|Those were the days: A photo taken in 1930 in front of a temple during a festival. The image is among those taken by people associated with the old French School in Viet Nam.
HA NOI (VNS) — Images of culture and daily life in Viet Nam 100 years ago are now on show in the capital city.
Titled Objective Viet Nam, the event presents 55 photographs from the archives of the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient (French School of the Far East) to mark a century of research in Viet Nam.
The photos come from scholars and photographers who used the large and medium format cameras and old camera techniques. Some of the photos have been restored with digitalisation.
The photos record relics throughout Viet Nam, especially those belonging to the Champa, Dong Duong and Oc Eo cultures in the central and southern region of Viet Nam.
One section displays photos of restoration works carried out by French School experts. Altogether, the school built eight museums in Indochina, including five in Viet Nam.
Another section pictures the Nam Giao offering ritual implemented in 1939 under King Bao Dai (1913-97) of the Nguyen Dynasty.
This was the most important ceremony in feudal times. It aimed to honour the sky, earth and important gods and wish for favourable weather conditions, prosperity and peace.
This is the first time Vietnamese people have a chance to see how the ritual was implemented and how the king, royal family's members and mandarins dressed up during the ritual, said Nguyen Van Cuong, the museum's director.
The exhibition also features folk culture and agricultural ceremonies, festivals, worship, funerals, and daily life.
Also on display are 50 objects from the Viet Nam National Museum of History in Ha Noi.
The French School was established in Viet Nam in 1900 in Sai Gon (HCM City). It was closed in 1959 and re-opened in Ha Noi in 1993. It mainly focuses on history, archaeology and philology, as well as the study of modern Asian societies.
The exhibition will run until March at the Viet Nam National Museum of History, 25 Tong Dan Street, Ha Noi. — VNS