The Saigoneer Podcast allows listeners to take our reporting, insight and banter anywhere through in-depth discussions on Vietnamese society and culture, as well as interviews with special guests.
Our Dream Pedestrian Areas; Chilling Stories for Halloween
We're back! We begin this week (1:08) by chatting about plans to expand pedestrian areas in Saigon and Hanoi. What do we like about existing spaces like Nguyen Hue, and what would we like to see in future vehicle-free zones?
Then (17:18), in preparation for Halloween, we share a few scary stories and tales from Vietnam, including the legend of 'rock apes;' ông Ba Bịa, a thin man who haunts kids with three bags; and a demonic grandma.
As always, we end with Bánh Mì Banter (41:02).
That New Yorker Article; Smartphones in Public Schools
On this week's show, we begin (0:53) by looking at the uproar over a New Yorker article titled 'The Public-Shaming Pandemic' that was published last week. The feature covered, among other things, the social media abuse aimed at two wealthy Vietnamese sisters who caught the coronavirus back in March, but painted Vietnam poorly and contained several errors regarding the country's response to the pandemic. What does this episode say about foreign coverage of Vietnam, and of the way some Vietnamese perceive journalists and media outlets?
A link to the article: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/09/28/the-public-shaming-pandemic
Then (18:48), we discuss a new proposal from the Ministry of Education that would allow students at public middle and high schools to use their phones during class for 'educational purposes.' Is this realistic? What are the pros and cons?
There is no Bánh Mỉ Banter this week.
Urbanist Vietnam's Launch; the Áo Dài's Place in Modern Society
We begin (1:13) this week by talking about the recent launch of Urbanist Vietnam, our Vietnamese-language sister site. How do we decide which Saigoneer stories to translate into Vietnamese, and what can readers expect in terms of original features in the future?
Then (16:23), we discuss the áo dài in contemporary Vietnam. Cultural officials in Thua Thien-Hue Province have started wearing the outfit on the first Monday of every month. What is the iconic garment's place in contemporary Vietnam?
As always, we end with Bánh Mì Banter (34:24).
Using Diacritics in English Writing; the Da Nang COVID-19 Outbreak
On this week's show, we begin (1:08) with a conversation about our recent decision to use diacritics in Vietnamese names on the Saigoneer website. What are the benefits of using the language to its full extent, and what does the fact that most websites publishing in English don't use diacritics say about our relationship to Vietnamese?
Then (21:16), we look at the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak centered on Da Nang - how has this development impacted daily life in Saigon, and what do we think of the protective measures being taken here?
As always, we close with Bánh Mì Banter (31:38).
Vietnam's Effort to Increase Fertility Rates; Visual Arts Curator Bill Nguyen
On this week's show, we begin (1:09) by discussing the Vietnamese government's effort to get women to marry by age 30 and have two children by age 35, which is aimed at tackling Vietnam's rapidly aging population. What does this mean for young women, and what is missing from this official suggestion?
Our interview guest (24:04) is Bill Nguyen, a visual arts curator and writer currently working at The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Saigon. We talked about his work, the status of art in modern Vietnam, and why, in his view, Hanoi is better than Saigon.
As always, we end with Bánh Mì Banter (56:27).
Wildlife Consumption in the COVID-19 Era; a Street Food Update
This week, we begin (1:00) with a discussion about wildlife consumption in Vietnam. A recently-published study found cornavirus strains in a majority of field rat and bat guano samples taken in Vietnam from 2013 to 2014. What could these findings - and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic - mean for the eating of bushmeat here?
Then (20:13), on a lighter note, we share some of our favorite recent street food, cafe and restaurant finds in Saigon.
As always, we close with Bánh Mì Banter (30:53).
Customer ReviewsSee All
pooor massage fish
i know that massge fish tank in saigon, hope the fish can get throught this pandemic . and thanks for the podcast \m/ !!!
Witty and Wise
This is a great podcast! It succeeds because the hosts have deep and nuanced understandings and views of Vietnam but also know when to show their humoroous sides. After 70 some episodes, listening feels like listening to a conversation amongst close friends.
A nice buttoned-down compliment to Saigoneer's astute journalism.