Ethnic minorities tell stories through pictures
VietNamNet Bridge - The pictures of culture, beliefs and daily life of some ethnic minority groups in many parts of the country at the photo exhibition "Our Culture, Dialogue in Open Space" were taken by ethnic minority people.

The exhibition is organized by the Institute of Social, Economic and Environmental Research (iSEE). 143 photos in the exhibition depict cultural activities, beliefs and daily life of the ethnic minorities such as Khmer (Soc Trang province), Paco and Van Kieu (Quang Tri), Thai and Muong (Thanh Hoa), Dao and Hmong (Yen Bai and Lao Cai). The exhibition lasts from November 10 through 18 at the Lam Son Park (District 1, Ho Chi Minh City).

From December 2011 to April 2012, some ethnic minority communities experienced the process of learning and preserving culture through photography and telling stories associated with each picture.

The exhibition is held based on the photovoice method, which means that the pictures are taken from the perspective of insiders and they are let to talk about their ethnic culture through their photos, without arrangement or modification. Each picture contains many stories about the private life of cultural identity of ethnic groups.

Dr. Le Quang Binh, iSEE Director said the most important thing is during the process of taking pictures, people feel proud of their culture. And perhaps just as they are proud of their culture, people can preserve and develop the culture as well as desire to introduce their culture to other ethnic groups.

This special exhibition also wants to emphasize that culture should belong to the community and it must be maintained by the community.

Some photos on display at the exhibition:

Người dân tộc thiểu số kể chuyện qua… hình ảnh
Mr. Vo Hua, a Paco, is examining chicken legs to prepare for an important
event in the family such as building a new house, selecting a plot of land to
 build house, when to go hunting... As soon as the chicken is slaughtered,
 the chicken owner must urgently tell the gods who are related to the things
 that they want to see. Chicken legs have four toes and Paco people
 think that each finger has its own spiritual omen: the thumb is for good
or bad things, the middle finger is divine protection and the little finger
is the business partner or just bad luck.




Người dân tộc thiểu số kể chuyện qua… hình ảnh
The ghost calling festival of Bru - Van Kieu people (Quang Tri) is
 performed by oracles. When the sword stands straight without
being held is when the soul appears.



Người dân tộc thiểu số kể chuyện qua… hình ảnh
Shaman Kon Nam, 58, is performing the ritual to offer wealth to the
god for a Paco man. If the sword is up and stands still for 30 seconds,
it means the god has accepted this sacrifice. The offerings
include chicken and sticky rice.



Người dân tộc Thái mặc áo khom đỏ để hành lễ về việc chữa bệnh, đuổi ma. 
Thai people wear red blouse to perform the ceremony of healing, chasing ghosts.



Người dân tộc Thái mặc áo khom đỏ để hành lễ về việc chữa bệnh, đuổi ma. 



Người dân tộc Thái mặc áo khom đỏ để hành lễ về việc chữa bệnh, đuổi ma. 
This basket is called “be” by Hmong people. It is used for packing food, vegetable,
 wood.... A woman hung her mobile phone near the basket like this. Sung A,
the author of the photo would like to say that H’mong people also know how
 to use mobile phone to communicate with their family and community.



Người dân tộc Thái hỗ trợ nhau trong việc dựng nhà. 


Người dân tộc Thái hỗ trợ nhau trong việc dựng nhà. 
Thai people support each other in building the house.
 


Ruộng bậc thang của người dân tộc H'Mông khi đã được dẫn nước vào ngâm cho mềm đất.
Terraced fields of Hmong people.


Ruộng bậc thang của người dân tộc H'Mông khi đã được dẫn nước vào ngâm cho mềm đất.
Every December, Van Kieu people organize family worship rituals.
All family members are at home to decorate tombs of their ancestors.
 Tombs are built far from the village but near the forest. This forest is
called the sacred forest. If people of other families cut down the trees here
 or make noise here, they will have to pay a fine with a chicken.


Ruộng bậc thang của người dân tộc H'Mông khi đã được dẫn nước vào ngâm cho mềm đất.
Hmong women often bring their children to the field.


Ruộng bậc thang của người dân tộc H'Mông khi đã được dẫn nước vào ngâm cho mềm đất.
A funeral of Muong people. The coffin is taken out by the horizontal door
 (the window) and not by the main door because this is the door of the living.


Ruộng bậc thang của người dân tộc H'Mông khi đã được dẫn nước vào ngâm cho mềm đất.
In the picture is the funeral of a 20-year-old girl. Those who die at the
 age of 13 upwards are called “qua giap”. People in the village visiting
 the funeral have to wear mourning.



Compiled by T. Van
 
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