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Food is a very important part of Vietnamese culture and life. Vietnamese food is deeply influenced by historical and cultural conditions of the country and varies in different parts of the country. There are about 54 ethnical groups in the country that stretches 3,260 kms along the seashore with subtropical climate. Vietnamese cuisine is partially influenced by neighboring countries and the French who dominated Vietnam as a colony from late 19th to middle 20th century.

Vietnamese cuisine has a balance of salty, sweet, hot flavours and sour, these flavours are achieved through cane sugar, fish sauce, chili peppers or tamarind. The locals use plenty of local herbs and their food is not overly spicy. Chili or Chili sauce is usually served separately.

Rice Culture in Vietnam
Vietnam has two large deltas: the Red River Delta in the North and the Mekong in the South. Vietnam used to be the 2nd largest rice exporter in the world, however in the year 2011 they have dropped to 5th largest rice exporter in the world. They supply around 8% of world’s rice.

Vietnamese people consider a meal with rice as a ‘main meal’; if a meal is without rice they land up considering as a snack. During lunch or dinner rice is usually placed in the middle of the table before other foods are arranged surrounding the rice. This is the traditional Vietnamese style usually followed even today by locals at home.

Local Drinks in Vietnam
– Rice wine is one of the most popular drinks amongst locals, usually had with a meal. In recent times local and international beers are also getting popular.
– People of Northern Vietnam usually enjoy hot tea or coffee as against people of Southern part, who prefer iced tea.
– French colonists probably introduced Coffee to Vietnam and Coffee is a local habit, Vietnamese coffee is strong and flavourful. Locals also enjoy iced coffee that is usually served with condensed milk.
– Green tea with pistils of lotus or petals of jasmine is popular. Traditional lotus tea is time consuming and can be far more expensive then dry green tea.

Most popular Food preparations of Vietnam

Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Spring Rolls) – Translucent spring rolls packed with greens, coriander and may be combination of different meats. It is amongst the most popular dishes.

Pho (Pho is pronounced as ‘fur’) is Vietnam’s National dish and serves as staple food, a noodle soup that is eaten at any time of the day, primarily at breakfast. The basic bowl of pho consists of a light chicken or beef broth flavoured with ginger and coriander to which one adds broad, flat rice noodles, spring onions and slivers of chicken, pork or beef. One can also enjoy vegetarian Pho in few places.

Cha Ca – Is a very popular seafood preparation in Vietnam, it is devised in Hanoi and more popular in this region. The preparation is white fish sautéed in butter with dill and spring onions then served with rice noodles and a scattering of peanuts. Chili sauce and other sauces are served as accompaniments along with the main dish.

Vegetarian meals – Vegan or Vegetarian meals are getting popular in Vietnam. A Buddhist temple or pagodas can amaze you with chicken, fish or meat form, however they are actually prepared from taro, potato, tofu or lotus seeds and vegetables.

According to Jay Kantawala, founder of WIYO Travel, The taste of the Vietnamese cuisine is distinct and unforgettable. If one is visiting Vietnam, they should spare some time just to trying different local cuisines during the trip” Jay recommends.

India

Airlines allowed to deploy up to 80% capacity in domestic sector

Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19, and domestic flights resumed in a phased manner from May 25.

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Preparing for Landing

New Delhi: The Centre has allowed domestic airlines to deploy up to 80 per cent of their pre-Covid flight capacity from an earlier 70 per cent, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.

In a tweet, Puri said: “Domestic operations recommenced with 30K passengers on 25 May & have now touched a high of 2.52 lakhs on 30 Nov 2020.”

“@MoCA_GoIa is now allowing domestic carriers to increase their operations from existing 70 per cent to 80 per cent of pre-Covid approved capacity.”

Last month, the Centre had allowed domestic airlines to deploy up to 70 per cent of their flight capacity, up from 60 per cent capacity utilisation in the domestic sector allowed with effect from September 2.

In June, the capacity was raised to 45 per cent from an initial 33 per cent.

Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19, and domestic flights resumed in a phased manner from May 25.

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India

Railways zero-based timetable: We will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience, says VK Yadav

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VK Yadav

With many news reports indicating the reduction of many small stations across the country after the implementation of the zero-based timetable, Railway Board Chairman and CEO VK Yadav on December 1 said the national transporter will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience and the aim is to reduce travel time.

“If there is a poorly patronised train, we will try to see if it can be merged with another train and run an additional train where there is more demand. We will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience. Travel time of trains will come down due to the zero-based timetable and the number of trains will not be reduced. Poorly patronised stoppages will be rationalised in a professional manner although we are yet to make a decision when it will be implemented. We will divulge details about it later in a formal manner,” he said addressing the media.

He also said some passenger trains used by people in rural India will be converted into express trains and Railways is planning to convert passenger train services to Mainline Electric Multiple Unit rakes.

Yadav said the growth in freight services has not dimmed, with November witnessing loading at 110 mt, the highest in the year till now.

In this period, Railways earned Rs 10,657.66 crore from freight loading, which is Rs 449.79 crore higher compared to last year’s earnings for the same period.

On the Vande Bharat bidding process, Yadav said technical evaluation is currently underway and by January 15, the Railways expects to finalise the tender. adding that he won’t be able to comment on the aspect of reverse bidding as the matter comes under the tender committee.

BULLET TRAIN PROJECT STATUS

On the land acquisition hurdles for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project in Maharashtra, Yadav said although only 22 percent land has been acquired in Maharashtra, they are in talks with the state government and things are moving in the right direction.

“We had a detailed discussion with Chief Secretary of Maharashtra government and he has promised that within four months, land acquisition will reach up to 80 percent. Work on the awarded tenders will begin in December this year and completed in four years,” Yadav said.

PRIVATE TRAINS

Yadav expressed satisfaction on the response of private entities for the PPP in passenger train operations project.


“The response has been very good. In the Chennai cluster, six clusters have qualified. In Mumbai cluster, 11 companies have qualified and in remaining clusters, 8-10 companies have qualified,” he said.

The project is expected to bring in private investment of around Rs 30,000 crore.

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India

‘Ramayan Cruise Service’ will be launched soon on the river Saryu in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh

Project aims to give the mesmerizing experience of the divine journey to devotees visiting holy city Ayodhya

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CRUISE VESSEL

‘Ramayan Cruise Tour’ on the Saryu river in Ayodhya will be launched soon. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways today chaired a review meeting for the implementation of cruise service.

It will be the first-ever luxury Cruise service on the Saryu river (Ghagra/National Waterways-40) in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. It aims to give mesmerizing experience to devotees with one-of-its-kind spiritual journeys while cruising through the famous ghats of the holy river Saryu.

The cruise will be equipped with all luxury comfort and facilities along with all essential safety and security features at par with the global standard. The interiors of the cruise and the boarding point will be based on the theme of Ramcharitmanas. The fully air-conditioned 80-seater cruise will have large glass windows for experiencing the scenic beauty of Ghats. The cruise will be equipped with kitchen and pantry facilities for the comfort of the tourists. The cruise contains bio toilets and hybrid engines system for the ‘zero effect’ on environment.

Tourists will be taken on the ‘Ramcharitmanas Tour’, of 1-1.5 hour duration, featuring an exclusively made video film of 45-60 minutes duration, based on Ramcharitmanas by Goswami Tulsidas, covering the period from the birth of Lord Ram to his Rajyabhishek. The entire tour will cover the approximately 15-16 Km distance.There will be several activities and selfie points inspired by different episodes of Ramayan. The tour will be followed by Saryu Aarti, in which every member will be able to actively participate.

Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram, as mentioned in in the great Indian epic Ramayan. It is also the first of the seven most important pilgrimage sites (Mokshdayini Sapt Puris) for the Hindus. Approximately, 2 crore tourists visit Ayodhya every year as per the data of UP tourism, for the year 2019.After completion of the Ram Mandir, it is to be believed that the inflow of the tourists will be increased.

The ‘Ramayan Cruise Tour’ will not only attract a large number of tourists but it will also generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in the region. Ministry of ports, Shipping and Waterways will provide all necessary infrastructural support for the smooth operation of the cruise service.

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