Wednesday May 14, 2014

(VOVworld) - We are very glad to be back on the Letter Box segment after two weeks of absence. The previous two Wednesdays we presented special programs dedicated to the anniversary of the southern liberation (April 30, 1975) and the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory (May 7, 1954).

B: Let’s begin with two listeners’ requests to be recruited as VOV shortwave observers. Professor Ashraful Islam of Bangladesh wrote: “I’m a Dx’er and regular listener to most of the shortwave radio stations and online radio programs in English. I started listening to shortwave in 1976 when I was a 14-year-old high school student. Now I’m almost 52. I would like to dedicate myself as a technical or program monitor of VOV’s English program.”

A: Another Bangladeshi listener, Rajib Kumar Mondal, a member of the Shawon DX corner, wrote: “I want to monitor your program from Bangladesh. I’ve already opened a VOV Post Box in Natore district, Bangladesh.”

B: Thank you very much for your interest in our program and your offer to be monitors for our station. VOV has not established an overseas observer network. We only collect listeners’ feedback on our programs. We’ll ask our management to consider your proposals. In the meantime, we hope you will continue to listen to our programs and send us your useful professional feedback.

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Nha Trang beach offers various fantastic summer games

A: We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on our series of stories about the Dien Bien Phu campaign and ultimate victory on May 7, 1954. Bhaikan of India said: “I really appreciate your fantastic program. On the “Discovery Vietnam” segment, I heard about the battle on A1 Hill during the 1954 Dien Bien Phu campaign against the French colonialists. I found today’s program very educational and exciting.”

B: Pak Ning Tjang of Indonesia sent a reception report for our program on May 7 featuring the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory. There was a review of the three-stage battle in which the French colonialists were defeated and reports on a celebration in Dien Bien Phu city. Pak said: “From your program, I learned a little bit about how the Vietnamese people and army defeated the French troops after 9 years of resistance war.”

A: American listener Jeffrey Erwin told us: “This outstanding victory over colonialist forces should have rightfully led to the surrender and dissolution of the puppet army of the French financed by the US. But US manipulation allowed them to move to the south of Vietnam and thereby establish a puppet government, again financed by the US. Subsequently unlawful interference by the US in Vietnam’s internal affairs caused the deaths of over 3 million people. This crime is still being whitewashed here in the US. I served with the US forces in Vietnam for two years. I regret that I did not have the courage to surrender to the Vietnam People’s Army when I had the opportunity to do so. I apologize to Vietnam for my actions.”    

B: Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and point of view with VOV and other listeners worldwide. The war ended year 40 years ago and Vietnam has set the past aside to head to the future. Our celebration of historical events aims to broaden the younger generation’s knowledge and reinforce their patriotism.

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Ede ethnic people from the Central Highlands perform at the Cultural and Tourism Village of Vietnam's Ethnic Minority Groups

A: In addition to providing feedback on our historical stories, many listeners said they were interested in our cultural features. Sharma of the SBS World Listener Club in India liked our story about the Cultural and Tourism Village of Vietnam’s Ethnic Minority Groups, which is about 30km from Hanoi. The Sunday show on May 4 attracted listeners to a story about the Dao ethnic group and activities to preserve its cultue. Par Ning Tjang of Indonesia said he liked the songs in the program very much, although he didn’t understand the lyrics. Par agreed that it’s important to preserve and respect ethnic cultures, especially songs so they can be heard later by their descendants.

B: Fumito Hokamura of Japan still writes to us on a weekly basis. He tells us about his hobbies and the lifestyles of Japanese people. We are only in the beginning of the Hanoi summer but the heat has already reached the unbearable temperature of 40 DC in some places. The heat should reach its peak in July and then gradually ease until autumn arrives in September.

A: Fumito said he often spends 5 hours in bed and sometimes longer because he has had an illness since he was young. Fumito says his dream is to visit Hanoi one day.

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The Sword Lake in summer

B: You’re welcome to visit Vietnam, Fumito. When you have a plan, let us know. We’ll welcome you to our station in Hanoi. Until then, please keep listening to our program to learn about tourist attractions you may want to visit. Now here’s some information about the Vietnamese Dan Tranh – a sixteen-string zither – in response to a question from Ratan Kumar Paul of India. The Dan Tranh resembles a bamboo tube that has been sliced vertically in half.

A: It is played most often by female musicians. When played, the instrument is placed in front of the musician, who uses her right hand to finger the notes and all vibrato, while plucking the strings with her left hand. The 16-string zither has a rectangular sounding box about 110 centimeters long. The sides are made of hard wood decorated with various designs, either lacquered or inlaid with mother-of-pearl. The bottom is made of light wood with sound holes. The broader end of the sound box is pierced with 16 holes and reinforced with a metal band.

Wednesday May 14, 2014 - ảnh 4

B: The Dan Tranh originated in the ancient capital city of Hue, where women played it in the royal court orchestra. The instrument is still considered a symbol of the city. The Dan tranh is played unaccompanied, or accompanied by a singer, or as part of an orchestra.

A: That’s a brief introduction to the Vietnamese Dan Tranh, a member of zither family, which also includes the Chinese zheng, the Japanese koto, and the Korean Ajaeng & Komungo. Time is running out on the Letter Box. We’ll confirm your reports with QSL cards and the gifts you requested: stamp, pictures of Vietnam’s scenic spots, Vietnamese maps, and pictures of President Ho Chi Minh.

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.