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Vietnamese student wins prize at international letter-writing contest

Update: October, 11/2018 - 17:20
Nguyễn Thị Bạch Dương reads her letter at the awarding ceremony of the UPU national letter writing contest held in May this year in Hà Nội. Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — A letter by Nguyễn Thị Bạch Dương, an eighth grade student from the northern province of Hải Dương, has won third prize at the 47th annual Universal Postal Union (UPU) International Letter-Writing Contest.

Her letter won first prize out of over a million entries to this year’s contest in Việt Nam.

The theme for the 2018 competition was: "Imagine you are a letter travelling through time. What message do you wish to convey to your readers?"

Dương’s letter wrote in the voice of Francis Pharcellus, an editor from The Sun newspaper, as he persuades eight-year-old reader Virginia O’Hanlon that Santa Clause exists.

Her letter, dated in the 19th century, was judged as naturally creative and full of humanity.

The awards ceremony was held in Bern, Switzerland, where Vietnamese ambassador Phạm Hải Bằng received on Dương’s behalf.

The first prize this year went to Chara Phoka, 13, from Cyprus, while second place went to José Duarte, 10, from Portugal.

Phoka wrote a letter from Afganistan to the United Nations dated in 2011. By coincidence, the letter was sent from Afganistan, to Syria, Turkey, Cyprus and finally to Sweden, through war and peace, ups and downs.

Since 1971, the UPU has encouraged young writers aged 9-15 to write letters on a given theme to win exciting prizes.

The UPU’s secretariat, the International Bureau, chooses a theme annually and publicises it.

Participating countries then organize the competition at a national level, often with the support of educational authorities and the media.

Each country chooses a national winner and submits them to the international competition.

According to UPU’s website, on average, two million children from more than 60 countries participate in the competition every year, with over one million alone from Việt Nam.

Entries from Việt Nam won the 2016 and 2010 competitions after coming in second in 2009 and third in 1993, 1999 and 2004. — VNS

Pascal Clivaz (left), deputy director of UPU Interantional Office hands the third prize to Vietnamese ambassador to Switzerland Phạm Hải Bằng at the international award ceremony held in Bern earlier this month. Photo

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