Traditional handicraft products sold during Tet holidays such as fruit jams, flowers and ceremonial bronze incense burners have not yet gained popularity with people in Ho Chi Minh City.
|Workers are casting incensories in Thong Tay Hoi handicraft village in Go Vap District. (Photo: SGGP)|
The village of Thong Tay Hoi in Go Vap District which is famous for bronze casting of incense burners is usually busy at this time of year. However, the village is gradually witnessing a disappearance of this hundred year old craft. Most artisans have closed their workshops and moved on to other careers.
More than a decade ago Go Vap village was reputed for its seasonal flowers. Nowadays, most of the local people have switched to growing the more profitable ornamental flowers and bonsai trees. Besides, bonsai do not require much land to grow and farmers earn a substantial income from an area of only 100 sqm. Go Vap village currently provides a large variety of bonsai throughout the country even though bonsai trees only sell to those who can afford their high price.
Duong Sat (Railway) housing estate on Ly Thai To Street in District 3 which was once a jam manufacturing village is also facing hard times. Once a cottage industry it now has hundreds of its households switching to other businesses compelled by increasing raw material prices and lack of funds to modernize their units.
Old traditional handicrafts have lost their appeal in the new urban society of high-rise buildings. The question remains, should local authorities make efforts in restoring and preserving craft villages for future generations in Vietnam?