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Festival embraces folk culture

Thousands of people have flocked to the pedestrian zone by Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi to attend the annual Folk Culture in Contemporary Life Festival.

First held in 2019, the event has become a destination to advertise culture and tourism of the capital, according to To Van Dong, director of Hanoi Culture and Sports Department.

He said the annual event aims to praise the historical and cultural values of Thang Long Hanoi – a thousand-year city.

This year, representatives from dozens of handicraft villages displayed their products and performed at the event like Ngu Xa Bronze Casting Village (Ba Dinh District), Van Phuc Silk Village (Ha Dong District); Dinh Cong Silverware Village (Hoang Mai District); Chuyen My Lacquer Village; Te Phu Tuc Grass Weaving Village (Phu Xuyen District); Vinh Thinh Conical Hat Village, and Truong Tam Bronze Casting Village (Thanh Tri District).

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Customers try on silk products at the booth of Phung Xa Silk Village.

Artisan Phan Thi Thuan, from Ha Village, Phung Xa Commune, My Duc District in the western outskirts of Hanoi, couldn't hide her excitement at the event, where she introduced her “brainchild” – silk made from lotus stems.

“Three generations in my family have followed the worm silk weaving handicraft,” she told Việt Nam News. “I have tried a new product -- silk from lotus stems. I want to introduce the soul of the handicraft at the festival.” 

Performing his skills to make a figurine from sticky rice dough, artisan Dang Van Khuong from Xuan La Village, Phuong Duc Commune, Phu Xuyen District, showed his pride in the traditional craft.

“We have kept the craft handed down through generations,” Khuong said. “Our products have been sold throughout the nation and even exported. This year, due to COVID-19, we haven’t exported as much as in the previous years. But I believe the situation will be improved soon.”

Retiree Phung Thi Yen, a resident in the Old Quarter, said she went to the festival every year.

“I think it’s a good idea to make the pedestrian area in the downtown bustling,” she said. “I bring my grandchildren here to tell them about many traditional handmade products in the city. My grandchildren saw here for the first time how products are made like weaving from worm silk and making figurines.

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Artisan make toy figurines at the event.
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Artists perform xam (folk singing by buskers) at the event. VNA/VNS Photos Tuan Duc

“I feel proud of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the city,” she said. “I love the city even more after such an event.”

Mai Thanh Long, 27, said she could not believe Hanoi is home to so many handicraft villages.

“As a young person living in the city, I think of my responsibility to preserve and develop the crafts. I’m thinking of making a website to introduce these crafts together with my friends.” VNS

Le Huong

Folk festival in downtown Hanoi

Folk festival in downtown Hanoi

Various folk activities will be on show at the first ever Folk Culture in Contemporary Life Festival this weekend at Ly Thai To Park in downtown Hanoi.

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