Museum tells the story of Hanoi’s history and culture

Friday, 2018-09-28 13:33:55
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Visitors at the ceremony held by the Hanoi Museum on September 12 to receive objects from donors (Photo: VNA)
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NDO – What makes the Hanoi Museum different from other museums is that its collection includes thousands of objects donated by people from around the country. A number of the objects are precious and have been preserved by families for many generations.

With their love for Hanoi, many collectives and individuals have presented their “piece of memories” to the museum, helping to tell the story of the capital’s history and culture.

Hearing about the Hanoi Museum’s call for donations, Tiem and his 83-year-old mother Nguyen Thi Tung decided to offer objects which have been preserved by his family for many years, including sets of costumes and accessories for Mother Goddess worshipping ritual.

Nguyen Van Tiem from Van Tu commune, Thuong Tin district, Hanoi had respectfully offered incense to his ancestors before giving the Hanoi Museum these items. Many of the items are centuries old and are considered the family’s treasure.

At a ceremony held by the museum to receive donations, Tiem said that some of the items were used by his grandfather a half of century ago during the Mother Goddess worshipping ritual.

His family have received many offers from others but they refused to sell the items at any price.

A spirit mediumship ritual is considered a primitive and superstitious practice among some people, Tiem expressed his hope that by donating objects which are related to the Mother Goddess religion, the public will get a clear and proper understanding of the traditional practice.

The Hanoi Museum was inaugurated eight years ago and is still in the process of completing tis collection for display. The museum’s collection is intended to give an overview of Hanoi, ranging from its natural geography and history to culture and society, requiring a huge number of exhibits.

Due to its small budget, the museum’s managing board raised an initiative of calling for support and donation from people to complete the collection. The appeal has received an enthusiastic response from collectives and individuals who support Hanoi city’s cultural development.

Director of Hanoi Museum, Nguyen Tien Da said that the objects will be systemised to help visitors have a clear view on the history and culture of Hanoi through different periods.

“We are deeply touched by donors’ whole-hearted contributions as some of the items have strong attachment to the families of the donors,” he stressed.

With a total of 140 items, Nguyen Van Tiem’s family are among the donors who gave the largest number of precious objects to the museum.

Apart from Tiem, there are also touching stories of other donors, including Trieu Thi Thuc, who donated silk products and a picture of Van Phuc silk village. Thuc also presented a silk sample featuring hoa ban (Bauhinia flower) to the museum. It was created by her husband, late People’s Artisan Nguyen Huu Chinh, who was a seasoned craftsman of the village.

Thuc said that as the Chairman of Van Phuc Craft Village Association, her husband had devoted his whole life to restoring and promoting the craft of silk weaving in Van Phuc village. She shared that her eyes became full of tears whenever she saw objects relating to her husband.

She decided to present the mementos to the museum so that the descendants and people can admire the charm of Van Phuc’s silk weaving craft.

During its object raising programme in 2018, The Hanoi Museum received more than 1,000 items, which are expected to go on show to the public on Hanoi’s Liberation Day on October 10, 2019.

Other prominent donors included painter Nguyen Manh Duc, who offered a set of worshipping objects; Pham Van Nen from Lai Xa village, Kim Chung commune, Hoai Duc district, who presented a documentary photo collection of the village’s traditional trade of photography; Quach Phan Tuan Anh from Dinh Cong ward, Hoang Mai district, who donated a set of tools used in silver carving.

Covering an area of nearly 54,000 square metres on Pham Hung street, the inverted pyramid-shaped Hanoi Museum was inaugurated in October 2010 as a significant construction to welcome the millennial anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi.

Thanks to the donors, it can be proudly said that Hanoi Museum is being built by the hearts of Hanoi citizens.