Wednesday January 8, 2019

(VOVWORLD) - On the first edition of the Letter Box in 2020, we’d like to wish all of you a year full of happiness. We’re very glad to have received New Year’s greetings from listeners around the world.

B: Craig Jordan of the US said: “I am confused about New Year celebrations in Vietnam.  Was there a New Year celebration on January 1 and an upcoming celebration on January 25 (Tet Holiday)? Does Vietnam celebrate New Year on two separate dates every year?”

A: Yes. We celebrate the New Year on both the solar and the lunar calendar. Some other Asian countries like China and Japan also celebrate the solar and lunar new year.

B: We call the solar New Year celebration Western Tet. The lunar New Year celebration is Vietnamese Tet.

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A: We take only one day off for Western Tet on January 1st, but several days of for Vietnamese Tet. Tet 2020 will begin Thursday, January 23, which is the 29th day of the last lunar month of the Year of the Pig, and will end Wednesday, January 29, which is the fifth day of the first lunar month of the Year of the Rat.

B: What do we do to celebrate Western Tet and Vietnamese Tet? Both occasions generate a festive atmophere. New Year's Eve countdown ceremonies are held at public venues in every city and province.

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A: A countdown party called “Tiger Remix 2020 – Waking the Spring” was held this year in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang. Well-known singers, dancers and DJs put on lavish shows supported by extravagant sound and lighting systems.

B: Families have parties, and friends and colleagues also have parties, to say farewell to the old year and welcome the new year.

A: The Vietnamese Tet begins with a worship of the Kitchen Gods on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month. This day marks the beginning of the Spring Festival. Vietnamese people believe that each family has 2 Kitchen Gods and a Kitchen Goddess, who reside in the kitchen to protect and oversee the family.

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A: People believe that at the end of each year the Kitchen Gods ascend to heaven to report to the Jade Emperor what the family has done during the year, both the good deeds and the bad deeds. The Jade Emperor will judge by this report whether the family should be punished or rewarded in the coming year.

B: What the Kitchen Gods report to the Jade Emperor is directly connected with the family’s future fate, so they give offerings to please the gods, hoping they will put in a good word for them.

A: After this day, people begin preparing in earnest for Tet. They try to complete unfinished tasks, decorate their house, buy new clothes for the holiday, and begin to assemble gifts and items for a Tet feast.

Wednesday January 8, 2019 - ảnh 4 A tray of food offers to the Kitchen gods before Tet.

B: Lunar New Year’s Eve is a sacred time, observed with solemn rituals at home. It’s a time of family unity. Countdown parties are held later at public places with live performances and firework displays which are broadcast live on mass media.

A: During Tet administrative agencies, businesses, schools, and factories are closed for at least 3 days. Most restaurants and shops are closed. But this doesn’t mean that the city sleeps during Tet. People go out to visit their relatives and friends. There are plenty of outdoor activities at entertainment centers and tourism sites.

Wednesday January 8, 2019 - ảnh 5 Peach blossoms are a symbol of Vietnamese Tet.

B: We’ll say a lot more about Vietnamese Tet in our pre-Tet programs. Right now, let’s continue to read letters and emails from listeners. Mr. Anand Mohan Bain, President of the Pariwer Bandhu SWL Club in India, wished the VOV staff and other listeners a happy and prosperous new year. He said radio is an important tool for learning about world affairs.

A: Thank you very much for your support for radio. We hope to receive regular feedback from you and your club members.

B: Amir Jameel of Pakistan has been listening to and writing to VOV’s English program for more than 30 years. He is an active advocate of VOV in Pakistan.

A: Amir told us that his Shortwave Listeners’ Club is going to arrange an exhibition to promote of VOV’s English Service on the eve of World Radio Day on February 13th . The exhibition will be held on February 13th and again on June 22nd , on eve of the Club’s anniversary.

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B: Thank you very much, Amir. We’ll send you some materials to contribute to support your exhibition. Another listener in Pakistan, Mubashir Hussain Asher, President of the PAK Listeners’ Club, said VOV’s programs give them new information about Vietnamese life and society. He wrote: “We  would like to congratulate you on the success of your website, which is fantastic. It is up-to-date, colorful, and interesting to read. It has a great choice of programs to listen to on line whenever we want.”

A: Mubashir Hussain Asher told us that his club will organize a program to introduce VOV to new listeners and students from May 10th to 16th. There will be radio activities and an exhibition showcasing postage stamps, postcards, and souvenirs received from different radio services.

B: That’s an interesting radio event. We’ll send you some materials for your exhibition. We’re looking forward to receiving photos of the events.

A: Andreas Muecklich of Germany emailed us to say: “I wish you a Happy New Year, filled with health, luck, and joy for you and your families. I am hoping it will be a good and peaceful year for all people around the world. The last few years were very stressful for me, so I am hoping 2020 will be a better year than the last few years.”

B: Thank you for your wishes, Andreas. May this year bring new happiness, new goals, new achievements and a lot of new inspirations in your life. Regarding your report that shortwave reception of Vietnam is very poor in Berlin and the signal of VOV’s English service in Europe is too weak, we’ve informed our technicians. We hope things will improve very soon.

A: I’m reading an email from Mika Makelainen of Finland. She told us: “I have heard your signal on many AM frequencies here in Finland. First a bit about myself. I'm 54 years old, married and I have two sons. I work as a foreign news journalist for the Finnish Broadcasting Company, reporting both on radio and TV.”

B: Mika told us that it really wasn't an everyday event, but rather a combination of luck, experience, and effort to listen to shortwave. “For the past 40 years DXing, trying to catch far-away radio stations, has been my number one hobby. I have gotten and received confirmation of reception from stations in over 200 countries and territories. My equipment consists of a "Perseus" type communications receiver and an array of 3,000-feet long wire antennas, one of which is pointing in your direction.”

A: It’s interesting to read Mika’s story. “Conditions for AM listening are ideal up in Finland's northern Lapland region, far above the Arctic Circle, because there is ample space for long antennas, and hardly any man-made electrical noise or interference. The weather outside can be extremely cold, but I am happy to stay inside a tiny cabin, listening to AM radio signals from around the world. I do this for one or two weeks every winter.”

B: It’s always lovely to hear about the DXing passion of our listners. We’ve listened to the MP3 recordings you sent us, Mika. They are programs of the Voice of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City’s Radio and Television Station broadcasting on FM and AM frequencies. It’s amazing that you can catch our signal from such a long distance.

A: Mika, we’ll send you the frequency list and program guide to VOV’s English programs together with some materials to thank you for tuning in to VOV and writing to us.

 B: Thank you all for your reports and feedback. We’ll send you QSL cards to confirm. We welcome your feedback at: English Service, VOVworld, 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 at vovworld.vn, where you can hear both live and recorded programs.

A: Check out our VOV Media App, available on both the IOS and Android platform to hear our live broadcasts. We look forward to your feedback on the mobile version of vovworld.vn. Once again, thank you all for listening. Goodbye until next time. 

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