Wednesday October 25, 2017

(VOVWORLD) - Hello and welcome to VOV’s Letter Box, a weekly feature dedicated to our listeners around the world.

A: First on our show today, we’d like to welcome back Mr. Yoshikazu Suzuki of Japan, a long time, loyal listener to VOV. He has been listening to VOV since 1963. This week, he sent us a copy of his first verification card dated December 14, 1963 verifying his reception of a VOV broadcast at 10:00 GMT on 15105 khz.

Wednesday October 25, 2017 - ảnh 1

B: Thank you, Mr. Suzuki, for listening to VOV for such a long time. We greatly appreciate it. At that time, Vietnam was the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. In the more than 50 years that have passed, many things have changed. Our country is now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Radio the Voice of Vietnam is more than 72 years old. But still, we engage with our listeners around the world through our mailbag which is now the Letter Box segment. We’ll send you a QSL card to confirm your reception report for the program on October 10 from 13:30 to 13:58 on the frequency of 9840 khz. We’re so sorry for the weak and noisy signal. We’ll ask our technicians to inspect and fix it. We look forward to hearing more from you.

A: This week, Shivendu Paul of India told us about Durga Ouja, also called Durgotsava, an annual Hindu festival in India to worship the goddess Durga. He wrote: “The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin, typically September and October of the Gregorian calendar. A multi-day festival features elaborate temple and stage decorations, scripture recitation, performance arts, revelry, and processions.”

B: Thank you, Mr. Paul, for sharing your story. We find it very interesting. India is a multi-ethnic country with a lot of festivals, rituals, customs, and ceremonies. We are interested in learning more about Indian traditions and culture. As for Vietnamese festivals at this time of the year, we can mention some.

Wednesday October 25, 2017 - ảnh 2Keo pagoda festival (Photo: internet)

A: In the north, the Keo Pagoda festival is held annually for three days, from the 13th to the 15th of the 9th lunar month, falling on November 1st to 3rd this year, to worship the Buddhist teacher Duong Khong Lo. He died on the 3rd day of the sixth lunar month. The festival of Keo Pagoda starts on the 13th of the 9th lunar month, 100 days after his death. The 14th day of the 9th lunar month is his birthday. The festival lasts one more day until the 15th because that day in the middle of the lunar month is traditionally marked by Buddhists.

B: On the 13th, the festival begins with a procession to remind people of the anniversary of Duong Khong Lo. Then a boat race and a competition of literary recitation are held in the afternoon. When night falls, it is time for a trumpet and drum competition.

Wednesday October 25, 2017 - ảnh 3 Keo pagoda festival (Photo: internet)

A: On the morning of the 14th, Khong Lo's birthday is celebrated. It involves a procession in which horses pull a carriage. The carriage is accompanied by eight flag bearers and 42 men carrying classical Vietnamese weapons. In the afternoon of the 14th people hold a worshipping ceremony. On the 15th, the festival continues in a more relaxed manner with traditional games like duck catching, a rice cooking competition, and a firecrackers throwing contest.

B: In southern Vietnam, the Khmer minority celebrate the Oc Om Boc Festival, a religious service to worship the moon on the 14th and 15th day of the 10th lunar month, falling on December 1st and 2nd this year. At this religious festival, people thank the moon god who brings good crops, provides abundant fish in the rivers, and maintains the health of human beings.

Wednesday October 25, 2017 - ảnh 4Oc Om Boc Festival of the Khmer people (Photo: internet)

A: During the night of the full moon, when the moon appears, people prepare a feast in the front yard of the pagoda or in their houses. A plate of green rice flakes, ripe bananas, fresh coconuts, mangoes and other dishes are served to the moon god.

B: After the ceremony, the elders ask the children of the house to sit on the ground with crossed legs, clasping their hands. The elders then take a handful of green rice flakes and feed all of the children at the same time. People also release paper lanterns into the sky and boats made of banana wood, decorated with colorful lights and loaded with offerings into the canal and river accompanied by the sound of music.

A: The custom of releasing flying lights and floating ferries is believed to sweep away the darkness and humidity of the rainy season. On the morning following the full moon, the Ngo or Boat Race is held. This is considered a great cultural event, drawing hundreds participants and thousands of spectators. In Khmer language, the Ngo Boat is called "Tuk Ngo". This boat is a pirogue, chiseled from a trunk of solid wood into a lozenge shape. It has a curved head and tail and needs skillful sailors to race it without capsizing.

Wednesday October 25, 2017 - ảnh 5Boat race during the festival (Photo: internet)

B: The race takes place in a very professional manner, with thousands of spectators ranged along a course that stretches for kilometers. The boat master, standing in the middle of the boat, encourages his teammates with a light gong. When the first boat reaches the finish line, the crowd erupts in shouting. They believe that they have just completed their responsibility to the moon god.

A: Next in today’s Letter Box segment, we’d like to welcome Mr. Michael Daniel of Australia to VOV. In his first letter to VOV, he wrote: “I have been listening to Voice of Vietnam broadcasts the last few evenings on shortwave radio, frequency 9840 whilst holidaying in Perth, Western Australia, between 1330 UTC and 1400UTC. This is the first time I have ever listened to Voice of Vietnam. The programs have been very interesting.”

B: Thank you, Daniel, for tuning in to VOV. Our program is also available on the internet at vovworld.vn and via our mobile phone apps. We’ll send you a QSL card to confirm your report for the program on September 27 from 1345 to 1400 UTC as well as our frequency list and program schedule. We look forward to more feedback from you.

A: In a letter to VOV this week, Otto Schwartz of the US wrote:
“As more and more shortwave broadcasts are being put on the internet, my shortwave radio listening hobby is fading away. I used to listen to and correspond with over a hundred stations. Now, it’s down to a handful, with just about all of them from Asia like CRI, NHK, KBS, and once again VOV.”

B: It’s obviously a trend to move shortwave broadcasts onto the internet but VOV still maintains its shortwave broadcasts in English and other languages to give listeners worldwide an additional channel through which to learn about Vietnam, its land and people. Our broadcasts are also available on the internet at vovworld.vn and mobile apps. So you can hear us anytime and anywhere. We hope to receive more comments from you.

A: Thank you for sending us stamps of a total solar eclipse in the US on August 21st and newspaper about Vietnamese people living in North and South Carolina. They contain very interesting information about overseas Vietnamese people in the US. We’d like to express our sympathy for the damage caused by hurricane Matthew in October.

B:: We’d like to acknowledge letters and emails from Peter Ng of Malaysia, Richard Nowak and Kevin McCartney of the US, Muralidhar, Bhaikan Hazarika and Muhammad Shamim of India,and Richard Lemke of Canada. We greatly appreciate your feedback and comments on the technical aspects of our programming. We’ll confirm your reports with QSL cards soon.

A: We welcome your feedback at: English section, Overseas Service, Radio the Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at:englishsection@vov.org.vn. You’re invited to visit us online atvovworld.vn, where you can hear both live and recorded programs. Check out our VOV Media App available on both IOS and Android platforms to hear our live broadcasts. We look forward to your feedback on the mobile version of vovworld.vn. Once again, thank you. Good bye until next time.

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