Quang Ganh – A Familiar Image in Vietnam

No matter where one goes in Vietnam from suburban to urban areas, they will see women, young and old, carrying Quang ganh (two baskets hung from either end of a bamboo bole) on their shoulders. Inside the baskets are fruit, agricultural products, candies, com (young sticky rice), noodle soup and sweet porridge. It has become a very familiar image in Vietnam.

Quang ganh has for long time been a useful tool for Vietnamese farmers in the countryside to transport agricultural products and help them earn their living on the streets in big cities.

No one know exactly when Quang ganh was made in Vietnam, however, it is a creative product of locals in the land of bamboo. A set of Quang ganh consists of a pole which is made from bamboo and two baskets made from different materials, such as bamboo, rattan, woven ropes and steel wires.

The family of Gu in Vac Village in Thanh Oai, Hanoi have been making Quang ganh for many years.

Old bamboo trees are selected to make flexible poles.

Polishing the old bamboo treesto make bamboo poles.

Bending the bamboo treesto make it straight.

Bamboo poles are smoked to have a glossy black color.

To learn more about this tool, we visited the family of Gu in Vac Village in Thanh Oai, Hanoi who have been making Quang ganh for 40 years. Gu said that it seems simple to make poles from bamboo trees. In reality, it has to undergo many stages and takes a lot of time and effort. It is necessary to select an old and straight bamboo tree which is then submerged in water for two months before being dried and smoked to create flexibility.

To use Quang ganh to transport goods is not easy work and it requires much time to get familiar with it. The carriers must learn how to put the pole in the middle of their shoulder, divide products equally in the two baskets and how to move. It is really hard work.

For years, the image of women carrying Quang ganh has been a favourite theme that invokes the inspiration of photographers and painters who want to introduce international friends to Vietnam with its industrious people.

Quang ganh has for years been a useful tool for Vietnamese farmers.

Quang ganh is used to transport water.

Quang ganh is also seen at festivals.

Transporting agricultural products using Quang ganh.

Quang ganh is used to transport water.

Quang ganh helps people earn their living in urban areas.
By Tat Son- Thong Thien