by Gia Locø
Bibliophile has 15,000 rare books
After 15 years of collecting, a 30-year-old Hanoian man now owns 15,000 rare and precious books that fill his house on Le Thanh Nghi Street.
The collection includes the Vulgate Bible printed in Hong Kong in 1913, the famous book Abrege De L'Histoire d' Annam (An Nam History), the epic Vietnamese poem Tale of Kieu in French, and rare editions of well-known novels War and Peace, Gone With the Wind, Dream of Red Chamber, and Journey to the West.
Le Van Hop's treasure includes 200 best-selling books by respected translator Nguyen Hien Le.
Hop has been reading and collecting books since he was a young child. To buy books, he saved his daily allowance and the lucky money he got during the Tet holiday. Each week, he buys two or three books.
Hop says he buys most of his books in Ha Noi but also travels throughout the country to find old or rare books.
Each year, he organises four or five old book fairs to exchange books and auction precious books for charity programmes.
Youth donate hair for cancer
Young people are volunteering to cut their hair to help make wigs for cancer patients suffering hair loss.
Truong Ly Thao Nhu, a student at the Finance-Marketing University, says she cut her long hair off after learning about the side-effects of cancer treatment as a volunteer for the Manh Hon So Hai (Stronger than Fear) campaign.
Via her Facebook page, Nhu has also encouraged her friends to donate their hair.
Tran Kim Ngan, Nhu's schoolmate, said:
"My wish to do something for cancer patients has come true. I have seen some people with hair loss wearing a wool hat or a turban. If my hair can help them feel better, I am prepared to keep mine short."
On receiving a free wig, a 27-year-old woman from Ha Noi said her mother has been struggling with cancer for six years.
"Now my mother feels more confident about meeting neighbours and relatives. In the past, she did not want to go outside."
Alley 96 in HCM City's Phan Dinh Phung Street is now known as "charity alley". At its entrance, an ice-tea bucket has been placed for use by lottery ticket sellers, pedicab drivers and vendors.
On the first or 15th day of each lunar month, residents contribute money to cook vegetarian food for the poor, and a team of five motorbike-taxi drivers brings needy and the elderly to the alley.
A free medicine cabinet for emergency aid has been placed in a house. Residents volunteer to buy medicine and other items for the cabinet.
The alley also hosts a garage that provides free motorbike repair services. — VNS