TN17C_ CULTURE 2_LE DOAN_21/8/2010

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TN17C_ CULTURE 2_LE DOAN_21/8/2010

Bài gửi  thachanh on Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:43 pm

Student: LE DOAN
Class: TN 17C
Lesson: Language and culture 2LC

Dear mr Viet Anh!
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology
Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is a research center exhibiting the cultures of ethnic groups. Its functions include scientific research, classification, evaluation, conservation, restoration, exhibition, and development, of historic and cultural patrimony of 54 national ethnic groups. The Museum has become a tourist center for the Vietnamese as well as foreign tourists. A miniature of Vietnam appears before me.
Indeed, Vietnam has a large cultural community – the Dong Son Community. Although having its own characteristics, the Community shares many common traits with the Southeast Asia Culture due to the same ‘South Asia’ and ‘wet rice’ origin.
Vietnam culture has become diverse through every historical period of the nation, from the Van Lang, with the representative creation of the Dong Son Bronze Drum and wet rice agriculture, to the period of Northern domination, with the simultaneous existance of Han culture and anti-Han which led to the acquirement of Confucianism and Buddhism. Then a chaotic time of the four dynasties Le-Mac-Trinh-Nguyen came, with the penetration of Western culture. The current ends with the ’20s and ‘30s of the 20th century.
Vietnam consists of 54 ethnic groups living in one land, each has its own features. That explains why Vietnam is an union of diversity. In addition to the remarkable Viet-Muong culture, there are other original cultural groups such as Ta-Nung, Thai, Cham, Hoa-Ngai, Mon-Khmer, and H’Mong-Dao. Especially among them are Tay Nguyen groups, which retain the rich and comprehensive traditions of a pure agriculture society with a strong attachment to natural forests and mountains. All of these are lively exhibited in the Museum, without any sophistication, which help visitors feel the beauty, fineness, and simplicity of Vietnamese life.
After the Virtual tour indoor (Bronze Drum Building), I came to the outdoor, with 9 architectural folk works and several large exhibits like the Rong House (Communal House) of the Ba Na, San House (house on stilts) of the E De and the Tay and the Dao, single-floor pomu-roofed house of the H’Mong, tile-roofted house of the Viet, house of the Cham, ‘trinh tuong’ house of the Ha Nhi, and the charnel house of the Gia Rai. Among the buildings are various kinds of plants, sinuous paths, and a winding stream flowing all year with a bridge across. To me, this might be the most enjoyable area of the Museum.
Firstly, the Cham’s houses. There are five of them in the Cham family precinct, and the most important one is the Thang Lam. It has gang-boarded floor and a two-layer roof: the lower is plastered with a mixture of mud and rice, while the uper is tile- or thatch-roofted. The Cham has matriarchal life and traditional field agriculture, is famous with silk-weaving and and hand-knead pottery, baked on outdoor kiln. In music, standing out from Cham music instruments are leather-covered drum Paranung, hand clap drum, xaranai horn, etc. Nowadays, the Cham are the only group where men wearing skirts can still be found.
Out of the Cham’s houses, I came to the Ê Đê’s. The house is 42.5m in length, 6m in width, with the floor 1.1m from the ground. There’s a door at the end of the house for women. When lying in this house, people direct their heads towards the east, while their feet the West. Along the house is a bench, and there are a lot of gongs hung on the wall. The E De always build their stairs by hand and stylize them into the shape of two flower buds, or a crescent. The columns and pillars are ornamented with animal figures like elephants, tortoises, and iguanas. The house is prolonged when a woman member of the family gets married.
After that, I reached the charnel house of the Gia Rai. Ornate statues around the house are carved by axes and knives. Statues of couples having sex as well as pregnant women are symbols of growth. Other human and animal statues are considered to serve the dead in the other world. Bowls and plates, bottles, and other wooden tool models put inside the charnel house are to support the life of the dead lying here. The wooden boarded roof is also covered with bamboo splints, which is decorated with many figures created in an traditional way. The carvings on the roof depict the activities during the leaving off mourning. Charnel houses are built and decorated only for days of leaving off.
Next, Dao’s houses. The Dao live in San houses, or half-on-stilts-half-on-ground, or single-floor houses. The ground is for ancestral altars, stoves, looms, and guests receiving, while the floor, boarded with split and smashed bamboo tubes, is for sleeping as well as eating when a funeral takes place. This floor is very important. Usually, after setting up 4 main pillars, the floor will be set so as to keep the house in balance. This is the most difficult and time-consuming task. Dao people have a custom of matrilocal residence: after the wedding, the groom stays in his parents-in-law’s house for 1-5 years before moving to his parents’ house. Dao people also have much appreciation of knowledge.
Next to the Dao’s house is the H’Mong’s house. The Hoa H’Mong only live in single-floor houses. Theis houses are made of pomu wood. I found the house rather modern, resembling the Kinh’s house a few years ago. There’s an interesting custom here, which is called ‘wife abduction’ – considered as ‘luoc hon’. Some people think this outdated and obsolete, but it somewhat highlight the cultural as well as historic beauty of Vietnamese life.
Next, I went to the house of Ha Nhi people. It is made of soil. The frame is rather simple. The wall is thickly coated with a red material. Every Ha Nhi couple has to get married twice in their life, the second one is hold when they are prosperous and have children.
And the Communal House of Ba Na people, also called Rong House, is one of the most important elements that make character of Tay Nguyen people. It is important because of it contains not only material values but also strong spirit values of Tay Nguyen people. It is not only spirit but also blood, perspiration, tears, glory, pride, and the forecast of great aspirations of people versus nature and universe. People usually evaluate riches of a Tay Nguyen village by Communal House. According to the custom here, bachelors and spinsters have to sleep at Communal House at night.
Essentially, the house has 2 roofs, and there is a pair of horns on the top. If you observe carefully, you will see some differences from housing: Along the root top is a range of special decorations. The floor is joined by many bamboo or neohouzeaua boards. In the middle, there is a row of handrail that supports to “cần” wine jars when people held a festival. Decorative designs on the wall are red and green. The pillar is carved skillfully: eight-angle stars, lozenges, birds and people. This is an architectural and artistic work of a community of people.
Communal House is an original and typical cultural institution and plays an important role in spirit life, social life, and faiths of Tay Nguyen ethnic groups. It is a valuable inheritance of present and future. Protecting the Communal House, the heart of village, that keeps many legends in ancient epics, and arises new legends also, Tay Nguyen ethnic groups will get an abundant and diversified spirit life, take root in the tradition and approach some new values that are suitable with rising trend of society.
After visiting Communal House, I went to the house of Tay people that is built at model of San house with four symmetric roofs. Each house often has a water trough for cleaning legs and a small garden with many different species. Besides, they build a Temple of Kitchen God on the campus. And you should know that the worship of ancestors is the most important cenemonial.
And the last is Viet house or Kinh house. It has five rooms. The mid one is used for worship of ancestors. Next ones are living room and bed rooms. Anymore, there are a well, a garden and a pond there. Viet people live a rather simple life at home village with banian trees, wells, and temple grounds. In Mid-Autumn, children and old people gather and look at the moon, and make a lantern parade. They often held water puppet and sing “quan họ trao duyên”( duo of love song) in festivals. Others, the custom of chewing betel appeared at Hung Vuong Empire and nowadays it still attaches to everybody, especially in Tet, funerals, and marriages. Clothes are from lorn-cloths to short jackets, and traditional trouserses. Women wear brassieres, four panel traditional dress commonly, and then they change into modern Vietnamese dress or Áo Dài. In general, Vietnamese women make beauty tactfully and privately, in the “ Good habits are better than the beauty” society. Old clothes contain handkerchiefs, hats, and belts.
Otherwise, museum also makes a water-peak to introduce the water puppet culture to visitors, restores and brings back some ancient values. Games like chess, clown, dragon-dance, tending buffalo child, lion dance, Le Loi returns sword, and boat race seem to be gone to man’s heart more easily than our customs.
We should know about our history as well as traditional beauties . And I think that Vietnam museum of ethnology is an interesting place for everybody.

Your student


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