Hanoi project brings youths to explore traditional culture

By Minh Ngoc, Thanh Nien News

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A tour to explore traditional sculpture organized by Toi xe dich (I Move) project. FILE PHOTO

A project aiming to organize tours for young people in Hanoi to explore folklore has seen fruitful results after two years. 
The project named Toi xe dich (I Move) was initiated by Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, a student of the Hanoi Foreign Trade University in June 2012. 
Under the project, tours to Vietnamese traditional craft villages and other spots (named Wind Days) were organized to help young people learn about the characteristics of Vietnamese folklore, along with an online forum named Viec lang (Village affairs) discussing cultural issues. 
Ha used Facebook as an effective tool to promote the tours. She brought her like-minded peers, researchers and artisans together to the forum. 
Ha recalled that the first offline meeting of Viec lang forum, which took place in a tra da (ice tea) shop in Hanoi, only attracted several youngsters. But up to now, thousands of youngsters have joined activities of the project. 
Ha and her co-workers invited folklore experts, such as veteran cheo (traditional northern opera) artist Thanh Ngoan and traditional sculpture researcher Tran Hau Yen The, to accompany youngsters in Wind Days tours so that the experts gave them information related to the area they were exploring. 
The Facebook page of Toi xe dich project has so far had more than 7,000 likes. 
Ha said she hoped her project will inspire other people to develop more projects to help young people learn about Vietnamese traditional culture in an effort to preserve it. 
According to her, Vietnamese young people like her are somewhat “lost” in the digital age and she felt that there are empty spaces in her knowledge of folklore. 
Prof. Ngo Duc Thinh, director of the Center for Research and Preservation of Vietnamese Culture and Beliefs, said projects like I Move should be developed to quench the thirst for knowledge of culture and history of Vietnamese people. 
The government has poured a lot of money into culture preservation projects, but they have fallen short of expectations, he said, while small, self-financed projects such as I move is proving effective. 
“Small projects need more support from the community and researchers’ circle,” Thinh said.

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