Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hello and welcome to VOV’s Letter Box, a weekly feature dedicated to our listeners around the world. We are Ngoc Huyen and Nhat Quynh.

A: First on our show today, we’d like to welcome Oyvind Vang of Norway to VOV. In his letter to VOV this week, Mr. Vang wrote: “My hobby is listening to and collecting verification from remote radio stations. I have been a DX-er since 1969, but I have not been active since 2008 until now, and your station was one of the first I tuned in to.”

B: Mr. Vang continued: “I found your program both informative and entertaining, and would like to hear more about daily life in your country. I especially would appreciate programs concerning tourist places and some more Vietnamese music.”

A: Thank you, Mr. Vang, for tuning in to our broadcasts. We’ll send you a QSL card to confirm your reception for the program on March 22nd from 16:00 to 16:28 UTC on 7280 khz, as well as a frequency list and program schedule. Our English programs cover all aspects of life in Vietnam including Vietnamese land, culture, and people. Concerning tourist places in Vietnam, you can find them in our Discovery Vietnam segment. Our programs are also available on the internet at We hope to hear more from you.

B: In an email to VOV this week, Tjang Pak Ning of Indonesia sent a reception report for the program on April 5th on the frequency of 12020 khz between 10:00 and 10:28 UTC. He wrote that he would like to know more about Vietnamese toy figurines.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - ảnh 1
To He, or toy figurine, is a traditional toy that Vietnamese children are exceedingly fond of

A: To He, or toy figurine, is a traditional toy that Vietnamese children are exceedingly fond of. Dating back to the 17th century, To He are made of glutinous rice powder in the form of edible figurines of animals, flowers and characters from folk tales. The craft evolved to entertain children during festivals.It was a forerunner of comic books.Craftsman plied their trade from place to place, skillfully bringing to life the colorful characters of ancient folklore.

B: In the past, tò he were made and sold only on the occasion of festivals, particularly during Tet - the traditional lunar New Year festival - and the Mid-Autumn festival which are the two favorite festivals of Vietnamese children. Nowadays, the toys can be found at most festivals in Vietnam and in public places like parks or gardens.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - ảnh 2

A: To create a tò he figurine, the craftsman needs a mixture of glutinous and ordinary rice powder, which is easily kneaded into different shapes and safe for children to eat, a bamboo stick to serve as a handle for the finished tò he, and fine sculpting skills.

B: Seven basic colors are used: green, sea blue, red, purple, yellow, white, and black.These colors come from food dyes to ensure that any tò he can be safely swallowed by a curious child.

A: In the past, tò he were steamed after being shaped, but today the figurines are made from pre-boiled paste to reduce the time required. The paste is made from glutinous and ordinary rice powders, and kneaded with fresh water before being dropped into boiling water for one hour,and finally dyed with food coloring.

B: Making a tò he figurine requires patience from the craftsman and also from the child who is waiting for his toy to be made. While much has changed over time, the joy and excitement of a child remains unchanged. So we urge you to check out this ancient craft yourself. Bring your young ones and give them a taste of what toys were like in Vietnam long before today’s digital toys appeared.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - ảnh 3

A: Here’s a letter from Richard Nowak of the US, one of our regular listeners. This week he sent us a letter with a postcard picture of Ormond Beach, where he went recently. After listening to our broadcast on March 27 using a General Electric 2215 tube radio hooked up to an indoor active loop, Richard reported a reception of all 5s.He said the reception has been rock solid lately.

B: Thank you, Mr. Nowak, for your feedback on our programs and for the many beautiful stickers you have sent us. In an email to VOV on April 9th, Christer Brunstrom shared a story about a terrorist attack in Sweden on April 7th and another in Egypt two days later. He wrote: “On Friday, the Swedish capital of Stockholm suffered its second terrorist attack, leaving four dead and about 15 people hurt. In the news today we heard about two bombings at Christian churches in Egypt, killing some 30 people. Today there was a huge manifestation for peace and love in Stockholm. Many of those who spoke at the rally obviously had roots in other countries but they certainly consider Stockholm and Sweden to be their home. Sweden is an open and democratic society and that’s the way we want to keep things. We refuse to be intimidated by any kind of terrorists.”

A: We’re so sorry to hear about the terrorist attacks. We sympathize with your losses and send our condolences to the victims’ families.

B: This week, Stephen Hogan of Australia sent us a letter with a reception report for the program on March 16th on the frequency of 7280 khz. He wrote: “reception conditions are good at the moment, especially on the frequencies of 12020 and 7280 khz. We are well into our autumn season now and receiving good rainfalls. For days now we have received little or no sun. Temperatures are mild, in the low 20s Celsius.”

A: Thank you, Mr. Stephen Hogan, for giving us some information about the weather in Australia these days. In Vietnam, we are changing from Spring to Summer, so the weather is unusual at times. It has been raining for some days. It was a bit cold a few days ago, but today it’s getting hotter. The temperatures range from 20 to 31 degrees Celsius.

B: We’d like to acknowledge letters and emails from Mizanur Rahman of Bangladesh, Hayato Furukawa, Fumito Hokamura, Masaru Sekimoto, and Toshiya Nishimura of Japan, KP Muneer of the United Arab Emirates, Siddhartha Bhattacharjee, Ramu Karthikeyan, Bhaikan Hazarika, and Anand Mohan Bain of India, and Tim Breyel of Malaysia. We’ll send you QSL cards, frequency lists, and program schedules soon.

A: We welcome your feedback at: English section, VOV World Service, Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at: Tune in to additional English programs on our website at  Good bye.