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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Vietnam series at VietnamesePod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Vietnamese holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson # 13 - Vietnamese Women's Day.
Vietnamese Women's Day, in Vietnamese called ngày Phụ nữ Việt Nam, is a holiday held on October 20th every year in order to honor women. To honor the occasion, many people do different things in celebration of women on this day.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question.
Who were the two most famous heroine sisters from Vietnam’s feudal history?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Every October 20th, many government agencies, companies, and organizations hold various activities to celebrate women, including giving awards, or giải thưởng in Vietnamese, to outstanding women who have achieved great things in certain areas. At the same time, many companies, supermarkets and trade centers offer chiến dịch khuyến mại, meaning promotional campaigns, targeted towards women. There are many items sold at discounts or offered as gifts during the few days prior to and during this day.
The period surrounding this day is an especially popular time to buy jewelry and flowers, the typical gifts most people buy to show admiration for the important women in their lives. Not only do husbands give presents to their wives, or vợ, and boyfriends to their girlfriends, or bạn gái, but women themselves also often give presents or flowers to each other. Children will also usually give presents to their mothers, or mẹ, to show gratitude to the person who gave them life.
The majority of Vietnamese history has been dominated by paternalistic, or male-centric views. Thus, the issue of gender equality becomes an especially popular topic on this day. This has contributed to some great advances in women's rights, and discrimination has significantly decreased in recent years. More and more, women are succeeding in various fields, studying abroad, and acquiring Western ideas. But unfortunately, despite these improvements, domestic violence is still quite commonplace in rural areas.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question!
Who were the two most famous heroine sisters from Vietnam’s feudal history?
They were Hai Bà Trưng, also known as the two Trung sisters. They lead the military of their time to fight against the Han Dynasty and became symbols of the courage and patriotism of Vietnamese women. Before 1975, in the South, Vietnamese Women's Day had fallen on lunar February 6 – the day these two heroic women passed away.
So listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
Is there a holiday to honor women in your country?
Please leave a comment telling us at VietnamesePod101.com, and we’ll see you next time!