Xieng Vang village in Nong Bok district in Khammouan province of Laos has typical characteristics of a Vietnamese village with banyan trees, wells and community houses. The houses are made from wood and surrounded by gardens, rice fields and old bombax ceiba trees. Along the river are lines of longan, mango and bamboo trees.
Apart from farming, Vietnamese people there engage in traditional handicrafts such as making dried noodles and Banh gai or thorn leaf cake.
Dang Van Hong, 90, said the Vietnamese community in Xieng Vang village over the past century have stayed united and preserved Vietnam’s traditional cultural values: “For example, when a villager died, the others came to help in their funeral. People here have close bonds”.
Overseas Vietnamese have also helped promote Vietnamese culture to the world. Master of Music Tran Tuan Anh who is living in the US has won a number of prizes in international music contests. Anh has traveled to many countries in the world to perform Vietnamese music.
“I introduce to foreign friends famous pieces of Vietnamese music, including “Drifting blossoms, floating clouds”, “Please stay and don’t leave”, and “Rain and mountain of the Central Highlands”,” said Anh. “I want to promote the image of Vietnam, my homeland to the international audience”.
Meanwhile, Dr. Thai Kim Lan always feels proud to wear the traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai (long dress) when she gives a lecture in Germany.
“My students feel excited when their teacher wears a traditional costume. It shows the Vietnamese tradition. You will be successful if you respect your traditional identities”.
Designer Minh Hanh adds brocade patterns to her Ao Dai. Hanh’s Ao Dai have been displayed at the UN Headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland) as well as in many other fashion shows in the world.
“I add different cloth patterns and colors of 54 groups in Vietnam and modify to make it suitable to modern trend,” Hanh revealed.