In Socialist Vietnam, the state and the
Communist Party hold cultural life in tight rein. The
country has a number of significant authors, and several
have been translated into Swedish and other European
languages. Vietnamese film has been strongly influenced
by the wars in the country.
During the thousand years that Vietnam was ruled by
China (112 BC – 936 AD), cultural life was strongly
influenced by the neighboring countries in the north.
After the French colonization in the late 19th century,
fiction, drama and concert music of the Western type
were introduced. During the war in the 1960s and 1970s,
American pop music and entertainment films came to South
Vietnam with the American troops.
Latest population statistics of Vietnam, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
The reform policy, which began in 1986, has increased
the freedom of expression, while the state's financial
contribution to culture has decreased. Old cultural
festivals with religious elements have been revived
under strong popular commitment, while "fine culture"
has made it harder to stand on its own.
Among Vietnam's best-known writers are Bao Ninh
(Sorrows of War), Nguyen Huy Thiep, Duong Thu Huong and
Pham Thi Hoai. Vietnamese-born Nam Le had a major
breakthrough with the short story collection Boat
(2007). The editions are usually small, but the books
reach many readers in pirate copies. All publishing
activities are subject to the state and all manuscripts
are previewed. The books must not "damage the interests
of the country, deny the significance of the revolution
and positive influence or undermine morale".
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Vietnam. Artists and albums are also included.
Many film directors learned the craft on the
battlefields and for a long time the production
consisted mainly of documentaries and propaganda.
However, Vietnamese feature films have been made since
the 1930s. Internationally renowned contemporary
directors are Tran Anh Hung (The Scent of Green Papaya,
Cyclo, When the Sun Rises), Tony Bùi (Three Seasons),
Minh Nguyen-Vo (The Buffalo Boy) and Luu Huynh (The
White Silk Dress). All directors were born in Vietnam
but mainly raised abroad.
Free trade agreement with the EU
Vietnam and the EU sign a free trade agreement, which means that customs
duties on virtually all import goods will be sharply lowered. EU Trade
Commissioner Cecilia Malmström calls the agreement a decisive step towards
better cooperation with Southeast Asian economies. The agreement also contains
rules for labor law, the environment and copyright for intellectual property.
The FTA enters into force when both parties' legislators have approved it.
Vietnam in the UN Security Council
The UN General Assembly elects Vietnam together with Estonia, Niger, Tunisia
and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in the UN Security Council. The five
countries will sit in the Council for two years starting January 1, 2020.
Vietnam does business ahead of summit in Hanoi
Vietnam's top political leader and business peaks meet US President Trump
hours before a summit in Hanoi is held between him and North Korea's leader Kim
Jong-Un. A series of agreements, worth a total of $ 21 billion, are signed
between Vietnamese airlines and US aircraft manufacturers. The United States has
long urged Vietnam to buy more of the United States, as the trade deficit is
large between the two countries, to the benefit of Vietnam. The aviation
industry in Vietnam has grown in recent years as the country's middle class has
become larger and richer. The number of air travelers increased from 25 million
in 2012 to 62 million in 2018. The airlines that include purchase agreements on
aircraft, engines and maintenance and spare parts include the state-owned
Vietnam Airlines, the low cost flight Vietjet and the newly formed Bamboo
Ministers are suspected of corruption in the million class
Two former ministers are arrested for wastage of state funds when in 2015
they approved a failed attempt by state Mobifone to buy the loss-hit privately
owned TV company AVG. The deal is estimated to have cost the state millions of
dollars. Truong Minh Tuan, Minister of Communications between 2011 and 2016, and
the successor Nguyen Bac Son, who was laid off in July 2018, are just two in a
row of high-ranking politicians and civil servants accused or convicted of
corruption since Vietnam's top political leadership launched a campaign against
corruption on the highest level of society in 2016.