100 couples tie the knot in a mass wedding on Vietnam’s national day. The event has been organized on this special occasion every year by the Center for Assisting Youths and Workers, under the municipal Youth Union, for over a decade. Some of the couples got their marriage registration done years ago and already have children, but it was not until yesterday that they could finally have a wedding ceremony. Several said that they had been waiting for nearly 20 years to have a wedding of their own. Nhan, a 34-year-old disabled swimmer, has been married to a security guard for years but the couple was never able to financially afford a wedding reception. The Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union has held 12 mass wedding events since 2008, helping 922 men and women tie the knot.
18,000 letters have been written by an 81-year- old Hanoi man to help families find graves of fallen soldiers. Nearly half a century since the American war in Vietnam came to an end, the remains of more than 300,000 soldiers who fell during the war have yet to be reunited with their families, who have spent decades searching for them, according to the Vietnam News Agency. Nguyen Tien Xuan, a Hanoi resident whose eldest brother never returned from the battlefield, understands the sorrows faced by these families. Xuan started writing letters to the families of fallen soldiers in 2007 after discovering a program on Radio the Voice of Vietnam, which shared information on the unclaimed remains of soldiers buried at cemeteries across the country. While listening to each episode of the program, Xuan noted down all the information in order to send it to the affected families. Once the letter is written, Xuan rides his bicycle six kilometers to the local post office where, thanks to support from the local war invalids and social affairs office, he is able to send it without paying for a postage stamp. So far, he has helped 336 families locate their fallen family members’ graves.
5 Million Tourists visited Trang An in august. Located about 90km south of Hanoi, Ninh Binh is known as “Ha Long Bay on land”, given its limestone mountains rising out of paddy fields. The most famous local attraction is the Trang An Landscape Complex, which has been expanded over recent years and gained popularity for its green fields, mountains, caves and forests. Together with other famous sites in the province such as Tam Coc Grottos and Van Long Lagoon, the Trang An Landscape Complex was also used as a location for the movie Kong: Skull Island. The Trang An tourism complex has a total of 40 tourism spots of historical, cultural, art and natural vestiges including 20 recognized as national heritages. In 2014, it was officially recognized as a mixed cultural and natural heritage by UNESCO thanks to its outstandingly natural & cultural values.
60 Million users is the goal for the newly launched lotus network. With the theme “Content is King”, the VND700
billion network, run by VCCorp, will attract users with diverse and quality content. Nguyen The Tan, VCCorp’s general director, said Lotus was working with more than 500 content creators in various fields such as education, lifestyle and economics to attract users to the network. Lotus also asked celebrities in different fields to add more content and attract more users. There are nearly 100 commitments made for Lotus’ content. Tan said, “On Lotus, everyone will be a content creator. We’ll provide tools so that the users can easily make their own fresh and beautiful entries.” Earlier this year, Information and Communication Minister Nguyen Manh Hung called for the creation of a homegrown social media network and search engine to replace Facebook and Google. The latest data shows there are more than 50 million Facebook users in Vietnam. On September 15, the first made-in-Vietnam social network, Gapo, launched with two million users.
~2,500 fire hotspots were observed in Asean last month. The number of hotspots in the Southeast Asian region vacillated though tending to increase, said Mulyono R. Prabowo, deputy head of the Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG). The hotspots were observed in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Timor Leste, and Thailand. No transboundary haze was detected in spite of the presence of hotspots. The agency has urged the public to remain vigilant of likely forest fires, air pollution and drought. Indonesia has been facing a severe dry season induced by El Nino that triggered drought and forest fires in several provinces this year. Eight provinces in Indonesia are susceptible to forest fires, but only six have declared an emergency status for forest fires from 90 to 323 days, an official from the Indonesian Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry noted recently.