Making news

Salt-making craft in Bac Lieu named national heritage

The salt-making craft of the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu has been recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage.

A ceremony to grant the recognition was recently held at Dien Hay commune, Dong Hay district by the provincial Department of Culture, Information, Sports and Tourism in coordination with the People's Committee of Dong Hay district.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People's Committee Cao Xuan Thu Van said the recognition is not only the pride of the province but also a contribution to preserving the treasure of Vietnam’s intangible cultural heritages.

It will also help domestic and international friends better understand the culture of the coastal areas of the district and Bac Lieu province, she added.

The local official suggested the community and local authority continue to preserve and develop the traditional salt-making craft, including by expanding salt-making acreage, improving salt quality, creating better living standards for local salt-farmers and building the Bac Lieu salt brand.

The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will provide instructions on building tourism products featuring salt-making experiences, as well as creating souvenirs and medicinal products from salt.

In coordination with the People’s Committee of Dong Hay district, the department will hold an annual salt festival to attract tourists to the region.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the province will develop mechanisms and policies to help salt farmers stabilise their lives, as well as strengthen guidance and transfer of modern scientific and technical applications to increase productivity and improve salt quality to help salt farmers feel secure to pursue their traditional craft and pass it to the next generations.

At the same time, the local traffic system will be improved, creating convenient transportation and serving the needs of tourism development.

According to Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Thi Lan Phuong, the traditional craft of salt-making in the province has existed for a long time.

“The farmers in Bac Lieu are known for their expertise in salt-making. The craft used to be thriving in the past, yielding sufficient salt to supply six southern provinces and even nearby countries,” she added.

The salt fields stretch for tens of kilometres along the coast, from Vinh Chau beach to Ganh Hao estuary. In the early years of the 20th century, salt-making was one of three major economic sectors, after rice and aquaculture, making the province one of the three major economic centres of the Mekong Delta.

The production process was formed and passed down through many generations of farmers and to this day, the basic techniques are still maintained, together with the assistance of modern machinery to improve productivity.

Salt produced in Bac Lieu often has a strong and unique taste due to the low content of magnesium, calcium and sulfate. Meanwhile, the Natricloride content is very high, accounting for 96.6 percent on average, nearly equal to Vietnam’s premium salt standard at 97 percent.

This is the first time a cultural heritage of the province has been included in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritages./.