Vietnamese Brocades to Take Center Stage at Hanoi’s Cultural Program

An event showcasing the distinctive cultures, customs and traditions of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam is set to take place, aiming to provide both domestic and international visitors a glimpse into the country's rich heritage.

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The cultural exchange program with the theme “The Color of Vietnamese Brocade” will last until the end of July at the Vietnam Ethnology Cultural and Tourist Villages (VINACULTO) in Son Tay, a suburb of Hanoi.

Little girls of the H’Mong ethnic minority in their gorgeous attires. Photo: Trong Dat

Organizers say 100 people from 15 ethnic groups like Nung, Tay, H’Mong, Dao, Muong, Thai and Kho Mu… from 12 provinces and cities nationwide will participate in this ongoing cultural program.

The highlight of the festival is the demonstration of brocade weaving of ethnic villages with the theme “The Color of Time”, aiming to preserve the traditional craft – one of the precious folklore treasures of ethnic minorities in Vietnam, according to the organizers.

He added that H’Mong brocade weaving is considered one of the most unique ethnic minority crafts in the country. Beautiful H’Mong girls in their colorful costumes are always the center of attention at any mountain festival. The ethnic minority’s clothing, especially that of the women, expresses their industriousness, cleverness, and sense of beauty.

It seems that the H’Mong are one of the few people in the world who still make most of their own clothes. It takes them a total of 21 steps to make these beautiful attires, from planting the lanh or Linum usitatissimum tree to weaving the cloth and then decorating the garments with hand embroidery.

Women of the H’Mong ethnic group seem to have spent their whole lives weaving brocade. Photo: VINACULTO

At each destination in the village, visitors also have an opportunity to enjoy a folk art program and learn about the traditional culture of ethnic minorities in Vietnam such as Ede, H’Mong, K’Ho and others.

They can also participate in various activities practiced daily by ethnic people such as cooking, folk performances with village elders, weaving bamboo and rattan baskets, making musical instruments from wild leaves and stones, and playing folk games.

Apart from exciting performances, the program also includes culinary activities for visitors to taste some ethnic specialties prepared by people from Kho Mu, Tay and Thai groups.

Inside a Rong house or long house of ethnic people living in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Photo: VINACULTO

Covering an area of 1,500 hectares in Dong Mo Tourism Site, Son Tay Town, Hanoi, about 40 km from downtown, the Vietnam Ethnology Cultural and Tourist Villages is a complex of traditional Vietnamese architecture highlighting the country’s unique culture.

It includes an Ede long house, a Tay stilt house, a Dao house half on stilts and half on the ground, a H’Mong house with a roof made of fokienia wood, a Viet house with a tile roof, a Ja Rai tomb, a Bahnar communal house, a traditional Cham house, and a Ha Nhi house made of beaten walls.

Between the houses are indigenous trees, zigzagging paths, and a meandering stream crossed by small bridges. Visitors can do the tour on foot or by electric car.

The Khen dance is usually practiced by the H’Mong ethnic group in the northwestern mountainous region of Vietnam. Photo: VINACULTO