Culture and Arts

7/2/2015 5:04:57 PM

The time-honored culture of Vietnam has created many traditional forms and genres of literature and art bearing an original national character.

Culture and Arts
The time-honored culture of Vietnam has created many traditional forms and genres of literature and art bearing an original national character.
THEATRICALS
WATER PUPPET SHOW
Ly Kings in the 11th century created this kind of art. All puppets are handled by hand.
Live folk musical bands stand behind the curtain to march the movement of the puppets on the water. Firecrackers, smoke, fire and lights make it more interesting. This is the unique art on the water that attracts thousands of villagers for the festivals. Tourist can enjoy it in Hanoi at water puppet theater or in Ho Chi Minh City at the war museum area.
QUAN HO FOLK-SONGS
The birthplace of Quan Ho folk songs is Bac Ninh province, north of Hanoi, where traditional village festivals are held every year. QUAN HO is a kind of songs performed by a group of young men and a group of young women who sing alternatively amidst natural landscapes in spring time in the yard of a communal hoor pagoda on a hill, in a row-boat, or other places.
POPULAR OPERA (CHEO) 
This typical opera from the north of Vietnam. It takes all village activities and historical events into the theater. Actors and actresses make of folk dance to accompany the local folk songs. Quan ho folk songs get some songs from this art. Love songs are composed on the boats and rice fields.
TUONG (TRADITIONAL OPERA)
It is a traditional and conventional character. Most of the Tuong plays are based on epics. This gender of art is well developed throughout the country, especially in south central province.
CAI LUONG (RENOVATED OPERA) 
It is the new gender of stage art born in the south of Vietnam with many songs diversified and rich in melody. Most of the songs in a Cai Luong opera originate from the popular ancient pieces of south music. The thoughts and feelings of the characters are clearly expressed through the actors' and actresses' songs.
 
FINE ARTS
 
HO VILLAGE PAINTINGS
Ho villagers always draw paintings for New Year. Popular color is made from natural ink. Most of folk paintings reflect the utmost wishes for peace, happiness and prosperity. Some famous topics for paintings are domestic animals in the holike cows, pigs, dogs and cats. The paintings that gain fame forever are "Picking coconuts, Wedding for mice".
SILK PAINTINGS 
This is a high-class style of painting. Silk is used as canvas with pain or natural ink for drawing. The general topics are the sun, the moon, stars, countryside, and human beings...
LACQUER WARE PAINTINGS
Lacquer ware was imported to Vietnam from the 6th century. The Vietnamese have developed it to the highest traditional art. Lacquer is derived from a special kind of trees in the forest. Eggshells can be used for decoration together with teakwood. Special lacquer ware paintings can stand cold weather. It takes weeks or months, polishing by hand, to finish one lacquer ware painting...
CERAMICS 
Different regions have various kinds of ceramics. The traditional ceramics come from Bat Trang village outside Hanoi. Chu Dau in Hai Duong is the oldest cradle of pottery and ceramic. In the South, Son Be, Dong Nai, and Dalat are the major ceramic centers. The quality and art of drawing is superb. All are hand made.
HANDICRAFT
Articles made of lacquer and rattan, bamboo and palm are quite popular. Vietnamese are experts in making article out of wood, animal hide, tortoise shells, oyster shells, and animal horns. There can be purchased at shops or at the factories.
SHOPPING
Open markets are main area for exchanging trade in Vietnam. If you can not find an item, ask someone and they can find it for you. There are department stores with marked prices and these stores are the best indicators on what should be paid. In a large city it is not uncommon to see a street lined with electronics and the next street full of plastic goods. There are plenty of bargains to be made and one can always find something interesting to bargain over. Dong Khoi streetin Saigon is a good place for Vietnamese silk, handicrafts while Hanoi's old quarter is full of queer local souvenirs.
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