07/12/2018 14:56 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Handicraft fair promotes ethnic cultures

Handicraft Bazaar is an annual cultural event held by Craft Link since 1996 to give a chance to ethnic people nationwide to introduce their traditional products to domestic and foreign customers. 
This year’s fair was held on November 17 at the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, with 46 stalls staffed by ethnic people and people with disabilities. The event attracted about 5,000 visitors who came for cultural exchanges and shopping.

Lung Thi Minh, a 47-year-old Lo Lo woman from Dong Van district, Ha Giang, has participated in the fair for seven years. Minh said the fair is always exciting because it is a chance for her and her neighbors to meet other people, especially foreigners, who not only buy Lo handicrafts but also are interested in the Lo Lo culture, especially their costumes.

The Lo Lo in Meo Vac or the Red Lo Lo, is a small ethnic group living in Pang Sa A village, Meo Vac, Ha Giang. The Lo Lo live in one of the highest rocky mountain areas in Vietnam and is also one of the poorest ethnic groups in the country.

Craft Link’s Handicraft Bazaar is held annually. 

This year’s fair is attended by 40 groups of ethnic people,
people with disabilities and people from craft villages. 

The colorful pavilion of the Mong Xanh from Pa Co, Mai Chau district, Hoa Binh province. 

The fair gives ethnic people a chance to introduce their traditional handicrafts to foreigners.

A Thai woman from Nghe An province introduces her brocaded items to foreign visitors. 

The bazaar is one of the activities to restore the traditional crafts of ethnic people. 

The fair creates an opportunity for craftspeople to meet handicraft traders in Hanoi.
Sam Thi Tinh (blue shirt), the owner of a souvenir shop in Hanoi discusses ordering scarves. 

Bazaar 2018 is a place for showcasing the cultures of ethnic groups. 

A corner for children to learn about making handicrafts. 
The Red Lo Lo have distinctive cultural features, especially their traditional costume which has red as the key color and is decorated with beautiful embroidered patterns and accessories. It takes about one year for a Lo Lo woman to make such a costume which is worn during the lunar new year festival and other ceremonies.

Through Craft Link’s project, Lo Lo women like Lung Thi Minh can improve not only their sewing and embroidering skills but also management and sales skills to increase their income while promoting their culture and traditions.

Craft Link Director Tran Tuyet Lan said the annual fair aims to introduce the cultures of ethnic groups and craft villages to foreign visitors. The fair not only helps ethnic people sell their products but also gives them a chance to interact with customers to better understand their tastes and needs.

For visitors, the fair is not only a market of Vietnamese handicrafts but also a place to see original art performances of ethnic people and study their culture and traditions.

A lot of foreign visitors come to the fair.

Lung Thi Minh (left) has been to the fair every year since 2011. 

The fair displays many traditional handicrafts of ethnic people. 

The pavilion of the Mong from Dien Bien province.

A Giay woman shows how incense is made from natural materials. 

Beautiful items displayed at the fair. 

Nguyen Kim Lan, a Co Tu woman, helps a foreign visitor select a brocaded piece of cloth. 

The bazaar is a nice place for visitors interested in ethnic cultures.

Craft Link is a Vietnamese NGO operating to assist ethnic people and disadvantaged people, and help craft villages to restore their traditional trades.

Joining Craft Link projects, craftspeople are trained in management and bookkeeping skills and are assisted to restore their traditional crafts and developing and marketing their products. After these training sessions, the trainees can manage and develop their own projects in a sustainable manner. 

Story: Thao Vy - Photos: Viet Cuong