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Saigoneer Podcast: Some of Our Favorite 2019 Segments

Our final episode of 2019 is available now!

We're closing out the year with a special mega-show, in which we chose a few of our favorite segments from the past 12 months.

We begin (0:50) by sharing our nominations for Vietnam's 'national senses,' if such a thing existed. What smells, sounds, sights, tastes and textures do we think best exemplify the country? The smell of pork chops grilling on a sidewalk? The Bitexco Financial Tower? Those fragrant wet wipes given out at bia hơi joints?

Then (17:03), our extended conversation about superstitions, both Vietnamese and western. We also play a game where we guess which ones are real, and which are not.

The Third Wife, (37:13) the critically acclaimed indie film festival darling directed by Ash Mayfair and filmed here, was released in Vietnam several months ago, but only lasted four days in cinemas before being pulled. We break down the controversy surrounding its use of a 13-year-old actress in erotic scenes, and what it says about Vietnam's movie-going public.

What makes a certain dish or cuisine authentic? (51:31) Who determines which food and restaurants are authentic? Does authenticity even matter when it comes to food?

Then (1:16:31), we discuss a few of the incredibly diverse, occasionally bizarre festivals that coincide with specific dates on the lunar calendar throughout Vietnam. Everyone knows about Tet and the Mid-Autumn Festival, but there are so many more beyond those two.

Our interview guest is Thuc Dang (1:33:28), who writes the 'Vietnam's Next Top Bitches' music review Facebook page. We chatted about the evolution of Vietnamese music in recent years, and what he hopes to see in the future.

Listen to this episode below, or subscribe via Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple or your preferred podcast platform.

Leave a review letting us know what you think, and Happy New Year!