8 episodes

Born and raised in post-1975 Vietnam, we come to a realisation that much of the world might not have seen past the Vietnam-equals-war narrative whenever they think of the Southeast Asian country. As children of Vietnamese working-class families and members of a growing young generation, we hope to show how we see our homeland as we embrace the good, the bad, the ugly and even the unknown. Our podcast is the beginning of our awakening, and we invite you to join us in this journey. Brought to you by Vietnamese journalist, host and producer Sen Nguyen and multimedia storyteller Giang Pham.

Vietnam and Boba Sen Nguyen and Giang Pham

    • Society & Culture

Born and raised in post-1975 Vietnam, we come to a realisation that much of the world might not have seen past the Vietnam-equals-war narrative whenever they think of the Southeast Asian country. As children of Vietnamese working-class families and members of a growing young generation, we hope to show how we see our homeland as we embrace the good, the bad, the ugly and even the unknown. Our podcast is the beginning of our awakening, and we invite you to join us in this journey. Brought to you by Vietnamese journalist, host and producer Sen Nguyen and multimedia storyteller Giang Pham.

    Challenging the status quo in the Mekong Delta - a primary research

    Challenging the status quo in the Mekong Delta - a primary research

    The lower Mekong River is in its fourth year of drought, with low rainfall, climate change, and hydroelectric dams causing the worst conditions in over six decades, endangering the livelihoods of up to 70 million people. Vietnam, the last downstream country before the Southeast Asian river empties into the South China Sea, is no exception when it comes to water shortage. It is not as simple as turning the tap off to save water, but also the strategy and techniques involved in growing rice to ensure food security. Besides, how much of the decision making process in water management is dominated by men in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta? In this episode, we are taking you to a small border town district called Tinh Bien home to high proportion of marginalized Khmer ethnic minority villages, in An Giang Province where a group of female doctorates from An Giang University are collaborating with farmers and local officials to work on exactly these issues, challenging the status quo in the rural Mekong Delta as they go. We caught up with them before they concluded their research, but there are still many lessons here for those who are interested in water management and gender inequality in the Mekong region to take from.

    This episode was supported by Sustainable Mekong Research Network, a Bangkok-based initiative for research and policy engagement.

    Vietnam and Boba podcast is a narrative journalism podcast which features local voices and perspectives about socioeconomic, cultural and policy issues in Vietnam to the global audience. It is brought to you by Vietnamese journalist, host and producer Sen Nguyen and multimedia storyteller and photojournalist Giang Pham.

    • 26 min
    Vietnam tourism has been revived. So what?

    Vietnam tourism has been revived. So what?

    March 15 was a much anticipated date in Vietnam. You can almost hear the collective relief when the government finally resumed inbound tourism on that day after two years of border closure. Tourism sector accounted for about 10% of the GDP before the pandemic and most of that came from inbound tourism so it was quite a big deal. But is it entirely positive news?

    How are industry players going to use this milestone and essentially this entire pandemic to transform an industry that does not exactly have a reputation for being sustainable? In this episode with Vietnam and Boba, behind the headlines, you will get to hear directly from the voices inside Vietnam’s tourism sector.

    Vietnam and Boba is an ad-free podcast. If you enjoy our original reporting and storytelling about Vietnam’s cultural, environmental and socioeconomic issues with a focus on local people and long-term residents in the country, please consider become a Boba supporter starting at only $5!

    Vietnam and Boba podcast is a narrative journalism podcast which features local voices and perspectives about socioeconomic, cultural and policy issues in Vietnam to the global audience. It is brought to you by Vietnamese journalist, host and producer Sen Nguyen and multimedia storyteller and photojournalist Giang Pham.

    • 34 min
    What it takes to be a ''real man'' in Vietnam

    What it takes to be a ''real man'' in Vietnam

    There are at least 23 criteria a Vietnamese man has to meet to be considered a real man, according to the first large-scale study on men and masculinities in Vietnam published in 2020 by Hanoi-based Institute for Social Development Studies. What are these criteria that are widely accepted in Vietnam? And what is their effect on Vietnamese men's wellbeing and gender equality? We talk to Hoang Giang Son, a prominent leader in the LGBT community in Vietnam and former Gender Justice specialist at The Institute for Studies of Society, Economy and Environment (iSEE) in Hanoi and Nguyen Phuong Tu, former Vice President of Vietnam Organisation for Gender Equality and educator at Hanoi-based sex education start-up WeGrow Edu.

    If you like our work, please share it with a friend! Better yet, please consider supporting our podcast! Running an independent project of this length and depth is difficult, but we want to be independent from advertising and continue to publish original reporting and storytelling about Vietnam’s cultural, environmental and socioeconomic issues with a focus on local people and long-term residents in the country. Become one of Boba patreons starting at only $5!  

    Vietnam and Boba podcast is a narrative journalism podcast which features local voices and perspectives about socioeconomic, cultural and policy issues in Vietnam to the global audience. It is brought to you by Vietnamese journalist, host and producer Sen Nguyen and multimedia storyteller and photojournalist Giang Pham.

    • 33 min
    The nuances of Tet

    The nuances of Tet

    Tet is Vietnam's most important holiday. It is more than just a one-time blowout like new year celebrations in many Western countries. It’s a seven-day festivity charged with symbolism that sees a combination of religious rituals, secular and social customs. 

    But beyond traditions, this episode tries to complement the conversation about what makes Tet special with the downsides of it as an evolving tradition. We spoke to three Vietnamese from vastly different walks of life and their own unique takes on Tet. A soon-to-be mom who has not spent Tet with her family for five years, a Vietnamese-American who explores the transnational dimension of Tet, and an artist who is rather apathetic of the concept. 

    Disclaimer: By the time this episode was aired, there might be some new developments in Vietnam's border restrictions that are different from what it is mentioned in the episode. Additionally, a lot of the traditions and rituals mentioned in this episode belong to the majority ethnic group, the Kinh, since Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups, while many minority groups also have distinct traditions, they may pray to different gods, ascribe different meanings to the hours and days of New Year, or eat different dishes.  

    If you like our work, please consider supporting it! Running an independent project of this length and depth is difficult, but we want to be independent from advertising and continue to publish original reporting and storytelling about Vietnam’s cultural, environmental and socioeconomic issues with a focus on local people and long-term residents in the country. Become one of Boba patreons by supporting our channel starting at only $5!

    Vietnam and Boba podcast is a narrative journalism podcast which features local voices and perspectives about socioeconomic, cultural and policy issues in Vietnam to the global audience. It is brought to you by Vietnamese journalist, host and producer Sen Nguyen and multimedia storyteller and photojournalist Giang Pham.

    • 29 min
    Some countries waited for COP26 to act, these young Vietnamese did not

    Some countries waited for COP26 to act, these young Vietnamese did not

    Long before any big-shot pledges were signed and promises were made at COP26, many environment changemakers have been taking action and exerting influence in their own communities. Behind the headlines - we are bringing you first-hand accounts of two environment frontliners, one from northern rural Vietnam and the other from southern urban Vietnam with two vastly different backgrounds and drastically different approaches but sharing a common value. 

    If you like our work, please consider supporting it! Running an independent project of this length and depth is difficult, but we want to be independent from advertising and continue to publish original reporting and storytelling about Vietnam’s cultural, environmental and socioeconomic issues with a focus on local people and long-term residents in the country. Become one of Boba patreons by supporting our channel starting at only $5!

    Vietnam and Boba podcast is a narrative journalism podcast which features local voices and perspectives about socioeconomic, cultural and policy issues in Vietnam to the global audience. It is brought to you by Vietnamese journalist, host and producer Sen Nguyen and multimedia storyteller and photojournalist Giang Pham.

    • 28 min
    A pandemic of mental health in Vietnam

    A pandemic of mental health in Vietnam

    While most of the current ‘new normal' discourse has been about the economic recovery, resumed movement and vaccine acceleration, little about the impact of the pandemic on Vietnamese mental health has been discussed. How have people managed? Or not? How does a country that has typically been distant itself from mental health discourse survive these issues going forward? Because this episode contains materials that may be upsetting to some audiences, your discretion is advised. Your mental health is important to us. 

    If you like our work, please consider supporting it! Running an independent project of this length and depth is difficult, but we want to be independent from advertising and continue to publish original reporting and storytelling about Vietnam’s cultural, environmental and socioeconomic issues with a focus on local people and long-term residents in the country. Become one of Boba patreons by supporting our channel starting at only $5!

    Vietnam and Boba podcast is a narrative journalism podcast which features local voices and perspectives about socioeconomic, cultural and policy issues in Vietnam to the global audience. It is brought to you by Vietnamese journalist, host and producer Sen Nguyen and multimedia storyteller and photojournalist Giang Pham.

    • 24 min

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