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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 # 9 - International Workers' Day.
International Workers' Day, or in Vietnamese ngày Quốc tế Lao động, is an official holiday for Vietnamese people that takes place each year on May 1st. In this lesson, we will look at the history and meaning of International Labor Day and the activities of Vietnamese people on this day.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
What is the official holiday before International Labor Day in Vietnam?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
In Vietnam, International Labor Day was first held in 1930. This was the first time in the history of the labor movement in Indochina, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, in Vietnamese called Đảng cộng sản Việt Nam, that the Vietnamese working class demonstrated in the streets. They showed their revolutionary solidarity with workers around the world and fought directly against the French empire to demand improved working conditions, or điều kiện làm việc, higher wages, and the implementation of labor law for an 8-hour work day.
After the success of the August Revolution, President Ho Chi Minh signed a decree announcing that May 1 would become an official holiday, and workers and laborers nationwide would receive a ngày nghỉ, which means a day off. Since then, May 1st has become one of Vietnam’s annual official holidays.
Today, banners are hung in the streets of big cities to celebrate this occasion. On this day, local TV channels broadcast many State agencies’ holiday celebration activities, and all laborers are allowed to take paid leave.
Nowadays, since the economy, or kinh tế, has developed steadily, the number of people travelling abroad has increased significantly. In addition, laborers in big cities also take this opportunity to go back to their hometowns, so streets during these days are often much quieter than on normal days.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question!
What is the official holiday before International Labor Day in Vietnam?
It’s April 30, of course. Do you remember that we learned about this holiday in a recent lesson? April 30 is National Liberation Day, also known as Reunification Day. As these two holidays are held one after the other, Vietnamese people use this opportunity to travel.
So listeners, how was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
What do people do to celebrate International Labor Day in your country?
Please leave a comment telling us at VietnamesePod101.com, and we’ll see you next time!