January 17, 2012

Hello, I’m Kim Chi. Welcome to the Letter Box on VOV Radio, where we acknowledge listeners’ letters received during the week.

Hi, everyone. I’m Nhat Quynh.


A: The Voice of Vietnam Overseas Service has officially begun delivering its radio programs in 12 languages on a new website at vovworld.vn and vov5.vn, to help promote Vietnam – its land, people, and culture - to the world.

B: The website will allow VOV’s shortwave hobbyists to re-hear our programs any time at their convenience. But we want to assure our loyal listeners that shortwave broadcast remains the mainstay of our long-term development strategy.

A: We’ll continue to improve our radio programs to meet the expectations of listeners like Mr. Horsefield, an English listener: “The news was up to your standard of content and presentation with many interesting topics about your country and other parts of the world. I have learned a lot from your broadcast. I have a lot to thank you for all I have learned over the time I have been tuning in to our station.”

B: Mr. Horsefield usually tunes in our program on the frequency of 9730 khz, using his Realistic DX344 with a built in telescopic antenna. The signal quality is often good, although there is co-channel interference and some static noise. But Mr. Horsefield says this is what shortwave is all about and the program is still audible. After listening to the News and features which Mr. Horsefield said were good history lessons for him, he continued by enjoying our musical segment.

A: He told us: “This is a great place to hear many types of Vietnamese music and songs. Music is just there to listen to and enjoy the pleasure it gives you. Obviously, I only know the English songs and music but that is not what music is about.”

B: You’re right, Mr. Horsefield. Music is a boundless language and we just listen to it and feel it. Regarding your concern about the song titles, it’s quite difficult to translate them precisely into English. We just try to explain the general meaning of a song and background information such as its origin, the author’s inspiration, and its distinctive characteristics. Your interest in VNese music is shared by almost all of our listeners. One of them is Fumito Hokamura of Japan, who enjoys VNese folk and country songs.

A: Both Mr. Hokamura and Horsefield said the songs are often short fragments and they want to hear more. You know that radio broadcast has limited time and we have to divide time appropriately among features. In our weekday programs, we play a full song at the end of the show. But the Weekend Music show on Saturday often features singers, authors, or albums so we play half of 3 or 4 songs for illustration. If you want to leisurely enjoy Vietnamese songs, please go to our website at vovworld.vn or vov5.vn.

B: I’m reading a letter from Yoshihiro Kusanagi, another Japanese listener. The 46-year old Dx’er is the personnel manager of a Japanese company. He regularly tunes in to our program and sends us feedback, although he says he can’t understand every detail because of his limited English fluency.

A: But I see that your reception reports always include the major contents and some precise data, like this one dated December 26th 2011. Yoshihiro observed our program under rather unfavorable condition with light to severe noise. We’re sorry to see that you rated SINPO at 45232 for the transmission from 11:30 to 11:57 UTC on the frequency of 12020 khz. Based on reports from other Japanese listeners, we know that the 12020 khz frequency is the most popular and the best one, with SIO rating often at 454. We hope the severe noise that Mr. Kusanagi experienced on December 26th was temporary and we’re looking toward to hearing some positive feedback soon.

B: From Ohio, in the US, Anton Bernhoffer donated 3 USD for the charity fund for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange. He learnt about the fund and activities to compensate the AO victims from a program broadcast on December 21, 2011. We sincerely thank you for your kindness, Mr. Bernhoffer, and will see that the money is forwarded to the Fund for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange. Another American listener who heard the same program was Bob Whittermore of Massachusetts.

A: He was on the frequency of 6175 khz from 01:00 to 01:27 UTC and rated SINPO at 44443. Based on the accurate information you provided in your reception report, we’ll send a QSL confirmation to your mailing address soon. Indian listeners Ratan Kumar Paul and Muralidhar said they are collecting postal stamps and want VOV to stick attractive postal stamps on envelopes for them. Of course! We always do because we know that many of our listeners worldwide are stamp collectors.

B: Kumar Paul asks who first used postal stamps in Vietnam. And whose picture is on Vietnamese stamps? The first postage stamp, circulated in South Vietnam in 1863 by French colonialists, was the same one used in all French colonies. The only difference was the post mark used in each colony. The first local commercial stamps appeared in Vietnam around 1886 or 1887.

A: In 1888, this kind of stamp circulated in central Vietnam overprinted with the letter A – an abbreviation of ANNAM - and in northern Vietnam over-printed with the letter T – an abbreviation of TONKIN. In 1889, Indochinese stamps were officially used in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. From 1941 to 1945, almost all Indochinese stamps were designed by Vietnamese painters and printed in Vietnam.

B: From 1945 to 1975, Vietnam underwent a historic transformation. There existed several political regimes in the country and they all issued their own postage stamps. Postage stamps issued by the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam and the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam dominated in numbers. They featured revolutionaries and the fighting spirit, Vietnam’s land and people, historical landmarks, development and social activities.

A: President HCM is the most common picture on Vietnamese postal stamps. The very first set of postal stamps of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam depicted the portrait of President HCM. It marked the turning point in both the national independence and the development of the postal sector. We’re out of time on VOV’s Letter Box, so we have to sign off now. We welcome your comments at:

English program,

Overseas Service

Radio Voice of Vietnam

45 Ba Trieu street-Hanoi-Vietnam

Or you can email us at: englishsection@vov.org.vn

If you miss any of our programs, please log on to www.vovworld.vn to hear a recording.

We’ll see you next Wednesday at the same time and on the same frequency. Good bye!