Wednesday, December 1, 2015

Hello and welcome to VOV’s Letter Box, our weekly feature dedicated to our listeners throughout the world.

A: This week, we received a lot of good news from our listeners around the world. Kachan Chaterjee from "VOV NATUN RADIO LISTENERS CLUB" wrote: “I have received my certificate of merit and souvenirs from VOV for my participation in the contest “What do you know about Vietnam?”. It was a real surprise. Thank you, VOV English section, for this beautiful and valuable gift. I’m a regular listener to VOV on the internet. Live streaming on internet radio is excellent. I was impressed by your different programs. They are very interesting and informative”

Wednesday, December 1, 2015 - ảnh 1
Hanoi in winter- Photo: internet

B: Grant Skinner of the UK wrote: “I have the pleasure of submitting a reception report after listening to your radio broadcast of November 7 on 5955 frequency at 18:05 UTC with extendable rod which gave a SINPO at all 5s. Sorry I failed to mention that I have received with thanks a certificate of participating in the contest “What do you know about Vietnam?”, which came a day before the gift came”.

A: In an email with a photo attached of him with a lot of reindeer, Lars Wieden of Sweden wrote: “It was with great pleasure that I listened to Voice of Vietnam operating on 9730 on November 14 from 20:30 to 20:55 UTC. The reception was good despite the long distance between Vietnam and Sweden”.

B: Rating SINPO at all 4s, Mr. Lars wrote: “I live in the city of Gothenburg but unfortunately reception on shortwave is not the best. Therefore, some friends and I went outside the city, far away from local interference. There it’s much better to tune to radio stations on shortwave and also medium wave. We had a fine time despite a temperature of 6 degrees Celsius”.

A: Thank you all very much for tuning in to our broadcasts. We appreciate your reports and your efforts to listen to our program. We are sending you QSL cards to confirm your reports and the souvenirs that you requested.

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Betrothal presents at Vietnamese wedding

B: SB Sharma of India wrote: “Marriage is a common ritual of every human society. Every society has its own rules and regulations for weddings. Every woman has certain signs to identify whether she is married or not. In India, women fill their head with red color to show they are married”.

A: SB Sharma says he is eager to hear about Vietnamese wedding rituals and signs to identify married women in Vietnam.

B: The traditional Vietnamese wedding is one of the most important ceremonies in Vietnamese culture with influences from Confucian and Buddhist ideologies. It is a significant day not only for the couple involved but also for their entire families. So, it usually includes quite a few formal ritual observances.

A: Getting married involves various steps and procedures, which vary between different ethnic groups, but in general, there are two main ceremonies: the engagement and the wedding ceremony.

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B: Normally, the bride and groom or their parents go to a fortuneteller to find out what date and time is best for their wedding. They strongly believe in this date and time so the groom's family and relatives must come to the wedding on time. Some days before the wedding, they visit the bride and her family with round lacquered boxes containing betrothal presents which consist of areca nuts and betel leaves, tea, cake, fruits, wines and other delicacies covered with a red cloth and carried by unmarried young people.

A: On the wedding day, the groom's family and relatives return to the bride's house. The women dress in traditional long dresses. Men wear suites or a a traditional gown. The procession is usually led by the wealthiest, most successful couple in the groom’s family to symbolize their hopes and wishes for the future life of the new couple.

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B: The groom's family stop in front of the bride's house to allow the leading couple to enter the house first with a tray with wine. They invite the bride's parents to take a sip. By accepting the toast, the bride's family agrees to let the groom’s family enter their house.

A: The groom's family introduce themselves and ask permission for their son to marry his bride. The master of the ceremony (usually a respected person among the bride's relatives) instructs the bride's parents to present their daughter. The bride in her wedding gown then follows her parents out, followed by her bride maids. The couple pray before the altar and ask their ancestors to bless their marriage, then express their gratitude to their parents for raising and protecting them.

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B: Then, they bow their head to each other to show their gratitude and respect toward their soon-to-be husband or wife. The master of ceremony gives the wedding couple some advice on starting a new family. The parents take turns sharing their own experience and give their blessing. After that, the groom and the bride exchange wedding rings and receive gifts from their parents, such as gold bracelets, ear rings, necklaces or other jewelry. The ceremony ends with a round of enthusiastic applause. 

B: When the wedding ceremony is over, there is a party at the groom's house or in a restaurant. This day is the culmination of many wishes, day dreams, hopes and anxieties. There is a band to play music during the meal. Guests are free to take the stage and sing a song to wish luck to the bride and groom while the guests eat and drink, the couple goes around each table to receive good wishes, congratulations, and money.

B: In Vietnam, there’s no typical sign to identify a married woman except for her wedding ring, if she decides to keep wearing it after the wedding. There might be certain signs to identify married women among some of Vietnam’s ethnic minority groups but not among the majority Kinh group.

A: That’s our brief on the traditions and customs of Vietnamese weddings. Next is an email from Soumya Bhattacharya of India. Sending reports on our broadcasts on November 7 and 17 on the frequency of 7280 and 9730 khz from 1900 to 2000, he wrote: “I hope you are still enjoying autumn in Vietnam or maybe it is late autumn now and the weather is turning cooler”. I have noted several interesting photos on the VOVworld website and radio programs describing the beauty of autumn in Vietnam. They are all beautiful and very interesting as well”.

B: Thank you Soumya Bhattacharya. Yes, the weather is getting cooler these days in Vietnam, especially in the north because now we are in early winter. It’s going to be very cold this weekend. Daily temperatures are in a range of 14 to 24 degrees Celsius. In the south, there are scattered showers these days with temperatures between 22 and 32 DC.

A: It is now the rainy season in Indonesia, Tjang Pak Ning told us in his email this week. Reporting on a VOV program on November 21st on 9840 khz from 1000 to 1027 UTC, Tjang Pak Ning said he enjoyed our music show. Deekay Dimple wrote: “I listened to your “Colorful Vietnam- Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups” program. I very much enjoyed listening to the program. In this program you talked about San chi people and their customs. I came to know a lot more about San Chi people”.

B: Thank you for your reports. We also would like to acknowledge letters and emails from Sri Debaki Ranjan Biswas of India, Cody Quimby and Richard Nowak of the US, Well Wisher of Pakistan, and Toshiya Nishimura of Japan. We’ll confirm your reports with QSL cards and the souvenirs you requested as soon as we can.  

A: We welcome your feedback at: English section, Overseas Service, Radio Voice of Vietnam, 45 Ba Trieu Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Or you can email us at: You’re invited to visit us online at, where you can hear both live and recorded programs. Good bye until next time.





thanks for full coverage on Vietnamese wedding tradition. Nice report. Thanks for your kind attention on this topic. you are always answering listeners... More