Efforts to bring ‘Xam’ singing closer to public


Hanoi: A unique form of folk singing using a combination of spoken singing and music, with a history marked by ups and downs, ‘Xam’ is experiencing a resurgence in many regions across the country, especially in the Red River Delta region, including Hanoi.

From the first Xam singing group established in Dong Xuan market in Hanoi, many ‘Xam’ clubs and classes to teach and revitalise the art form have been established.

Revival after long oblivion

‘Xam’ singing is a traditional art form which originated from Vietnam’s northern region. As its deep lyrics narrate daily life stories, the art form is considered an intricate cultural item, and has become an important part of the Vietnamese people’s spiritual life. The art-form fell into oblivion for a time, but recently has been revitalised and gradually made its return into the minds and hearts of music lovers.

The first Xam singing club was launched in 2006 by the Vietnam Music Development Centre named Xam Ha Thanh (Hanoi buskers’ singing group). Its members per
form for free every weekend evening at Dong Xuan Market in front of local market goers and visiors to the area.

The club has become a cradle nurturing the love for Xam singing among the public. Many artists have grown from this club and participated in activities contributing to the revival and development of this art form.

So far, dozens of Xam singing clubs and groups have been established in Hanoi.

People in Hanoi and tourists can enjoy free Xam singing performances at various locations around Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter.

Xam Ha Thanh has endeavored to revive ancient Xam melodies, infusing modern elements into new compositions, bringing the folk art closer to the public.

The art form is gaining more recognition and becoming familiar to many people nowadays.

According to music researcher Dang Hoanh Loan, support and coordination from the government, cultural and artistic organisations, as well as contributions from artists and the community, are needed to further develop the folk music genre wi
thin the community.

Furthermore, it is necessary to encourage and support the maintenance and development of Xam singing clubs, groups, and cultural centres, he said./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Belgian museum houses thousands of Vietnamese artifacts


Brussels: A large number of artifacts from various cultures around the world, including thousands of Vietnamese objects, are currently on display at the Royal Museum of Art and History in Belgium (MRAH) – an enticing cultural destination in the capital city of Brussels.

Visiting the Southeast Asia area of the museum, visitors will have a chance to explore through the cultures of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Indonesia.

Nearly 3,000 artifacts dating back to before the 15th century are showcased, constituting the largest collection of Vietnamese antiquities abroad, which were acquired by the museum from collector Clément Huet in 1952.

Huet, who worked in Vietnam from 1914 to 1938, amassed a diverse collection of Vietnamese cultural artifacts including ceramics, statues, jewelry, weapons, and ceremonial objects. His collection offers a unique overview of the Vietnamese culture and art before the 20th century.

Bowi Quibus, the curator of the Southeast Asia exhibition area, said that the arti
facts are arranged according to two main criteria of chronological order and theme, helping visitors easily track the development of Vietnamese art and culture through different periods, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the country’s history and culture.

The highlight of the exhibition room is a Dong Son bronze drum, a unique cultural symbol of Vietnam. Additionally, visitors can admire masterpieces of ceramics from Ly and Tran dynasties.

Logan Vander Linden, a Belgian visitor, expressed his delight in exploring the Vietnamese artifacts at this museum, saying that through observing these antiquities, he gained a deeper understanding of the history of the Southeast Asian nation.

The Vietnamese antiquities collection at the Belgian museum is a testament to the rich cultural and artistic development of Vietnam through various dynasties. The museum serves as an ideal destination for visitors to explore and learn about Vietnam and its people.

Established in 1835, the MRAH currently is home to a vas
t collection of over 800,000 artifacts encompassing fields such as art, history, and archaeology from countries around the world./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Over 40 foreign firms register to join Vietnam Int’l Defence Expo 2024


Hanoi: More than 40 companies and agencies from 19 foreign countries and territories worldwide have confirmed their participation in the Vietnam International Defence Expo 2024, to be held in December this year, heard a conference held by the Ministry of Defence in Hanoi on April 20.

Themed ‘Peace, Friendship, Cooperation for Mutual Development’, the expo will be held on the outskirts of Hanoi from December 19 – 22.

It will take place at a time when the Vietnam People’s Army is marking its 80th anniversary – a milestone in building and developing the army in general and the defence industry in particular, said Senior Lieutenant General Phung Si Tan, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, head of the expo’s Organising Board.

It will give Vietnamese businesses an opportunity to improve production capacity and competitiveness for exports and join the global supply chain, bringing revenue for the country and businesses, stated the officer.

The exhibition also demonstrates Vietnam’s viewpo
ints, policies, and vision on independent and self-reliant foreign affairs, integration, multilateralisation, and diversification of relationships, contributing to affirming that Vietnam is a reliable friend and partner of all countries, he stressed.

Major General Le Quang Tuyen, Deputy Director of the General Department of Defence Industry under the Ministry of Defence, emphasised that the expo is a particularly important event marking a milestone in the development and maturity of the Vietnam People’s Army in general and the country’s defence industry in particular.

The ministry plans to invite over 120 international delegations from 50 countries.

On display at booths will be defence and security products and technologies of defence industry companies.

There will be business exchanges and military seminars, along with art performances to introduce the Vietnamese culture during the event./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam becomes biggest rice supplier for Singapore


Hanoi: Vietnam has for the first time surpassed India and Thailand to become the largest rice exporter to Singapore by shipping 36.15 million SGD (26.55 million USD) worth of rice in the first three months of this year, an increase of 80.46% over the same period in 2023, winning 32.03% of the market share, according to the Vietnam Trade Office in Singapore.

Vietnam was followed by Thailand with an export value of 33.63 million SGD, while India came third with 33.16 million SGD.

The decline in export value of regular brown rice and white rice was offset by the strong increase of sticky rice, milled or peeled fragrant rice and broken rice with turnovers of 3.79 million SGD, 18.06 million SGD and 575,000 SGD, respectively.

Particularly, besides Vietnam’s traditional strong product of white rice, the turnovers of two other product groups – sticky rice and milled or peeled fragrant rice – also rose to dominate the majority of the market share in Singapore, reaching 80.08% and 73.33% respectively. This was the m
ain factor that helps Vietnam surpass Thailand and India to become the country with the largest rice market share in Singapore, the office asserted.

According to the office, Thailand, India, and Japan have been major competitors of Vietnam in Singapore. India’s ban of rice export from July 20, 2023, has created good conditions for Vietnam to increase market share in Singapore.

However, the office advised Vietnamese rice exporters to continue improving their competitiveness and enhancing the quality of rice.

The office will organise more exhibitions to increase the presence of Vietnamese rice in this potential market.

The office cited data from the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) of Singapore as showing that Singapore imported nearly 112.9 million SGD worth of rice in the first three months of this year, up 23.86% year on year.

In order to increase market share and sustainably maintain its top position, according to the office, all ministries, sectors, localities, associations, and bu
sinesses should join hands together in strengthening promotion of Vietnamese rice products and trademarks.

Alongside, the signing of a memorandum of understanding in rice trading between Vietnam and Singapore will also be an effective tool for Vietnam to maintain its position of No.1 rice supplier in Singapore, it added./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnamese furniture products introduced at Milan Design Week


Rome: Ambassador to Italy Duong Hai Hung has congratulated Vietnamese enterprises – the Ho Chi Minh City Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) and the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (HAWA) – for their initial success in showcasing Vietnamese products in Milan Design Week in Italy – a design and brand arena of furniture businesses around the world.

While visiting the Vietnam pavilion at the event on April 18, the diplomat encouraged enterprises to focus on enhancing their competitiveness through good cooperation with design buyers in Italy and Europe, thus penetrating deeper into the European market, as well as other markets.

The Vietnamese wood industry needs substantial and systematic investment to enter and dominate higher market segments, he stressed.

The pavilion opens to visitors from April 16 – 21. Covering a total area of 360 sq.m, it is showcasing outstanding furniture and handicraft products from 35 Vietnamese enterprises.

Vietnam is renowned for its export of furni
ture, ranking sixth in the world. The debut at the Milan Design Week is a significant affirmation of the creative values of Vietnamese furniture and handicraft industry on the international stage, demonstrating its strength and potential for strong development./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Measures sought to boost Vietnam – Russia digital economic cooperation


Moscow: The Vietnamese Embassy in Russia organised a seminar on April 19 on prospects for Vietnam-Russia digital economic cooperation, attracting over 100 delegates representing ministries, sectors, research institutes, and business associations of the two countries.

The function focused on opportunities and solutions to further promote cooperation between the two nations in this promising field.

In recent years, Vietnam’s digital economy has experienced remarkable development. According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, the proportion of the digital economy in Vietnam’s GDP reached 16.5% in 2023, with an average annual growth rate of 20%, which is three times the GDP growth rate.

According to assessments from international organisations, the scale of Vietnam’s Internet economy in 2023 reached approximately 30 billion USD, up 19% compared to the figure in 2022. Vietnamese digital technology companies have also been gradually strengthening their international cooperation efforts. Last year,
Vietnam had over 1,500 digital technology enterprises with revenue from foreign markets totaling an estimated 7.5 billion USD, up 4% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the strongest growth in Russia’s Internet economy is observed in the e-commerce sector, with total revenue reaching 15.4 trillion rubles (over 164 billion USD) in 2023. Russia also leads in the field of smart cities and e-government, with cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg being at the forefront of IT application worldwide.

Delegates said that the current context presents tremendous opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in general and between their respective businesses in particular. Several digital economic cooperation projects are already underway between Vietnam and Russia, particularly in such areas as cybersecurity, smart cities, digital banking, and digital business solutions.

In addition to the aforementioned projects, participants also highlighted numerous other promising areas for digital economic cooperation, such as fi
nance, health care, agriculture, transportation, energy, environment, and manufacturing.

They put forward recommendations and solutions to further expand cooperation in the digital economy sector from the perspectives of policymakers, researchers, and businesses, including intensifying the trade promotion in information technology products of the two countries, and boosting collaboration in researching and developing digital platforms and products.

Ambassador Dang Minh Khoi emphasised the significance of the event, saying Russia’s experiences in developing its digital ruble is highly beneficial, expressing Vietnam’s interest in participating in the testing process of Russia’s digital ruble by the Central Bank of Russia.

Delegates agreed that if utilised effectively, this could be a significant driver for economic cooperation between the two countries in the coming time./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency