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Posts Tagged ‘helmets’

Motorbike helmets should be required: US

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2010 at 3:26 am

Gowns and helmets at first NY Philharmonic show in Vietnam

In Social life on October 18, 2009 at 3:00 am

Gowns and helmets at first NY Philharmonic show in Vietnam

QĐND – Saturday, October 17, 2009, 19:24 (GMT+7)

Evening gowns and motorcycle helmets were the contrasting attire as the New York Philharmonic played its first concert in Vietnam after a historic visit to North Korea last year.

Inside the cosy French colonial-era Hanoi Opera House, a mixed crowd of Vietnamese and Westerners, some in evening dress, filled almost every seat beneath a large chandelier.

Except for the occasional click of a camera shutter, they watched in mesmerized silence as the black-clad orchestra performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 conducted by Alan Gilbert, with Emanuel Ax on the piano.

Outside, dozens of Vietnamese, many of them young, pulled up on their motor scooters to watch the performance free on two giant screens that flanked the concert hall.

A never-ending stream of constantly honking traffic flowed past them but could not drown out the towering banks of loudspeakers and the melodies which lingered in the night air.

Do Van Son, 50, a motorcycle taxi driver, parked his bike in front of the screen, not caring that he would give up much of the 100,000 dong (5.5 dollars) he usually earns in a night.

“What I have is music, and a loss of income today does not mean anything,” Son said, admitting there are not many classical music fans in his country.

“This is a special case, when a world-famous orchestra comes to Vietnam.”

Mai Suong, a fourth-year violin student, also watched outside with several other students from the local music conservatory.

“The performance was great,” she said. “I dream to become one of them of course, but I don’t think I’m good enough.”

Gilbert, who became the orchestra’s music director last month, said before the concert that, for him, coming to Vietnam was the “realization of a dream come true.”

On Friday night the audience shouted its approval and applauded for about three minutes at the conclusion of the concerto, prompting Ax to return for an encore piano solo.

Officials from Vietnam and the United States said the Friday and Saturday concerts will help to further cement ties that have grown diplomatically, economically and culturally since the two countries normalized relations in 1995 two decades after their war ended.

But US ambassador Michael Michalak said it was not fair to compare the Philharmonic’s visit to Vietnam with its trip to Pyongyang in February 2008, when the orchestra was the largest US delegation in years to visit North Korea.

Fast-modernizing Vietnam has a booming market economy and is increasingly courting international exposure.

“It’s putting Hanoi on the world map,” Michael O’Brien, 66, a visiting American, said of the concerts before taking his seat inside.

Leo Dyar, 60, an Irishman working in Hanoi as a schoolteacher, said the music is something that everyone can enjoy.

“Anything like this, any cultural exchange, has to improve relations,” he said during the interval.

More than a third of tickets for the two concerts went to sponsors and government officials, with the rest sold to the general public, an organizer said.

The cheapest tickets were around two million dong (115 US dollars).

“Two million dong a ticket is my whole month’s salary,” said Nguyen Lam, 31, a freelance laborer who lives in a shared room with no television.

“I don’t know what symphony is,” he said. “I’m waiting for these two big screens to be on because I don’t have much chance to watch TV.”

A few foreigners who also stood among the motorcycles to watch the performance proved tempting targets for street vendors selling English-language books and souvenirs of Vietnam.

“Buy from me please,” a young girl urged in English over Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

Did she like the music?

“Yes, I very like.”

Source: AFP

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Ban on unsafe helmets from Saturday

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2008 at 11:51 am

Customers at a helmet stall in HCM City.— VNA/VNS photo Hoang Hai

HA NOI — Beginning from this Saturday, motorbike helmets must comply with technical standards or they will be barred.

Under a new regulation, helmet producers and importers will not be allowed to deliver their products to market without a safety certifice.

Helmets that met standards would receive a three-year certification and a “CR” stamp, said the deputy head of the Directorate for Standards and Quality (Stameq), Vu Van Dien, at a conference in Ha Noi yesterday.

Previously, domestic helmet manufacturers tested their own products and announced their conformity to receive a stamp, while imported products were inspected for quality and given a stamp stating they had been checked.

The new CR stamp, however, is only issued to products that have been tested by one of the five certifying organisations.

So far, the following organ-isations have been authorised to inspect helmets and issue the certification: Quality Assurance and Testing Centres 1, 2 and 3; the Viet Nam Certification Centre; and the Bureau of Quality Certification.

Helmets already on the market that carry the CS or “checked” stamps would continue to be sold, Dien said, but new products would only be allowed to enter the market if they carry the CR stamp.

Dien said there were 82 helmet manufacturing enterprises nationwide, of which 51 had registered a self-assessment of conformity with regulations.

“There are 67 helmet importers in the country. The imported helmets will have to meet national standards,” said Dien.

For apearances

A survey conducted by the Viet Nam Consumer Protection Association showed that 60 per cent of people surveyed said they wore helmets for safety, while the rest said they only wore them to prevent being stopped by police.

Many respondents said they were more concerned with the helmet’s appearance than its safety.

“We have discovered that many kinds of helmet carry the CS stamp but don’t meet safety standards,” said association vice president, Ho Tat Thang.

Regulators are taking a particularly close look at these so-called “fashionable” helmets that look like caps, saying that marketers of this type of helmet would have to prove that their design and quality ensured the safety of consumers.

“If they do, we will grant them certification,” said Stameq general director Ngo Quy Viet

“This kind of helmet has already received the CS stamp, so I don’t know why it can’t receive the CR stamp,” said the director of the Duc Minh Co Ltd, which makes the helmets.

“There are tens of thousands of ‘fashionable’ helmets in the stores and on the market already, worth VND100,000 (US$6) each. Who will help us prove their safety so they can receive the CR stamp?”

To assure helmet quality and prevent illegal or counterfeit helmets from hitting the market, Viet said relevant sectors would closely co-ordinate to inspect domestic producers and importers for compliance.

He said there would also be an expansion of consumer-education campaigns that warn the public about poor quality helmets.

Thang said the new regulations were right, adding only the overlap period during which helmets bearing the CS stamp could continue to be sold would cause uncertainty for consumers. —