Paul Christiansen

in Music & Arts

Get to Know the Dynamic Local Art Scene Alongside 'Saigon Art Journey'

“This is not a tour, remove that word from your minds. This is an interacting and exploring journey,” explained Angeline Gong, an experienced art host known by Saigon’s artists and galleries as Z-Gong.

Paul Christiansen

in Literature

These 5 Vietnamese Poems Pay Homage to the Complexities of Local Fruits

Fruit and poetry: the two things I love most.

Khôi Phạm

in Culture

Xe Trái Cây: If You Can't Find Lovingly Sliced Fruit at Home, Cart-Bought Is Fine

Nature has numerous ways to make itself known: male peacocks fan out their glorious tail made up of iridescent eye-patterned feathers to attract peafowls; blue-ringed octopuses don’t need to invent any dance, just their menacing aquamarine coat is enough to warn predators about a poisonous death should they dare to take a bite; on the chaotic streets of Saigon, xe trái cây flaunt their colorful mosaics of freshly peeled tropical fruits, as plump and juicy as the divine offerings of Zeus’s banquet, to entice heat-stricken riders to stop by for a refreshing respite.

Brian Letwin

in Travel

The Quiet Calm of Hiding From the Heat Under Phan Rang's Grapevines

The punishing mid-day sun dictates the pace of life in the corridor between Phan Rang and Cam Ranh, where locals escape to their living rooms or hammocks, and tourists seek the cooling breeze of the beach, seafood restaurants or resort pools. Perhaps one of the most underrated ways to take refuge from the heat is to duck into one of the nearby grape vineyards where winding vines create a natural oasis.

Paul Christiansen

in Travel

The Curious Case of Quy Hoà Leprosy Colony's Park of Busts

A delightfully bizarre place, Quy Nhơn’s Quy Hoà leprosy colony deserves exploration in full , but clustered in a grove of...

in Music & Arts

A Visit to Vụn Art, Where Disabled Artisans Turn Fabric Scraps Into Artworks

Fabric scraps, often considered industrial waste, are “revived” by members of Vụn Art cooperative by turning them into intricate silk artworks.

Paul Christiansen

in Loạt Soạt

'Longings' Brings 22 Stories by Vietnamese Female Writers to the World

Where are all the female writers?

in Film & TV

Monotonous Viet-Dubbed K-Dramas Were the Soundtrack of My Childhood

When I was growing up, my family owned a broken TV whose screen would unexpectedly go black while the audio continued to play. Turning it off and on again a couple of times would fix the problem, but it was such a hassle that sometimes we just let it be. It was stationed in our dining room, and my parents loved putting on Korean dramas when we were eating. So whenever I reminisce about my childhood, the sound of dubbed K-dramas always plays the background.

Back Arts & Culture

in Culture

In Ê-đê Villages, Bến Nước Is the Heart Pumping Water Across the Community

Ever since the beginning of time, Ê-đê people have treated water as a respected resource of the community. Water, in their belief, is the life force bringing about bountiful harvests for the villages....

in Music & Arts

Nam Jam Festival Returns to Đà Nẵng With Week of Mural Arts

The Nam Jam Festival from March 4 to 10 invites more than 50 local and international street artists to create massive works of street art in Đà Nẵng. 

in Film & TV

'Madame Pirate,' Film Project Based on Asia's Greatest Female Pirate, Sets Sail Again

Zheng Yi Zao “started as a prostitute, resisted the authority of the Qing emperor, kicked everyone’s bottom, and then got away with it... also she has been ignored by history,” explains Vietnam-b...

in Film & TV

Hanoi Director's Debut 'Cu Li Never Cries' Wins Best 1st Feature at Berlin Film Festival

After Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell won the Camera D’or award at Cannes last year, this year, another independent film from Vietnam was honored at Berlinale.

in Music & Arts

From Tò He to Tamagotchi: Local Designer Brings Our Childhood Toys to Stamps

For Vietnamese kids today, when it comes to games, there’s a possibility that their childhood is entirely confined to the digital world. From phone applications like Temple Run and Pokemon GO to block...

in Culture

Meet 90-Year-Old Huỳnh Văn Ba, the Father of Hội An's Foldable Lanterns

In his 90s, Huỳnh Văn Ba’s hair has turned completely silver, but when he was telling me stories about lanterns, his voice and eyes sparkled with a particularly lively hope. Thanks to Ba’s invention —...

in Culture

In Hà Nội, a Martial Arts Master Preserves the Century-Old Tradition of Dragon Dancing

In Vietnam, during festive occasions such as Tết Nguyên Đán (Lunar New Year), mesmerizing dragon dance performances serve to eloquently spell the people's aspiration for fortune, abundance, and p...

Khôi Phạm

in Culture

On Delving Into Vietnam's Eras of Tết Firecrackers via My Family History

Is it a valid reverie or just mere misguided nostalgia to feel a sense of yearning for lives you’ve never lived?

in Culture

Xông Đất and the Art of Not Letting Randos Into Your Home on Mùng Một

Tết permeates all areas of life this time of the year, from TV programs to online memes and highly detailed charts, tables, and infographics that guide people to participate in a popular new year acti...

in Culture

In the Year of the Dragon, Confessions of a Supposedly 'Auspicious' Dragon Baby

During high school, I learned that babies born in years of the dragon were thought to be “fortunate” and thus, highly sought-after.

Paul Christiansen

in Music & Arts

On Warmly Welcoming the Whimsy of Wonky Tết Zodiac Statues

Every Tết arrives accompanied by netizens sharing collections of poorly constructed statues of the year’s zodiac animal. Viewing the online collections with colleagues is one of my favorite holid...

in Culture

When Lịch Bloc Is Gone, What Will Vietnam Use to Keep Discarded Fish Bones?

I have never bought a lịch bloc, or tear-off calendar, for personal use, because every new year, I'm bound to be gifted a brand-new one. In Vietnam, a calendar is often something one purchases as a pr...

Paul Christiansen

in Culture

It's Tết: The Liberating Magic of Using Tết as an Excuse for Everything

I hate excuses.

in Culture

How Choosing My Own Áo Dài Tết Healed My Trauma Over Áo Dài Uniform

High school can be a frustrating time in virtually every culture, as seen from the myriad of coming-of-age movies depicting the range of clichés, stereotypes and expressions of teenage angst we all go...

in Music & Arts

From Vintage Album Covers to 'Bolero,' a Set of 6 Typefaces for Nostalgic Souls

If you’ve paid attention to shop signs and brand visuals across Vietnam’s cybersphere, you’ve probably come across one of Nguyễn Thế Mạnh's typefaces.

in Culture

Revisiting Vietnam's Bootleg DVD Stores, the Dethroned King of Local Entertainment

Once upon a time, it was really, really hard to halt the growth of pirated DVD/CD stores in Hanoi. Nowadays, if you take a peek into the window of Hàng Bài Street’s former counterfeit/bootleg DVD stor...

in Music & Arts

TIMEZONES Podcast Spotlights Soundscapes, Sound Artists of Hanoi

The 18th episode of the TIMEZONES podcast series focuses on Hanoi's soundscape through the lens of three female artists. More carefully produced and artistically arranged than the average podcast...

in Film & TV

From Trash to Treasure: How Sở Thú Studio Crafts Animated Stories From Scraps

From old newspapers, coffee grounds, used styrofoam boxes, sticks, and more, Sở thú Studio, a collective of young creatives, has created many fascinating animation projects.

in Music & Arts

Saigon-Based Artist Trần Trung Lĩnh Returns With Pop Art Exhibition

Following the resounding success of his previous exhibition, Saigon-based artist Trần Trung Lĩnh will present a freshly painted collection of paintings at an event this weekend.

in Music & Arts

The Tale of 2 Vietnamese Christmas Songs: 'Hai Mùa Noel' and 'Bài Thánh Ca Buồn'

When it comes to local Christmas music, any Vietnamese will hear the melodies of either ‘Bài Thánh ca buồn’ or ‘Hai mùa Noel’ a couple of times every holiday season. Though Christmas is not a native h...