A delegation from the 42nd Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP 2015) visited Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper headquarters in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday, as part of a series of activities during their 40-day trip to explore the participating countries.
Forty out of 322 young people of the SSEAYP 2015, who are from Southeast Asian countries and Japan, joined the Tuoi Tre visit, whereas the remaining members divided themselves into ten groups to come to other attractions in the southern Vietnamese metropolis.
The ship arrived at Cat Lai Port on Tuesday and is scheduled to leave for Yangon, Myanmar on Saturday.
Tuoi Tre managers and staff, led by editor-in-chief Tang Huu Phong, welcomed the 40 SSEAYP delegates and conferred with them in a meeting where the guests were briefed on 40 years of history of the newspaper that “represents the voice of the youth in Vietnam.”
“It is a great honor for me to welcome you and have a few words with you at a moment which, I feel, is very important today,” Phong said in his welcome speech.
The “important moment” refers to the coming establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community on December 31, and the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) accord, of which Japan is an important member, the editor-in-chief elaborated.
Phong said there are many opportunities for the traditional ties that have been built and preserved between Vietnam, other Southeast Asian countries and Japan “to become deeper and more practical,” as all nations have “an understanding of one another’s culture, society, tradition and people.”
“Your trip to Vietnam should be considered a chance for us to exchange more with each other, get to know more about each other and share more with each other, so that in the future, each of us can make an important contribution to elevating the rapport between our nations to even higher levels,” he said.
The SSEAYP members were then provided with an overview of the history of Tuoi Tre, from its foundation on September 2, 1975 to the present, before engaging in a Q&A session where they put questions to get to know more about the country’s leading newspaper.
The guests asked the editor-in-chief if the newspaper had faced any obstacles during its early days and how it had managed to overcome them eventually.
They also wanted to know what Tuoi Tre would do to recruit the best people for its team.
The young visitors were also intrigued to know of Tuoi Tre Cuoi, the satirical publication of Tuoi Tre, and were gifted copies of the latest issue of the biweekly magazine to have first-hand experience of Vietnamese cartoons and caricatures.
After the exchange, the SSEAYP delegates went on to explore the Tuoi Tre newsroom, the archive room, the IT department and the data center, where all servers that power the online publications of the newspaper are placed.
Dk. Sharifah Hazirah, who studies media in Brunei, said she was excited about the trip, as it was the first time she had traveled overseas and visited Tuoi Tre in particular.
“I am very happy that I could be able to be here and I did not expect that we would visit news agencies, so now it is very nice,” she said.
“[The newspaper] is quite different from what we have in Brunei... I was like, ‘Oh, this is cool! I can write this in my report’.”
The visitors left after a joint luncheon at 1:00 pm for the homestay program, in which they will be hosted by 157 families across 14 districts of Ho Chi Minh City, join their meals, and take part in their daily routine to have a better understanding of Vietnamese people’s lifestyle and culture.
The SSEAYP, which started its journey on November 5 from Japan and previously docked in the Philippines, will visit Laos and Malaysia, and then return to Japan as the final destination.
Activities on board include group discussions about eight topics, cultural introduction, sports and club sessions.
Established in 1974, SSEAYP is a cooperation program jointly run by the Japanese government and Southeast Asian countries to foster friendship and greater understanding among the youth from the participating nations.
Vietnam first joined the program in 1995.
Below are some photos of the visit:
SSEAYP members and Tuoi Tre staff are pictured during a meeting at the newspaper’s headquarters. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Ikuko Nakano (L), Japan National Leader, presents a gift to Tang Huu Phong, Tuoi Tre editor-in-chief. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A SSEAYP member asks a question during the Q&A session. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The SSEAYP members read Tuoi Tre newspaper sheets. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Tuoi Tre editor-in-chief Tang Huu Phong hands over gifts to the SSEAYP members. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The SSEAYP members smile as they look at the gifts from Tuoi Tre. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The SSEAYP members listen as they are briefed on the Tuoi Tre newsroom. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The SSEAYP members look at the drafts of the upcoming issue of the weekly magazine Tuoi Tre Cuoi Tuan. Photo: Tuoi Tre