A widow in southern Kien Giang Province has spent billions of dong in an effort to save her only daughter's marriage from falling to pieces.
Phuong, who is also a successful businesswoman in Hon Dat District, was so sad to learn that her only daughter's marriage did not go well. The daughter was usually in conflict with her husband and they decided to be separated for a while.
The mother desperately thought that she must do something to improve the situation. She asked her neighbour, Du Thi Thu Trang, who claimed that the marriage was cursed and that Phuong's daughter would never be happy in marriage life unless Phuong found a shaman to exorcise it.
Trang promised to help seeking a good shaman, and told Phuong to give her money, from several million to hundreds of millions during the past year, as the cost.
However, the more shamans were invited, the more terrible the daughter's marriage went. Only when a local people's court announced the divorce of her daughter several weeks ago did Phuong realise that she had been a victim of fraud.
The money that she gave to the neighbour had reached more than VND3 billion (US$135,000).
The swindler was arrested after that for fraud and misappropriating another person's property.
Maybe Phuong has learnt a lesson herself. Don't believe in any magic as a way of improving a relationship.
No candy for children, they must go to school!
Local authorities in the northern mountains of Ha Giang Province have recently installed billboards asking tourists not to give local children candies.
At hot spots where tam giac mach flowers are blossoming, many billboards, touting a Code of Conduct for tourists, have been seen. The regulation of not giving local children candies was bold.
Candies are always a special gift for local children there. Most are ethnic minorities and born into poverty. They can only enjoy candies thanks to tourists from another corner of the Viet Nam or the world.
Many tourists have showed their dissatisfaction over the regulation, claiming that they were happy to give candies for children there, and children were happy to get them, too. Candies did no harm to them.
However, local authority had their own reasons for the candy ban. The province has seen an alarming number of children dropping out of school, right before the very first Tam Giac Mach Flower Festival, which took place between November 13 and 15. They did not go to school as they were busy asking and receiving candies from tourists at flower gardens.
Giving candies for children is a good way to make them happy. But obviously, giving too many candies for ethnic minority children is no good at all. They might get tooth decay, or worse, get illiterate.
30 minutes off for ladies
The Ministry of Health has issued a new policy, of which female employees would receive 30 minutes per day and at least three days per month during the menstrual cycle. The specific amount of time off will be decided between the employees and employers regarding realistic working conditions and the needs of the female employees.
The policy was the ministry's effort to pay attention to female employees' healthcare. However, many employers have complained that it was hard to implement.
Nguyen Minh Hanh, director of a bank in Ha Noi said that her employees, especially receptionists, hardly could leave their positions during the working day as there were many customers in queue waiting to be served.
She did not think that 30 minutes off would make their staff feel healthier while customers were forced to wait.
Phan Van Anh, director of a private company, said she welcomed the policy, but said that the policy could make employers hesitate to hire female labourers.
The policy takes effect this Sunday. While employers are confused about how to implement the policy properly and flexibly, employees, especially female workers at industrial zones, likely see this as win-win. 30 minutes off is always precious for female workers who have to work overtime, whether they are on their period or not. — VNS