Ngoc Ha flower village makes effort to keep its scent

Hanoi's ancient Ngoc Ha flower village no longer grows flowers but recently the nice colors are seen and pleasant odors of flowers scented once again here, thanks to green projects of the residents.

Hanoi's ancient Ngoc Ha flower village no longer grows flowers but recently the nice colors are seen and pleasant odors of flowers scented once again here, thanks to green projects of the residents. 

The Women's Union of Ngoc Ha Ward (Ba Dinh District) has successfully implemented greening models that not only bring back the image of the thriving flower village of the yesteryear but also benefit the community.

Flowers in the street

Ngoc Ha village was such a small place and so densely populated that the land was not enough for growing rice but only flowers, according to the elders in the village.

The village was then known as the capital’s kingdom of flowers where every one came to find the right variety for each occasion as well as enjoy the glamourous landscape.

Ngoc Ha Flower village in the old days. Photo collector Luong Le

In the rapid urbanization nowadays, with the increase of the population from all walks of life, the traditional flower trade disappears.

Moreover, the poor awareness of some people who litter anywhere, spontaneous dumps appear all over the place, blocking the way to visit relic sites in the area as well as disfiguring its beautiful image and polluting the environment.

Seeing the issue, the Women's Union of Ngoc Ha Ward embraced the idea of reviving the alley a few years ago. After being approved by the local authority, the project of turning the dumps into a painting exhibition known as “Ngoc Ha in the past and today” and building a community garden known as “Flowers in the street” was carried out.

The 'revival' of the ancient village in the wall paintings in Ngoc Ha's neibourhood. Photo: cand.com.vn   

The project was supported by everyone in the place, only women but people of different ages and  occupations, according to Ms. Cu Thi Kim Thuan, Secretary of the Residential Area No. 5 of the alley.

The alley profile has changed totally since then. Dumps in the alley have been eradicated. In their places, pots of flowers and plants bring a charming scene to the old village-turned-urban neighborhood.

Furthermore, thanks to the exhibition, visitors to Ngoc Ha village can learn not only about the flower village but also history of the place, especially Huu Tiep Lake where the local people shot down B52 bomber during the American air raids in Hanoi in 1972.

A wall painting of the US. B52 bomber wreckage in Huu Tiep Lake at alley 137 Hoang Hoa Tham. Photo: cand.com.vn  
 

Great efforts

The model of “Flowers in the street” has been replicated in other alleys of the area. Following the success of the previous one, another project, “Green streets”, has been also executed, creating more green spaces with trees, pots of flowers and bonsai, and mural paintings.  

“At the beginning, no one believed that the garbage dumps could be removed. However, we make an effort to persuade and mobilize people to take action. Gradually, they see the benefits of keeping their own place green, clean and beautiful,” said the Chairwoman of the union Chu Thanh Loan.

The fund for the project is raised from both the support of the local government and the contribution of the residents. 

According to Head of the Women's Union in the Residential Area No. 7, Ngoc Ha Ward, Pham Thi Xuyen, local women and residents are encouraged to sort out recyclable waste such as paper, bottles, boxes, and sell to raise fund for the model “Collecting scrap, keeping green”.

The community garden Residential Area No. 7, Ngoc Ha Ward. Photo: Minh An 

The money is used to buy pots for plants and flowers to build “hanging” gardens in the alleys.

Seeing the efficiency of the model, more and more people have joined to build up more “flower gardens” in the area for “green, clean and beautiful” streets.

Obviously, it also educates the people about dumping garbage in the right place, protecting the environment and keeping the public space clean and beautiful.

Besides these green and beautiful projects, another campaign promoting “Good Conduct” is also launched by the Women's Union of Ngoc Ha Ward. It supports members of the union through giving health insurance cards, supporting school expenses of poor people’s children and house reparation, among others.

These efforts contribute to make Ngoc Ha Village an interesting destination for those who want to learn about the beauty and cultural values of the thousand- year-old city.

Hanoitimes

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