Items dating back hundreds of years, which are usually seen in large museums, are now displayed at the ‘traditional’ house of Yen My, a commune in Hanoi’s Thanh Tri District, thanks to the donation of local villagers.

The Yen My commune’s traditional house is built to re-enact daily life activities, depict work and fight against foreign invaders of the locals. Photo: Lan Nhu  

The ‘traditional house’ is built to re-enact daily life activities, depict work, and fight against foreign invaders of Vietnamese ancestors for the young generation to learn and be proud of the country’s history, according to Tran Quang Khanh, Chairman of Yen My Commune People’s Committee.

The commune authorities called for the artifact donation of the people through public loudspeakers and groups going door to door. Thanks to the effort, a large number of objects have been collected.  

The traditional house is arranged like a museum. The objects are arranged in different categories and thematic spaces such as old furniture in the house and the kitchen, tools of agricultural production, objects in wartime, among others.

The grain measurement instrument was used in the early 19th century. Photo: Lan Nhu

There are many rare and precious items here such as agricultural tools before the advent of tractors and other farming machines, furniture used centuries ago like a bamboo cabinet for plates and cups; a terracotta jar; a bowl with the ancient pattern of a chicken; ceramic bowls, plates and pots; and a porcelain hookah. 

Collectors offered to buy some of these objects with tens of millions dong (thousands of dollars). However, their owners denied and donated them to the traditional house.

In addition, there are also items dating more recently, a few decades ago, such as cookers and lamps using kerosene, wooden trays, thermos, aluminum mess kits, and so on.

These beautiful valuable items are all donated by the villagers from Yen My village. Photo: Lan Nhu

The war space displayed items used in wartime, reminding the tough and heroic period of the country’s history with many shortages and difficulties.

The traditional house also arranges a reading corner with many books about Vietnam, Hanoi, history and famous local people for everyone to do research, especially young students.

The collection of artifacts is not easy and persuading people to donate them which is even more difficult, according to Nguyen Xuan Khang, a resident of Yen My commune. He also proudly added that there was no other place where the authorities could do the same as in his commune until now. 

The fishing tools of Yen My villagers in the old days. Photo: Lan Nhu

Meanwhile, 68-years-old Tran Thi Hue, another villager who volunteers to take care of the traditional house said that she found joy in the job as she could contribute a small part to preserving the artifacts of the ancestors. Her family also donated a pot that is about 300 years old.

Since the traditional house was open to the public two years ago, it has become a gathering place for the villagers as well as visitors, especially on weekends and holidays. There are many organizations, agencies, and schools booking tours to visit the place to better understand the historical development process of the locality and the country.