Wednesday February 8, 2017

A: VOV’s Letter Box is back after one week off for special features celebrating Vietnam’s Lunar New Year. We hope you are all well. Thank you very much for sending us your New Year’s Greetings and best wishes for the New Year.

B: We wish you and your family all the best in the year of the Rooster. The New Year holiday season or “Spring Festival” is the longest and most important holiday in Vietnam. After a week-long national holiday, we have finally returned to our normal work schedule.

A: Today our mail box was full of letters and reception reports from listeners. Shivendu Paul, President of the Metali Listeners’ Club in India wrote: “Happy New Year to all the staff and listeners of the English Service of the Voice of Vietnam. We try to listen to your programs regularly. Our students are also interested in and happy to listen to your programs. Your website is colorful and well documented. We are interested in the culture and life style of the Vietnamese people, as well as historical places and tourist attractions.

B: Justin Jones of the US said he listened to our broadcast on12005khz in Indiana in the USA. He said the signal was moderate to strong and the show as very entertaining.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - ảnh 1
Procession at the Hung Kings' Temple Festival

A: Ralf Urbanczyk of Germany wrote: “It was interesting to learn about activities in Vietnam on the birthday of Buddha. Because we do not have a large Buddhist community in Germany, thus people do not know much about activities of Buddhist followers. I’m impressed by the activities of Vietnamese Buddhists in social life all over Vietnam. I am also interested in the relationship between Vietnamese Buddhists and Vietnam’s Communist Party. Does the Vietnamese Communist Party permit Buddhists to be members of the Party and do the Buddhist monks permit members of the Communist Party to visit the temples?

B: Thank you, Ralf for your interesting questions. The National Assembly passed a Law on Belief and Religion last November which gives everyone the right to follow or not follow any religion. Everybody has the right to exercise their religious beliefs and attend religious festivals. Authorised religious organisations are allowed to operate in line with their charters and regulation; hold religious activities, publish religious documents, build and upgrade religious establishments, and receive donations from individuals or organisations inside or outside Vietnam. In order to ensure freedom of religion, the law clearly stipulates that the State respects and protects everyone’s freedom of belief and religion and considers all religions equal before the law. Religious organisations and dignitaries have worked closely with Party organisations and the Vietnam Fatherland Front at all levels and participated actively and effectively in social movements.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - ảnh 2
People take boats on Yen river to Huong Pagoda

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - ảnh 3
A scene at Co Loa festival

A: Religious dignitaries have been elected to the National Assembly, the people’s highest representative body, so that they can reflect the voice and aspirations of their followers.

B: Now let’s read some letters from other listeners.  Jordan Heyburn of Northern Ireland emailed us to say: “It is with pleasure I send another reception report to your station for your broadcast in English on 6th February 2017 on 7280khz. I really enjoyed listening to your English language service today. It was fascinating and I really enjoyed the shows. I loved the music segment towards the end and especially the segment about the worship ceremony. I’d love to learn more about your country’s traditions.” Jordan used an Icom IC-R70 Communications Receiver and a Wellbrook ALA1530LN Active Loop and rated SINPO at 55455.

Wednesday February 8, 2017 - ảnh 4
A procession of Saint Giong's iron horse

A: Ratan Kumar Paul of India wrote: “Wishing all the VOV staff a happy Lunar New Year. Hope you enjoy the New Year festival. I’ve enjoyed your programs since 2001.” Eddy Prabowo of Indonesia said he listened to VOV on January 28 on 7315 khz. He rated SINPO at 44544 using webSDR in New Jersey, USA, and monitored in Jakarta, Indonesia, using a Xiaomi Redmi2 android smartphone.

B: Many of our listeners have listened to us on smartphone instead of a traditional receiver and have had good audio quality: “Strong signal strength with some atmospheric splatters. Minor fading found.” It was a New Year program and Eddy listened to stories about Hanoi celebrating New Year 1947, the New Year’s Eve of a typical Vietnamese family, and spring in Dong Cuong flower village in Thanh Hoa province.

A: Other listeners said the stories of Tet’s past and present were interesting. The wee-long Tet holiday is over now, but Spring Festival will go on for months. After Tet festivals are held in every region of the country, from the mountains to the cities, until the end of April. Spring festival is a time for people to worship, commemorate the merits of national heroes and ancestors, and relax after a year of hard work. Festivals are venues for people to enjoy the peace and beauty of spring.

B: Each region has its own distinctive festivals, reflecting local culture and customs. Vietnam’s northern region has the most diverse festivals. The Co Loa Festival is unique for its archery competition. The Do Son Festival is famous nationwide for its buffalo fighting competition. The Lim Festival echoes with Quan Ho love-duets. Other great festivals are the Huong Pagoda Festival, the Hung Kings’ Temple Festival, the Saint Giong Festival, and the Yen Tu Festival. 

A: The most important and sacred festival is the Hung Kings’ Temple Festival, also called the ancestor’s death anniversary. It’s recognized as a national holiday and people get a day off from work. The main festival day is the 10th day of the third lunar at the Hung Kings’ Temple in Phu Tho province, but people begin making pilgrimages to the Hung Kings’ Temple from the beginning of the new Lunar Year. The festival is dedicated to the Hung Kings, the founder of the Vietnamese nation.

B: The Huong (Perfume) Pagoda Festival, the largest festival in northern Vietnam, continues for 3 months after Tet. The Huong Pagoda complex has 18 pagodas, shrines, and natural caves, which were developed between the 18th and 19th centuries and are scattered amid some striking mountain scenery.

A: The Huong Pagoda Festival draws thousands of pilgrims with its sacred Buddhist shrines and heavenly  scenery. Since the construction of a cable car network, more people have visited Huong pagoda as it helps shorten the way from the foot of the mountain to the main cave on top.

B: Time is running out for VOV’s program. We welcome your feedback at English Section, VOVworld, Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Our email address is Thank you for listening to VOV on shortwave and for visiting our website. Goodbye. Until next time.