March 28, 2012

A: As we expected last week, the uncomfortable humidity has finally gone, giving way to sunshine and fine weather. For the first time in years, Vietnam’s northern region is experiencing such beautiful Spring weather in March. It’s almost like the middle of autumn. The blue sky is clear and temperatures range between 19 and 22 degrees Celsius.

B: Many of our audience members have also reported nice weather in their part of the world. Swedish listener Christer Brunstrom emailed us: “On March 10, I tuned in to VOV at 18:00 UTC. Once again I was very much impressed by the music show. Vietnamese music tends to be very melodious and it’s a pleasure to listen to it. Kind regards from sunny Sweden”. 

A: Earlier Mr. Brunstrom tuned in to our February 20 show and wrote: “It’s interesting to hear about your government’s policies on religious affairs. For many people, religious freedom is of the greatest importance and I believe a government must always respect the different kinds of religions and beliefs.”  

B: The February 20 show appeared to capture the particular interest of many other listeners. In his reception report, Li Ming of the Chinese city of Maanshan also noted down the stories about legitimate religious needs in regard to housing and land and about the Vietnam-China dialogue on territorial issues. He commented: “I should say your programs always contain informative segments covering music, culture and events in Vietnam. This varied programming is both interesting and educative”.

A: Another Swedish listener Bo Samuelsson also caught our February 20 transmission and mentioned the story about Protestant Christians. 75-year-old Mr. Samuelsson attached a photo of himself sitting by an old receiver which he said is about the same age as him. Apparently, it still produces excellent sound quality as Mr. Samuelsson reported a SINPO rating of 55544.

B: We’re happy to learn that our commentary on the land issues of Protestant Christians drew so much attention from our audience and helped clarify the religious landscape in Vietnam, where people’s right to freedom of belief and religion is clearly stipulated in the Constitution and is respected and protected in reality. If you want to explore the religions and beliefs of Vietnam, join one of the spiritual tours which have become a mainstay of Vietnam’s tourism industry.

A: Now we’ll n answer several questions from one of our regular Bangladeshi listeners. Ratan Kumar Paul reported tuning in to our programs from March 1 to 7 on both 9550 and 7220 kHz with fair to good quality. Mr. Kumar Paul wanted to know about the biggest railway station and any metro service in Vietnam.

B:  Well, the Hanoi Railway Station in our capital city is the biggest railway station in Vietnam. It’s the main railway station on the transnational railway and is the starting point of five railway lines leading to almost every Vietnamese province. The station was built by the French in 1902 on ground which used to be a market selling grass for horses. It was originally called Ga Hang Co or Grass Goods Station. The main building of the station was destroyed by American bombs in 1972 and rebuilt in 1976, one year after national reunification.

A: Regarding your question about metro service, we’re afraid there’s not much to say because Vietnam has no metro line at the moment. However, metro construction projects in Hanoi and HCM are up and running and we hope to tell you more about it in a couple of years.

B: Indonesian listener Hazairin Junep has returned from a trip to several ASEAN countries and informed us of what he observed in a March 21 email: “I was in Laos last week and I found that many things are made-in-Vietnam. When I went to the post office, I bought stamps for my collection and they were printed in Vietnam. Good job! In Myanmar, I was happy to see that Vietnam has come and invested there. Vietnam should take the opportunity to work with Myanmar and other ASEAN countries. We are a big family and we have to take care of ourselves by supporting each other”.   

A: Thank you very much for your interest in Vietnam and our relations with other ASEAN nations. You know, Vietnam is pursuing a foreign policy of mutilateralization and diversification. Vietnam and Laos share a special friendship and have consistently stood side by side in national construction and defense. Myanmar’s President visited Vietnam recently and the 2 countries have pledged to take bilateral ties to a new level. We can’t agree with you more that ASEAN countries are a big family and mutual assistance is the key to a brighter future. We’ll live under the common roof of the ASEAN community by 2015.