VietNamNet Bridge – Elderly villagers of Nem Thuong Village oppose a proposal to rename the controversial pig-chopping festival held every year.
The meeting, held by local authorities with the participation of over 150 elders, discussed how to organize the pig-chopping festival this year.
At the meeting, the Bac Ninh Department of Culture proposed to change the name of the festival from pig-chopping to pig procession. It also said the pig should not be chopped up in the front court but slaughtered in a separate area.
"All of the elders in the village reacted strongly. They refused to rename the festival," said Nguyen Dinh Loi, deputy chief organizer of the festival.
Loi said the posters for the festival have always said "Traditional Festival of Nem Thuong Village" not "Pig-chopping Festival." The rite of chopping the pig and the pig procession are only one part of the festival, they said.
The change in the form of chopping the pig in the front court in a separate area was also discussed. Most of the elders wanted to maintain the ritual.
"The elders said if officials don’t perform the ritual, let us do it. The festival belongs to our village, so let us decide,” Tran Van Duc, chief organizer of the festival, said.
The village elders were upset when they were told that some people thought their ritual was brutal. Their village’s traditional rite, which honors the merits of the village tutelary god, reminds people about the heroic tradition and wishes for good harvests, they said.
They said the festival does not violate the law and they want to preserve the identity of their homeland, so they want to maintain the pig-chopping rite in the front court of the village communal house.
After a great deal of debate, the organizing board has not come to a final decision on the pig chopping ritual. "The final meeting will take place one to two days before the festival and we will make the final decision there,” Duc said.