by Phuong Mai
Big Bang fizzles
"I drank 12 bottles, but I only got five more bottles, not my five guys," says Nguyen Nhu Y, a student of the HCM City-based International School of Business Management said.
Y is one of thousands of youth who have found a chance, hidden under a bottle cap, to attend a concert by Big Bang – a five member boy band from South Korea – that is very popular in Viet Nam.
Like Y, many young people are drinking many bottles in the hope of winning a ticket to SoundFest, a music concert where several popular bands including Big Bang will perform.
Not surprisingly, Coca Cola is one of the organisers of the event to be held at the Phu Tho Stadium in HCM City's District 11 on April 14. The other organiser is Korean group Samsung.
The show will last the whole day, featuring performances in many music genres including rock, hip hop, pop and Kpop.
Apart from Big Bang, the concert will bring well-known singers and bands from Viet Nam and neighbouring countries, including Buc Tuong, Unlimited, Phuong Vy, Thanh Bui, and Tata Young of Thailand.
If you cannot find a ticket inside the bottle, you can buy one for a hefty VND500,000 to VND2 million, a price too high for most people, especially students.
Nguyen Thu Trang, a student at the HCM City Law University, said sadly, "I love Big Bang a lot, but the ticket is too expensive.
"There is some time till the concert, I hope to save enough money to get a ticket."
Meanwhile, it is not just Coca Cola that is offering a concert ticket as a prize.
Tran Thi Hoa of Binh Thanh District said she hears her son listen to the band's music all the time, so she plans to buy a ticket for him if he promises to do well at school this year.
Room for love
The Thang Long University in Ha Noi has taken very seriously the students' need to unwind and relax from time to time.
It has opened a "self-study room" that is modern, clean, spacious and well equipped with desks, sofas, wifi and other modern equipment.
"I feel free and comfortable to study, read books, watch movies or even sleep here," said Nguyen Tuyet Hoa, a student at the Financial Banking Department.
But the self-study room goes further than just a place to relax. It is the only place in the school where students can hug or even kiss each other if they are lovers.
Truong Ngoc Kim, vice chairman of the university's board of directors, told VTC News, "We do not forbid students from showing their love here."
Dang Thanh Tuan, a student of the Foreign Language Department, said the "romantic and warm" room was a great place for him to show his love for his girlfriend.
"Since the room opened, my girlfriend and I often come here to relax (read cuddle) and encourage each other to study," he said.
However, some students are none too happy about lovebirds using the room. They are irked by the public display of affection.
One student said the self-study room was turning into a room for loving, eating and sleeping.
He said it has become so noisy that one can do everything except study. — VNS