A pictorial magazine, Dan Toc va Mien Nui (Nationalities and Mountain), owned by the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), debuted in Hanoi on January 22.

The magazine, published in Vietnamese and five ethnic languages - Khmer, Cham, Bahnar, Jrai and Ede – was expected to provide ethnic groups with a good source of information.

The debut ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan and other officials.

The magazine replaces a newsletter which has been published by the agency since January, 1991, the first such publication to target ethnic groups.

It has been distributed free to all villages, communes, schools, and border posts in locations inhabited by ethnic groups and is widely used as a reference for school children.

Since last July, the magazine has been circulated in 52 out of 63 provinces and cities.

The Vietnam News Agency aims to publish the magazine in three other languages - Mong, K’Ho and M’nong - in the short term and in all recognised ethnic languages by 2015. An online version is also planned.

Deputy PM Nhan praised the VNA for the publication, which he said is important in the national development strategy in which care for ethnic groups is emphasised.

It has become a vital bridge between the Party, State and ethnic groups.

He asked the editorial board and the agency to survey the target readership to improve the content, to make it even more relevant to the lives, cultures, customs and religions of each group.

VNA General Director Nguyen Duc Loi said the publication has also helped preserve verbal and written language of ethnic groups.

And it has not only made Party and State policies available to the groups but also helped have their voices to be heard.-VNA