Saturday, December 10 2016

VietNamNews

Blacksmithing lives on in Hue

Update: October, 08/2016 - 09:18
Tiến pauses for an afterschool photo in his blacksmith’s workshop. — Photo cand.com.vn
Viet Nam News

In the old days people used blacksmiths to make all sorts of things from metal.

Then factories started to make those things and people stopped being blacksmiths.

A man in Huế Province did not like seeing the type of work his family had done for so long, vanish.

So, Huỳnh Thế Tiến decided to get people to do it again.

Thanks to him, blacksmithing is once again happening in Huế Province.

THỪA THIÊN - HUẾ — Men who grew up in rural areas usually seek office jobs, avoiding the hard manual work their parents did.

But Huỳnh Thế Tiến does not want to turn his back on the traditional blacksmithing work of his father.

His strong will and focused effort have helped to save the blacksmiths of Cầu Vực Village in central Thừa Thiên - Huế Province.

47-year-old man Tiến always felt a kinship with blacksmiths. He helped his father every day during his childhood. Eventually, he attended college and later became a primary school teacher.

But seeing the craft of blacksmithing dying in his village made him feel bad.

Products made by blacksmith artisans in his home village could not compete with the cheap industrial products overwhelming the market. As a result, almost every artisan in the village quit his job to find other ways to earn a living.

“I felt pity. Fewer families in the village continued with blacksmithing since they could not sell their products since the 2000s,” Tiến told local newspapers. He decided to do something before the blacksmithing craft of his ancestors dies out completely.

Tiến loved the blacksmithing craft, especially the skills he learned from his father. In 2008, he set up a project to nurture a comeback of blacksmithing in the village.

First, he opened a blacksmith’s workshop at home with loans from local banks. He purchased modern equipment to make sharper and nicer products, compared with those produced by traditional tools.

“I decided to buy industrial equipment, like machine knives and machine hammers, which produces stronger pressure and is sharper than tools using hand power."

Industrial welding also replaced coal burning in some steps of blacksmithing. New designs were created. Gradually products from the Tiến workshop began to sell well in the local market.

Then, Tiến gave his designs to others in the village and worked as an agent to import high quality steel for blacksmiths, encouraging fellow blacksmiths to adapt to meet the needs of modern times.

Tiến’s efforts inspired locals and brought about a resurgence of blacksmiths and blacksmithing in his village.

By  2014, there were 20 households running family blacksmithing workshops in the village. This led the Thừa Thiên - Huế Province People’s Committee to recognise the community as a Craft Village.

Now Tiến works with three apprentices every night at the workshop after he finishes teaching at Thủy Lương Primary School. Today some of his products are found throughout the country, including a multi-function shovel, a ‘smart’ kitchen knife, and other agricultural and fishing tools.

Earlier this month, the committee awarded Tiến the title of “Blacksmith Artisan” and listed him as a local craft artisan. — VNS


 

 

GLOSSARY

Men who grew up in rural areas usually seek office jobs, avoiding the hard manual work their parents did.

A rural area is an area that is not in a city or town. Places like farms, forests and villages are rural areas.

To seek office jobs means to search for office jobs.

Manual work is work done using your hands, such as working in fields.

His strong will and focused effort have helped to save the blacksmiths of Cầu Vực Village in central Thừa Thiên - Huế Province.

Somebody who has a strong will has a strong sense of wanting to do something.

To be focused means to give something all your attention.

But seeing the craft of blacksmithing dying in his village made him feel bad.

A craft is something you do that involves making something by hand.

Products made by blacksmith artisans in his home village could not compete with the cheap industrial products overwhelming the market.

Artisans are people who work with their hands, using special skills to make things.

If products compete with one another, the people who sell them try to make sure people buy their products rather than other people’s products.

Industrial products are things made in factories.

To overwhelm the market means to make an enormous number of things available for people to buy.

In 2008, he set up a project to nurture a comeback of blacksmithing in the village.

To nurture means to carefully care and protect something while it is growing.

A comeback means a return.

He purchased modern equipment to make sharper and nicer products, compared with those produced by traditional tools.

Purchased means bought.

Industrial welding also replaced coal burning in some steps of blacksmithing.

To weld means to join two things together by heating them so much that they melt into one another.

Then, Tiến gave his designs to others in the village and worked as an agent to import high quality steel for blacksmiths, encouraging fellow blacksmiths to adapt to meet the needs of modern times.

To import means to buy things from another country.

To adapt means to change in order to be useful in a different way.

Tiến’s efforts inspired locals and brought about a resurgence of blacksmiths and blacksmithing in his village.

To inspire someone means to make them want to go out and do something positive.

A resurgence of something means a return.

Now Tiến works with three apprentices every night at the workshop after he finishes teaching at Thủy Lương Primary School.

Apprentices are people who are busy training to become artisans.

Today some of his products are found throughout the country, including a multi-function shovel, a ‘smart’ kitchen knife, and other agricultural and fishing tools.

A multi-function shovel is one that can be used for many purposes.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

  1. Huỳnh Thế Tiến is a teacher by day.
  2. Cầu Vực Village in northern Thừa Thiên - Huế Province.
  3. Huỳnh Thế Tiến borrowed money from local banks to open his blacksmith workshop at home.
  4. Huỳnh Thế Tiến’s father was a blacksmith.
  5. Huỳnh Thế Tiến trained as a secondary school teacher.

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. True; 2. False; 3. True; 4. True; 5. False.

 

 

Send Us Your Comments:

See also: