Old people have preserved craft
Author: Lê Nguyễn; Translator: Bich Thuy .Posted date: 06/03/2015 .Views: 1740 lượt.
Starting a business when they were girls in the age of sixteen, seventeen, up to now they always have strong attachment to craft which need to get up early and stay up late although they were over fifty years old with white hair. Those women are still silently make “the fire” at trade villages in Dien Ban land.

Triem Tay sedge mats

We came to Triem Tay village on a winter day. The first feeling about Triem Tay is  the peace, simplicity with the rows of areca and banana, cool green tree gardens. Only a few households still stick with the craft which has brought the good reputation for Triem Tay village . One of few is Mrs Huynh Thi To (61 years old) living in Triem Tay hamlet, Dien Phuong commune, Dien Ban district.

 

Mrs. To started to weave rush mats when she was a young girl. She was born in Cam Kim (Hoi An), her family had the traditional mat weaving craft. When she got married, she came to Triem Tay land and has continued to weave mats. Field land in Triem Tay is not many, so mat weaving craft was one of main professions  of her family as well as many families of the village at that time. Mrs. To said in melancholy: “At that time, most of families in Triem Tay weaved mats. Children help their parent in mat weaving. There were houses weaving from five to six double of mats in just one day. Over a dozen people buy mats here everyday.  However, many people quit this craft to do diferent jobs such as worker, waiter…because they don’t earn much money from this craft which it takes much time to do”.

Materials including rush, paint, artificial colouring are bought at Ban Thach (Duy Xuyen, Quang Nam). Rush must be taken the strong sun for 5 days to prevent musty. Next step is the classification of  1.6 m, 1.4 m, 1.3 m, 1.2 m aside, then they are dyed in colors, continued to be dried and woven into mats. With old age and poor health, Mrs. To wove from 1 to 2 mats alone but she doesn’t get many profits. However, when asking about giving up this craft, she said: “No! my sons advises me not to weave mats anymore because of the hardship when weaving alone. But if I don’t weave mat, I will live in idleness. I have gotten used to this work. If I give up this work, I don’t know what I do for a living”.

Mats woven by Mrs. To, have beautiful colour, solid border, careful folds. Althought products have not yet came out of the oven, many people ordered items. Having been woven, mats of Mrs.To in particular as well as Triem Tay's mats in general are sold in Ban Thach market then they are spreaded out every where. Therefore the trademark of Triem Tay mats has been well known.

Phu chiem rice paper

If Quang Nam is well known with Quang noodle, Phu Chiem is considered as the place where the most delicious Quang noodle are made in Quang Nam. After the harvests, Phu Chiem people husk rice into flour and made rice paper. Each family has a rice paper oven. The men grind rice into flour, the women make rice paper, the children bring rice paper to take the sun.  Mrs Le Thi Lai (65 years olds) is one of people who took over this craft in the oldest in Phu Chiem. Over 40 years taking over making rice paper, Mrs. Lai made hundreds of thousands of rice papers owning the Phu Chiem – branded. Rice papers were sold every where. Along with Mrs Lai, Mrs Duong Thi Phuoc, who is daughter of Mrs lai, has also sticked to this craft when she was young.

 

Mrs. Phuoc is over forty years old, she along with the women in Phu Chiem made rice papers deliciously in order to maintain this craft. Mrs. Phuoc said: "Phu Chiem rice paper is famous for they are delicious, flexible, aromatic. For a delicious rice paper, the first point is that the noodles are made from rice milled. The rice must be delicious rice planted in the silt fields along the Thu Bon river. Rice paper has to be smooth, soft white, flexible. A delicious rice paper depends on the skill of maker. After being made, rice paper must be dried under sunlight. Rice paper must be dried by charcoal in the rainy season. It would not be economical to dry by charcoal because the price of charcoal is very high. By not many profits, many people making rice papers gradually quit this craft because it is too consuming of time and energy. Mrs. Phuoc said: " Being a worker can earn money more than doing this work. Therefor, people don't want to make rice paper". When being asking that she intended to quit her job, she answer: "It is difficult to quit this job because I has became closely attached to it for a long time. Each job has joys and sorrow".

We were very touched to say goodbye  to these painstaking women. Although they are older and older, they still maintain the trade villages of homeland. People like Mrs. To, Mrs. Lai, Mrs Phuoc make me believe  the long-term survival of traditional villages. In the hope that this craft will be passed from generation to generation parallels the development of Dien Ban district.