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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Nguyen Nhat Anh meets with literary friends in Bangkok

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:46 am

During my days in Thailand, people call me by my nickname “The last one.” In international practice, the order of representative delegations is classified according to the first letters of their countries’ names.

Vietnamese writer ‘Nguyen Nhat Anh’ at the ceremony of the S.E.A Writer’s Award in Bangkok November 14 2010.

When watching the Olympic Games or any other international sports festivals on TV, it was normal to see the Vietnam name appear in the final leg of the competition list, just before Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Wales.


However, this time I felt anxious to be in the final reading poems and speaking in a seminar while I was in Bangkok for the S.E.A Write Award, established to honor leading poets and writers in the Southeast Asian region.


On the day exchanging with Thailand people on the 30th floor of Bangkok Bank, poets and writers from Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines went first. After a half an hour, I felt relieve to find that everyone had stayed for the remaining statements from the poets from Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.


Realizing my anxiety, Panadda Lertlumamphai, who chaired the seminar, explained the order was arranged in alphabetly.  “No problem,” I smiled, saying that in Vietnam, most important things usually come last. My explanation made Ms. Panadda and audiences burst out laughing.


Close friends


During my time in Bangkok, I met a close friend named Marjorie Evasco. This Philippine poet and I, joked most of the time. He quoted to me verses of poetry, which sounded lyrical, and praising womanhood.


Even before we begin, the sound of wind/ From the old temple of Ulun Danu quivers/ On the tips of our fingers and in our toes/ The dancer, Ni K’tut Reneng, knows it takes/ Ten sacred years to learn one gesture/ Of the wind’s caress on the skin of water.”


Marjorie slimed at me for my interest in her poetry and invited me to a book festival in her native country, the Philippines.


Another close friend, a Singaporean poet named Johar Bin Buang. When knowing that I was born in 1955, was beside himself with joy saying “You and me are at the same age.”  However, that night at the hotel room, I discovered in a summary record that he was actually born in 1958 and not 1955.


Johan Bin Buang’s poems are submerged with ‘religious inspiration’. I especially like the verse: “While asleep, we walk on the milky way, clutching twinkling stars and surveying the columns of light…” In addition, the verse, “I want to play the flute even in those distant lands,”


I like to smoke cigarettes. The only other person that smoked was the Thailand poet Zakariya Amataya. On the first day in Bangkok, I did not know where the cigarette shop was located, so whenever Zakariya went out of the meeting room, I immediately followed. Zakariya and I smoked outside the meeting room. He would ask me about my writing and expressed his admiration about my first book, which was published in 1984.


Zakariya, one of Thailand poets of from the renovation period, was born in 1975. There was many opinions and discussion around the decision to give him the S.E.A Writer’s Award. Some of the debates said his poetry broke from the ‘old order’, while other’s stated that it was too ‘irritating’.


To me, his poems were strange, quarrelsome and daring. Some of my favorite poems are: “A Quarrel with Silence, Can’t See the Sun, Teardrops of Time, The Physics of Truth, Five-legged Chair, In What Color shall I Record the Words of Sadness?, A Song neither Coming nor Going…”.


In the poem “There must be something” displayed new and fresh ideas “There must have been some errors/ between the cleavages of the human race/ that was lost in the Flood/ something that was not stowed on Noah’s ark/ something that the Old Testament did not record/ something that Nostradamus did not foresee… There must be some misunderstanding on this earth/ that has been lost from the database of the global population/ something that Plato did not anticipate/ something that Nietzsche did not mention/ something that Einstein did not calculate/ something that has been lost…”


Dream

I came to Bangkok knowing nothing about literature of neighboring countries. However, now we have translated and introduced a host of literary works from all over the world, including Europe, the US, China and Japan. Literature is a wonderful means in exploring the aspects of both country and people. Since a little boy, I have liked France and the US thanks to the writers of Victor Hugo and Mark Twain. In the same way, Gogol and Puskin make me love Russia.


Vietnam has many things in common with other Southeast Asian Countries, especially in religious and cultural fields. Therefore, we need to further develop collaboration and growth between all countries.


The literary exchange among ASEAN countries is the beginning in this development and a way of ensuring more understanding and hope. I have dreamt about a Southeast Asian literary magazine, which will gather ASEAN writers and poets’ together, once a year, in order to encourage each country’s language development and growth.

Source: SGGP

Facebook face recognition finds friends in photos

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:43 am

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 15, 2010 (AFP) – Facebook is using facial recognition software to let US users automatically identify friends in photos at the world’s leading online social network.


A “tag suggestion” feature crafted to identify people in uploaded pictures should be rolled out to all US users in the next few weeks, Facebook engineer Justin Mitchell said late Wednesday in a blog post.

AFP file – Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a press conference at the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California on May 26, 2010.

“Now if you upload pictures from your cousin’s wedding, we’ll group together pictures of the bride and suggest her name,” Mitchell said.


“Instead of typing her name 64 times, all you’ll need to do is click ‘Save’ to tag all of your cousin’s pictures at once.”


More than 100 million “tags” are added to photos at Facebook daily, according to the engineer.


When a Facebook user uploads digital pictures, newly added software matches faces to those that have been tagged, or named, in other photos, Mitchell said.


People who don’t want their names automatically suggested in photo tags can disable the feature by adjusting Facebook privacy settings, according to the engineer.

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Source: SGGP

IFRC calls on international friends help Vietnamese flood victims

In Uncategorized on October 19, 2010 at 8:09 pm




IFRC calls on international friends help Vietnamese flood victims


QĐND – Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 22:15 (GMT+7)

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on October 19 called on international friends to donate nearly US$1.8 million to help flood victims in the central region of Vietnam.


Red Cross staff and volunteers in Vietnamese provinces have made great efforts to rescue victims and deliver emergency aid to people in the hardest hit areas in Quang Binh and Ha Tinh provinces.


The Spanish Red Cross has joined with other international organisations, including OXFAM, CARE, and PACCOM in Ha Tinh to provide urgent aid in line with local people’s needs.


The Vietnam Red Cross also took part in another delegation in Quang Binh to discover what local people need immediately.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Coconut cake wins friends with its sweet nature

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm




Coconut cake wins friends with its sweet nature


QĐND – Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 22:11 (GMT+7)

Around 85 kilometers south of Ho Chi Minh City lies BenTreProvince, famous for its abundance of coconut treats like candies, jelly, and a variety of cakes.


In a small commune called Dai Dien in this Mekong Delta province, people take pride in the century-old craft of making banh dua, a simple enough cake but with the rich taste of coconut milk, black beans, and green beans.


Banh dua, which literally means “coconut cake,” was originally a source of livelihood for poor villagers a century ago in Dai Dien, which was then known as Giong Luong Commune.


The making of banh dua is a long process that requires the materials to be prepared the night before.


The secret behind a successful batch of the cakes lies in the choice of glutinous rice.


According to locals, the ideal type of glutinous rice for making banh dua is one grown in VinhLongProvince which has a nice fragrance and sticky texture.


The rice is soaked in water for four hours before it is washed and the impurities are removed. It is then put out in open air to dry.


Coconut milk, another essential ingredient for the rich fragrance of the cake, must be made from the flesh of moderately ripe coconuts.


The milk-colored liquid is then filtered to screen off impurities and mixed with rice, black bean, sugar, and salt.


The hardest part of making the cake is the wrapping which reflects the skill and the experience of the maker.


Tender nipa leaves are used to wrap the cakes. They are cut into half and each half is rolled into a tube around 10 cm long with one end open to stuff the rice and other ingredients.


One third of the tube is first filled with the rice mixture. Some green beans that are kept separately and half a banana are stuffed in next before more of the rice mixture goes in.


The cake is then fastened with a string made from the veins of nipa leaves. The process must be carried out in the shade to prevent the leaves from changing color and shrinking due to sunlight.


The cakes are tied in bunches of 12 and boiled for five hours with a small quantity of alum to preserve the color.


They must be left to cool before they are ready to be savored as a mid-day snack or breakfast.


The inexpensive banh dua has found its way to other localities like Ho Chi Minh City where it is sold by street vendors even in bustling areas like Districts 1 and 3.


Source: vietnewsonline


Source: QDND

Promoting images of gong to international friends

In Vietnam Culture on October 13, 2009 at 3:06 am




Promoting images of gong to international friends


QĐND – Saturday, October 10, 2009, 22:22 (GMT+7)

The Central Highland region is busy preparing for the 2009 International Gong Festival which will take place in Gia Lai next month. A VOV reporter interviewed Mang Dung, vice chairman of the Gia Lai provincial People’s Committee about the festival.


VOV: Can you tell us about the province’s preparations for the event?


Mr Dung: This is the first time Gia Lai will hold the International Gong Festival. Every week, the provincial authorities check the preparations. We have also launched a number of programmes to promote the event and designed tours to guide tourists.


So far the province has prepared more than 1,600 hotel rooms to accommodate visitors. If there are a lot of tourists, the province will transport them to Kon Tum by bus. The festival is expected to attract around 30,000 guests.


VOV: With a wide range of activities, isn’t this a good chance for the province to promote its image to domestic and foreign friends?


Mr Dung: That’s true. Gong culture is a bridge for countries around the world to unite through mutual understanding. The festival will help the province to promote itself. We want friends to gain a better understanding of the province’s culture in order to help the province preserve and promote our unique gong culture.


VOV: At many festivals, national culture heritages are not kept true to their origin. What will the organising board do to avoid this problem?


Mr Dung: If Vietnam wants to promote gong culture to international friends it must perform it authentically. Currently, some hamlets still exchange gongs performances. Thus, the gong stage does not lose its origin. It is simply performed in another cultural space for people to enjoy.


VOV: How does Gia Lai province preserve and develop Gong culture in the middle of modern life?


Mr Dung: We must remember that the origin of gong culture as shown by research. To serve tourism purposes, Central Highland dances should be based on their origin. Gong is the flesh and blood of Central Highlanders. The Party and State have issued policies to preserve and promote gong cultural values. Traditional culture will never fade into oblivion because it is forever the foundation for people living in the Central Highlands.


VOV: Thank you very much


Source: QDND Bookmark & Share

Promoting images of gong to international friends

In Vietnam Culture on October 11, 2009 at 4:19 am




Promoting images of gong to international friends


QĐND – Saturday, October 10, 2009, 22:22 (GMT+7)

The Central Highland region is busy preparing for the 2009 International Gong Festival which will take place in Gia Lai next month. A VOV reporter interviewed Mang Dung, vice chairman of the Gia Lai provincial People’s Committee about the festival.


VOV: Can you tell us about the province’s preparations for the event?


Mr Dung: This is the first time Gia Lai will hold the International Gong Festival. Every week, the provincial authorities check the preparations. We have also launched a number of programmes to promote the event and designed tours to guide tourists.


So far the province has prepared more than 1,600 hotel rooms to accommodate visitors. If there are a lot of tourists, the province will transport them to Kon Tum by bus. The festival is expected to attract around 30,000 guests.


VOV: With a wide range of activities, isn’t this a good chance for the province to promote its image to domestic and foreign friends?


Mr Dung: That’s true. Gong culture is a bridge for countries around the world to unite through mutual understanding. The festival will help the province to promote itself. We want friends to gain a better understanding of the province’s culture in order to help the province preserve and promote our unique gong culture.


VOV: At many festivals, national culture heritages are not kept true to their origin. What will the organising board do to avoid this problem?


Mr Dung: If Vietnam wants to promote gong culture to international friends it must perform it authentically. Currently, some hamlets still exchange gongs performances. Thus, the gong stage does not lose its origin. It is simply performed in another cultural space for people to enjoy.


VOV: How does Gia Lai province preserve and develop Gong culture in the middle of modern life?


Mr Dung: We must remember that the origin of gong culture as shown by research. To serve tourism purposes, Central Highland dances should be based on their origin. Gong is the flesh and blood of Central Highlanders. The Party and State have issued policies to preserve and promote gong cultural values. Traditional culture will never fade into oblivion because it is forever the foundation for people living in the Central Highlands.


VOV: Thank you very much


Source: QDND