18:29′ 06/09/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Overseas Vietnamese lecturer Doan Cam Thi, who teaches Vietnamese literature at the University Paris 7 – Denis Diderot, has translated books by young Vietnamese writers into French. Thi talks about her work as well as her latest translation, the Au rez-de-chaussee du paradis (Heaven’s Ground Floor), which was published in France recently.

It’s can be said that Au rez-de-chaussee du paradis is the first collection of short stories by young Vietnamese writers to be widely published in France. Why did you decide to translate this book?

Although my main work revolves around research, criticism and lectures on modern Vietnamese literature, I became interested in the work of young writers since 2002. These writers include Phan Thi Vang Anh, Ngo Tu Lap, Phan Trieu Hai, Nguyen Trong Nghia and Nguyen Ngoc Tu. The more I read their work, the more fascinated I am by them. In addition, many of these writers say they want to have a chance to access more readers, other than Vietnamese readers. That’s why I want to present them to French readers. The Au rez-de-chaussee du paradis collection features 14 short stories by 14 young Vietnamese writers.

What challenges did you face in selecting the stories as well as in translating them?

I have to stress that to present the collection to French readers is not a simple task. First at all, I had to find a publishing house that would agree to take a risk and back the project. When I persuaded the director of the Philippe Picquier publishing house, Philippe Picquier, to publish the book, he did not hide his doubts over the book’s success, and asked me: “Give me a reason why I should publish this book?”

The book has been welcomed by French readers and that’s evidence that I made the right decision. The book has attracted a large number of French readers as well as readers in other Francophone countries.

Can you tell us more about the French readers’ reaction to the book?

Telerama, the biggest weekly cultural and art magazine in France, described the collection as a breath of fresh air from a distant land. They wrote that “there are not many French people who know much about distant Viet Nam, but this country is coming back, bringing a fresh breath in the form of a collection of literature about [Vietnamese people’s] dreams and fears.”

The Amazon website placed the book in its list of French best-sellers about Viet Nam. Many readers have said that the diverse writing styles in the collection makes each story in the book interesting in its own way, worth reading and contemplating.

What will be your next translation?

I am now working on the novel China Town by Thuan. The book is expected to be published in French by the Seuil publishing house next year. Along with Nguyen Binh Phuong and Nguyen Viet Ha, Thuan is one of the best Vietnamese writers at the moment.

Following the success of Au rez-de-chaussee du paradis, how do you evaluate Vietnamese literature’s standing in the world?

Vietnamese literature has became “younger” thanks to a growing number of young writers and critics, including the those who were born in the 1980s. Their works presents their desires, which often include adventure and discovery. In my opinion, that is a positive sign and I’m optimistic about the future of Vietnamese literature. Being a Vietnamese reader, I hope Vietnamese literature will be in harmony with the world’s literature.

You have been living in France for more than 20 years. What are your observations on the life of Vietnamese-French writers?

Almost all of them left Viet Nam many years ago, but they always have a sense of nostalgia in their heart for their homeland.

(Source: VNS)


09:13′ 09/09/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Activities to show support for Vietnamese children and Agent Orange (AO)/Dioxin victims were held during the 12th “Day of Solidarity” in the German capital of Berlin last weekend.

As many as 8,000 Euros were donated on the occasion.

Among others, the Solidarity Service International (SODI) and the Help Children in Vietnam organisation showed pictures about Vietnamese AO victims. SODI also introduced projects relating to mine clearance and resettlement in Vietnam.

As many as 8,000 Euros were donated on the occasion. The money will be used to buy equipment for a primary school in Da Nang Province and to support the Thuy An Rehabilitation Centre in Ba Vi District (Hanoi) where more than 100 AO heavily-affected children are given with care.

SODI opened an online campaign on its website to collect 100,000 signatures to support Vietnamese AO victims’ fight for justice. SODI also called on 37 US chemical companies that supplied AO toxin to the US armed forces during the Vietnam-American War to admit their responsibility and compensate the victims.

The “Day of Solidarity,” initiated in the time of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), became an annual event in 1996 with the aim of raising funds to support development projects in Africa, Asia and the Latin America.

This year’s event, which was held in the Alexanderplatz Square, drew the participation of 31 publishers and newspaper offices, 19 associations for solidarity, three union organisations and some 10,000 visitors.

(Source: VNA)

www.chinaview.cn 2008-09-10 11:16:00 Print

HANOI, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Some 2,800 Vietnamese women and children were trafficked to foreign countries, mainly neighboring ones, between 2005 and June 2008, many of whom have been forced to act as prostitutes, local newspaper Youth reported Wednesday.

Criminals often told women that they would help them tour or do business across borders, but in fact sold them to prostitution dens or foreign men in remote areas, said delegates to a national conference on human trafficking held in Hanoi on Tuesday.

Besides, a number of Vietnamese women and children have been trafficked via air and sea routes to farther countries such as South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and some European and American nations, Nguyen Quoc Nhat, vice director of the Social Order-Related Crime Investigation Department under the Ministry of Public Security, said, noting that they have been forced to work as either prostitutes or slaves.

The trafficking of Vietnamese infants, men and human viscera are showing embryonic signs, he said at the conference.

Expatriates living in Vietnam are the stars of a popular new game show airing every Wednesday this month until the end of November.

Titled “Say it if you dare,” the 30-minute game show – aired only in Vietnamese – features expat contestants who are taught Vietnamese words by two local celebrities. Contestants must then use the words in situations given by the judges such as bargaining at the markets or ordering at restaurants.

The judges will evaluate the contestants’ pronunciation and ability to use the words they have learnt.

The show, broadcast on VTC7 at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, is hoped to foster good relations between expats and Vietnamese citizens.

For information about the show, email todaytv@imcorp.com.vn or phone (08) 830 4448.

Reported by Da Ly

17:54′ 12/09/2008 (GMT+7)

Nguyen Van Quy (on the wheelchair) on the way to the New York Court of Appeals on June 18, 2007, three weeks before he died.

VietNamNet Bridge – Two Vietnamese Agent Orange victims, Dang Hong Nhut and Tran Thi Hoan, will go to the US from September 27 to October 31 to talk about the consequences of AO/dioxin in Vietnam.

According to Mai The Chinh, an official of the Association of Vietnamese AO/Dioxin Victims, Dang Hong Nhut, 67, from the southern province of Dong Nai, took part in the war of resistance against the US troops and was infected with AO.

Tran Thi Hoan, 22, is missing two limbs as a result of congenital malformation consequent of AO. Hoan is a student at HCM City University.

The two women will go to the US at the invitation of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign (VAORRC). In 2005 and 2007, Vietnamese AO victims went to the US three times to campaign for the US public’s support for Vietnamese victims in their lawsuit against US chemical companies.

The latest trip to the US by Vietnamese AO victims took place in June 2007. They took part in an oral argument at the US Court of Appeals. Nearly one month after that, two victims, Nguyen Van Quy and Nguyen Thi Hong, died because of dioxin.

Chinh said the Association of Vietnamese AO/Dioxin Victims and lawyers are preparing an appeal to lodge to the US Supreme Court. On February 22, the US Court of Appeals rejected the Vietnamese AO/Dioxin victims’ petition against US chemical companies which produced AO/dioxin used during the Vietnam War. The appeal will be sent to the US Supreme Court between now and early October.

Vietnam currently has around 3 million AO/dioxin victims.

17:32′ 15/09/2008 (GMT+7)


Bridge – Pascale Valery Tung Lam, a fashion designer for Thai Tuan Garment and Textile Company, designed the 2008 Miss Vietnam Collection for the 30 ladies who competed for the title of the country’s most beautiful woman in Hoi An.

You are the result of a romantic relationship between a beautiful French woman and a Vietnamese man. Please tell us more about yourself.

I am the result of a romantic love between a French lady from Champagne and a Vietnamese man from Ha Noi. They both had the same passion and played the violin. My father was a doctor and my mother a violin professor. She taught the violin to young students. I am the eldest of four children. I was born in Paris and lived in Ho Chi Minh City for the first 10 years. I learnt Vietnamese from my paternal grandmother. After 10 years I returned to France with my family because of the war. In 1996 I returned to Viet Nam for the first time.

Why did you decide to become a fashion designer? What were you doing before working with Thai Tuan?

I became a fashion designer like my French grandmother, who had a fashion house. She passed on to me her passion for this trade, especially for silk, and [taught me] how to match colours. After my studies – fine arts, marketing in England and the US and courses at Stanford University [in the US], I opened a fashion house in France and was lucky to meet my fashion godmother, Carven, who is a famous designer in Paris. I learned the sensorial approach and studied the aromas of wine with my husband Jean Jacques, who is a wine taster and export manager for a famous wine and spirit distributor. I also studied with Jacques Puisais, an eminent enologist. I designed dresses according to the aromas of wines and held very successful shows in France and other European countries, including in Paris, the capital of fashion. I developed my design and my business thanks to Ratti Spa, a big Italian factory that makes silk. I also design for other brands like Pierre D’Alby, Christine Laure, and Sarah B. I studied the history of the Vietnamese dress, the ao dai, and met Lien Huong, a famous fashion designer of ao dai. I invited her to France and suggested to UNESCO that the ao dai be classified as intangible heritage. During my stay in Viet Nam, I worked as a fashion consultant to producers like IGTC, Vita Jean, Sai Gon 2, and Sanding. Now I work for Thai Tuan Company.

Do you think your mixed Vietnamese-French heritage gave you an edge when designing the Miss Viet Nam Collection?

I think that I am very lucky to talk Vietnamese, French, and English fluently. I see it as advantage to speak many languages in this kind of job. Now, for the Miss Viet Nam Collection, I think it is easier if I speak Vietnamese.

Please tell us about your Miss Viet Nam collection? Why were you chosen as the designer for this event?

I worked and designed dresses for Miss Viet Nam because Thai Tuan Company asked me to do it. Thai Tuan is an important partner and sponsor of Miss Viet Nam. I designed the fashion collection based on a theme inspired by nature in a glittering, new material called voile that Thai Tuan Company produces. Finally, Tien Phong, the Miss Viet Nam organiser, chose the dress “light” as the most representative of the event. It is both elegant and sexy at the same time.

What do you think about the fashion industry in Viet Nam?

I think the fashion industry is better than 10 years ago. Viet Nam now has many very good designers, especially of the ao dai, but we may progress more with a contemporary Vietnamese style (casual and city wear). We must also make a big effort to improve the quality of textile products we can introduce to, and capture, foreign markets, especially Europe and the US.

(Source: VNS)