Wednesday January 4, 2012

Letter box: Wednesday January 4, 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: New Year’s greeting cards have been pouring into our office this week. Listeners’ sincere wishes and beautiful postcards are making our office more colorful and joyful in these gloomy winter days, the final days of the 2011 lunar year. 

B: Otto Schwartz of the US writes to us: “As the year 2011 is nearing its end, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your informative, interesting and entertaining programs throughout the year. I sincerely hope that you will continue your shortwave radio broadcasts for many more years to come. Of course, I’ll continue to tune in to your broadcasts to keep in touch with events and developments in Vietnam, a country that has a special place in my heart due to our country’s long involvement in the war and now in its ever-broadening and growing bilateral relationship.”

A: Thank you Mr. Schwartz for your kind wishes. We assure you and other shortwave hobbyists that our station will keep on running shortwave broadcasts. Besides continuously revising our program content, we’ll offer additional services for our Dx’ers so your listening time will be more enjoyable and convenient. Another American listener Robert Krolikowski sent us a Christmas and New Year Greeting saying: “Christmas was indeed celebrated differently around the world. How was it in your country? May you experience a Happy and Prosperous New Year.”

B: Although Vietnam is a predominantly Buddhist country, Christmas is one of our main annual festivals along with the Lunar New Year Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and the Buddha’s Birthday. In recent years, Christmas has become a popular and delightful festival for fun-loving and sociable young Vietnamese. Christians celebrate the event with the usual traditions such as decorating their houses with evergreen trees, and sparkling crystal balls and stars, preparing Christmas dishes, and going to church. Catholic churches erect a nativity scene with nearly life-size statues of Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, the shepherds, and the animals. People living in Catholic parishes install nativity scenes in front of their houses and decorate the whole street with Christmas lights.

A: Even non-religious people, especially the young, like to go to the city centre and areas around a Catholic Cathedral to take pictures and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. The European customs of Santa Claus and a Christmas tree are popular and children are keen on having a stocking stuffed with goodies from Santa’s sack. This year, the Hanoi Children’s Palace in downtown Hanoi offered kids a chance to see snow fall, hear music performances, and receive presents from Santa Claus. The West Lake Water Park played host to special Christmas program.

B: People in Ho Chi Minh city, Da Nang, and Hoi An enjoyed similar festivities. Crowds choked the area around Notre Dame Cathedral in HCM city to take photos in front of a grotto model.  

A: In Vietnam, we don’t get a Christmas vacation. We work normally on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We have only one day off on the first day of the solar New Year. Vietnamese people celebrate the Lunar New Year festival or Tet, which is coming in a couple of weeks. It’s the most important and popular festival in our country. This year, we’ll have 9 days off work. There are a lot of customs associated with Tết, like visiting a relative’s house on the first day of the New Year, ancestor worshipping, exchanging New Year's greetings, giving lucky money to children and elderly people, and opening a new business.

A: Tết is also an occasion for pilgrims and family reunions. On the festive days, we visit relatives and temples, forgetting about the troubles of the past year and praying for a better year to come. That’s a brief description of Christmas and New Year in Vietnam. From now until the Lunar New Year Festival, we will cover the events leading up to Tet. Larry Harrison of the US reported listening to a VOV broadcast from Sackville, New Brunswick in Canada. He tuned in to our program on December 14th from 03:30 to 03:58 UTC on a frequency of 6175 khz. He remarked the signal strength began to wane by the end of the broadcast with SINPO rating at 34323.

B: Mr. Harrison said he would like to hear more about Vietnamese people. He enjoyed our program and the Vietnamese songs and wanted to hear more music. If you’re interested in Vietnamese music, we suggested you tune in to our Saturday program to hear the Weekend Music segment. We reserve nearly half of our program for popular Vietnamese artists, song writers and songs. You can also check out our newly launched website to watch music videos at We’re forward to receiving your feedback soon.

A: From Finland, Rodney Soderlund shared the same interest as you, Mr. Harrison. He said the songs on VOV’s English program were beautiful although he can’t understand Vietnamese. Using a TRIO 9R-59DS receiver and a 280-foot long wire, 80 feet above the ground and running East to West, the 68-year-old Dx’er had a pleasant time listening to our broadcast on December 10th on 5955 khz. SIO ratings were 434. Mr. Soderlund has been Dx’ing since 1965. He is a former teacher of mathematics, physics and chemistry.

B: Letters from listeners in Bangladesh have always constituted a majority of our mail bag. Rana Dewan Rafiqul, President of the Friends Radio Club emailed us to say: “All the segments of your webpage and radio broadcast are very attractive, educative and interesting. We came to know the actual news of your country and the world. News and Current Affairs with analyses and reports are very informative. On your webpage, reports with pictures are so good. Thank you so much for your good and effective job.”

A: We’re grateful for your interest in our station Rana Dewan Rafiqul. Your passion for shortwave broadcasts and our station and your prompt feedback have inspired us to work even harder. We’re also pleased to know that the signal quality on 9550 khz is good at your location with SINPO rating all 4s. Last but not least in our Letter Box this week, we acknowledge constructive feedback from Bangladeshi listeners Bablor Rashid of the DW Fan Club in Naogaon, Sahadot Hossain, a lecturer of geography at Sunamganj Government Women’s College, and Taslim Uddin Rocket, Secretary of the Friends Radio Club.

B: We also appreciate reception reports from Indian listeners Jaisakthivel, associate professor of the Department of Communication, MS University, and Muhammad Shahim of Keralam State. Time is running out on VOV’s Letter Box. We’re hoping for more feedback in the year to come at our address:  English section, Overseas Service, VOV, 45 Ba Trieu street, Hanoi, VN. Our email address is: We’re Nhat Quynh & KC. See you again next Wednesday at the same time, same frequency. bb