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Mother Goddess lives on in Nam Dinh

Update: December, 30/2015 - 08:39

Local religion: A medium dances as he is possessed by a spirit during a hau dong session. — Photo

NAM DINH (VNS) — An exhibition on the Vietnamese Mother Goddesses religion has been opened in the northern province of Nam Dinh with the aim of helping people understand more about the folk religion.

The exhibition, jointly held by the Nam Dinh Provincial Museum and the Vietnamese Women Museum, consists of three exhibition spaces: Nam Dinh – the centre of the Mother Goddess religion, identity and value of the religion, and research about the religion.

A spiritual and cultural space was set up at the provincial museum to provide an insight into the distinctive features and values of the ritual of worshiping Mother Goddesses in Viet Nam.

The religion reflects great moral values that remind people to respect their origins, with the mother placed at the heart. It is a combination of various aspects of folk culture, including music, language, traditional handicrafts, architecture, costumes, and cuisine expressed through the rituals and worshiping practice.

Nam Dinh is considered as the largest centre of pilgrimage for followers of the Mother Goddesses worship with more than 20 temples and shrines around the Phu Day complex in Vu Ban District. There are 287 temples and vestiges relating to the belief across the province.

According to the Nam Dinh Museum's Director Nguyen Van Thu, the worship of mother goddesses is a long-standing product of wet rice cultivators' perception of their surrounding natural environment.

This religion, which combines many local music and art forms, is popularly known through "hau dong", a sacred yet joyful ritual where the gods are incarnated in mediums to give blessings to the followers.

Viet Nam is seeking UNESCO recognition of this distinctive belief as intangible cultural heritage of humanity. — VNS

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