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Vietnam’s largest ST25 rice painting

The Saigon Times

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A painting made from ST25 rice grains in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang has set a record as the largest of its kind in Vietnam, according to the Tuoi Tre news site.

The Soc Trang Department of Industry and Trade on November 22 held a ceremony to announce the record and kicked off the fifth street food festival to connect supply and demand for goods in the province.

The artwork was crafted by artist Tran Dang Nghiem from Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City. It spans four meters in width and seven meters in length, comprising 14 smaller panels.

The painting captures the transition from traditional rice production to the application of science and technology in Vietnam’s agriculture, specifically in the agricultural industry of Soc Trang Province. It also reflects Soc Trang’s pride in producing one of the world’s best rice varieties and highlights the local people’s efforts to bring Vietnamese rice to the world.

Vietnam advances in global ranking of English proficiency

Vietnam has climbed two spots to secure the 58th position in this year’s global English proficiency ranking for adults, according to Education First (EF).

The Southeast Asian nation scored 505 out of 800, marking a three-point increase from the previous year. With this result, the country has maintained its position in the “moderate proficiency” group alongside 32 other countries.

Among the 23 Asian countries and territories, Vietnam has ranked seventh in the index, unchanged from the previous year. The Red River Delta stood out as the top English-proficient region in Vietnam, with Hanoi boasting the highest index at 538. The age group of 26-30 demonstrated the best English proficiency nationwide.

Two years ago, Vietnam only scored 486 points and was classified into the group with low English proficiency, reported the VnExpress news site.

A man’s effort to preserve Phu Quoc Ridgebacks

Le Quoc Tuan, 59, has spent nearly 30 years searching and preserving Phu Quoc Ridgebacks – a rare breed of dog from Phu Quoc Island off the southern province of Kien Giang. He now owns a center with more than 400 Phu Quoc Ridgebacks on the island.

Tuan loves Phu Quoc Ridgebacks because the dogs have webbed feet that enable them to swim well, and can climb up and down fences. They are also fast, strong and smart. In 1999, he spent VND200 million buying 2,000 square meters of land on Phu Quoc Island to build a farm to rear purebred ridgeback dogs. When the number of dogs amounted to nearly 100, many of the canines died of causes that were unknown even by veterinarians. Tuan was almost broke.

In 2003, Tuan borrowed from a friend to maintain his farm. After having found the reasons causing the death of his dogs, he leased 4.8 hectares of forest land to open a large canine preservation center, which is also a tourist destination. The center’s 400 Phu Quoc Ridgebacks are fed twice a day with 50kg of rice and 25kg of fish. They are also vaccinated periodically.

Tuan told vnexpress.net that he could run the canine preservation center thanks to the sale of tickets to guests and purebred puppies to buyers.

Opening gratis eatery from salted coffee profits

Duong Thanh Long, 56, who has earned hefty profit from a chain of shops selling salted coffee in HCMC, and Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces, has just opened an eatery serving free meals for the poor in An Lac Ward, Binh Tan District, HCMC.

Long told thanhnien.vn that he uses part of the profits from salted coffee sales to cover all the expenses of the soup kitchen, which serves vegetarian dishes for needy people from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every day, seven days a week. He added that the eatery serves 200 portions or more a day, depending on the number of diners coming over to the place. Diners to the eatery are motorbike taxi drivers, lottery ticket sellers and poor people in the neighborhood.

Long said he is lucky to be supported by his daughter, who helps him in leasing premises, hiring staffs, and carrying out promotion and advertising campaigns.

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