Quintessence of Vietnamese craftsmanship honoured

Thursday, 2017-05-04 13:04:27
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The opening ceremony of XQ Embroidery Museum in Hue
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NDO – The 2017 Hue Traditional Craft Festival, themed ‘Quintessence of Vietnamese Craft’ was held from April 28 to May 2 in Hue city, gathering the participation of craft villages from cities and provinces across the country.

The event has helped to preserve and promote the cultural values of traditional Vietnamese crafts and craft villages, enhance the trade efficiency of traditional crafts while fostering socio-economic development and incorporating handicrafts with tourism as well as domestic and foreign markets.

Over the past six seasons, the Hue Traditional Craft Festival has honoured many long-standing crafts in Hue, as well as many localities across the country. This year’s festival was organised in a traditional space with 30 Vietnamese old houses arranged along the Perfume River, called Kingpost houses, which are considered as Hue’s woodcarving masterpieces.

More than 320 artisans, most of whom are ‘Golden Hands’ artisans, folk artisans and meritorious artisans from 40 craft villages participated in the event. Many of Hue’s well-known traditional craft products and craft villages across the country, including embroidery, jewellery, fine arts carpentry, brass foundry, pottery, conical leaf hat-making, paper flower and embroidery painting were featured at the event, along with a number of cakes and traditional dishes of Hue.

The highlight of this year’s event was the opening of the XQ Embroidery Museum in Hue, which showcases nearly 400 works, artefacts, photos and documents related to embroidery, embroidered painting, double-sided embroidery pieces and thread sculptures. The museum is expected to help preserve cultural features and become an attractive tourism highlight in the cultural space on Le Loi road in Hue city.

Each craft village has countless historic stories, ‘golden hand’ artisans and characteristic products. Among the participant villages at the 2017 Hue Traditional Craft Festival, My Thien pottery village at Chau O commune, Binh Son district, Quang Ngai province was considered as a special craft village. According to historical documents, the village’s products were used during the Nguyen Dynasty as royal items or gifts. Later on, the village faced the risk of being lost altogether. The traditional craft is currently preserved by only two artisans. Artisan Ngo Dao Giang said, “Participating in the Hue Traditional Craft Festival is an opportunity to promote the craft of pottery. Life has changed, but traditional values still play an important role in modern life.”.

The Hue Traditional Craft Festival focused on demonstrating traditional crafts, which offers visitors a chance to experience the steps to create traditional products. Meanwhile, the organising board selected characteristic products featuring traditional elements. In addition, visitors and local people also met well-known artisans from traditional craft villages across the country. Visitors also became involved in the process of making Ao Dai (Vietnamese traditional long dress). The festival also hosted a number of tours visiting garden houses in Thuy Bieu and Kim Long wards in Hue city and Phuoc Tich pottery village.

According to Pham Thi Quynh Dao, Deputy Head of the festival’s organising board, the showcasing areas of similar villages were located close together so that the villages had a chance to meet and exchange. Additionally, visitors could compare the villages’ products and gain an understanding of the diversity of traditional villages throughout the country. The festival also offered investment opportunities to craft villages.

The festival featured key activities such as an Ao dai fashion show on the city’s iconic Truong Tien bridge, an exhibition honouring artisans and traditional crafts at Ly Tu Trong park, a hot-air balloon festival, a Hue cuisine festival and numerous other activities to popularise the tourism industries of a number of localities on Nguyen Dinh Chieu walking street.

According to the Standing Vice-Chairman of the Hue municipal People’s Committee, Nguyen Dang Thanh, the festival has become a great event and a place for nationwide artisans to gather, meet and exchange. During the international integration process, besides restoring Vietnamese handicraft products, it is necessary to build prestigious brand names of handicraft products to compete on the international market. The festival also aims to honour traditional crafts, artisans and unique products of high quality and cultural value, towards boosting the development of the economic, tourism and service sectors of Thua Thien-Hue province in particular and Vietnam in general.