uyen won third prize in a regional fashion competition held in Singapore in 1997 and Vo Viet Chung received a top prize at the Makuhari Fashion Competition for young designers Japan in the same year.

Designer Si Hoang, an expert in designing traditional dress ao dai said that Vietnamese designers often equate fashion with the so called haute couture, the glamorous, high profile, high profit side of style.

Haute couture, of course, gives designers an opportunity to show off their creative skills, but it is not the only line of business in the fashion industry. This sector must know about designing and manufacturing garments for high volume retail sales,” he said.

Critics of the domestic industry said most designers simply copy or improvise Western and Chinese designs. But young designers in Vietnam should seek to assert a separate identity with works partly inspired by Vietnamese traditions to catch the eye of foreign designers.

Discerning buyers

With living standards improving drastically in Vietnam and people becoming more concerned about appearance, the fashion industry has a bright future. Fabric selection is now more important than ever as discerning shoppers can feel the difference in quality silk, cotton or linen.

Young designers need to seize the opportunity of stylising clothing for the new discerning and modern Vietnamese consumers. Industry experts think that the only way this is possible is for designers to increase exchange with international clothiers.

Vo Viet Chung also complained that Vietnamese designers seem to return to the same old fabrics and designs, without incorporating fresh ideas to attract buyers.

Minh Hanh, director of the HCM City Fashion Design Institute (FADIN) said that young designers have rich ideas and use a lot of embroidery and Vietnamese silk, but they lack-basic fashion techniques.

“We have a lot of factories, which can make good quality products, but they lack fresh designs. I think if we have young designers who have learned and trained more in international fashion, the reputation of the Vietnamese fashion industry would grow rapidly,” Hanh said.

(Source: Viet Nam News)

10:53′ 11/07/2006 (GMT+7)

Soạn: AM 832175 gi đến 996 để nhn ảnh này
Ms Kim Dinh (black, standing).

VietNamNet With her Shop Vietnam, where the Vietnamese traditional dresses of

Ao Dai are on sale, in a 51 storey-building of Sumitomo Group in Shinuku Center, Tokyo, Tong Thi Kim Dinh helps to honor Ao Dai in one of the largest and most modern cities in the world.

Born in the ancient capital of Hue, Dinh, now 45, came to Japan with her husband after graduating Hue Medical University in 1987.

Living in Japan, she always wished that one day Ao Dai would be presented in Tokyo and Shop Vietnam was a dream that she pursued for more than ten years.


After founding Shop Vietnam in 1997, she came back to her homeland to set up a garment workshop. She designed Ao Dai by herself and chose fabric and colors based on her own standards and Japanese people’s tastes.

The first samples of Ao Dai, which were made meticulously, did not attract Japanese women. They did not have much time to pay many visits to the shop to have an Ao Dai tailored for them with their own choices of fabric or design.


The solution to have an Ao Dai made with on ly one visit to the shop is the ready-to-wear products.


She had to use knowledge of anatomy to work out the standard measurements for “made in Shop Vietnam” Ao Dai to suit Japanese women of different sizes.

Today, hand-embroidered or hand-painted Ao Dai are offered in different sizes and designs to appeal to any visitor to the shop. And famous singer Anna Saeki once came to the shop and bought sets of Ao Dai for her performance.


Shop Vietnam gradually became famous in Japan with the special fashion products of Ao Dai. After a fashion show at the Vietnamese Music Festival in Shiganawa, Tokyo in 2000, the Japanese mass media and well-known TV stations of NHK, TBS, Asahi, and Tokyo praised the Vietnamese traditional dress of Ao Dai in Shop Vietnam.


Ms Kim Dinh was invited by Ashi Karucha, an organization for Japanese women, to talk about the Vietnamese Ao Dai in February 2005.


Besides, Shop Vietnam was also invited to the Asian Party Dress Fair, one of the large brand promotional programs of Seibu Tokyo Commercial Center in February 2002, which was a milestone for the development of Shop Vietnam as Ao Dai was introduced for the first time to the well-off Japanese.


Now, Shop Vietnam’s Ao Dai, also known as Sivini, becomes a familiar brand in Japan. About 90 percent of its customers are Japanese, and the rest are westerners.


To Kim Dinh, Ao Dai is a work of arts, not just a product. And Shop Vietnam owns its success to the contribution of the workers in Vietnam. Toghether, they have helped honore Ao Dai in the world.


(Source: SGGP, TT)