Viet Nam News
By Thu Anh
HCM CITY — More young women in HCM City are learning sewing and embroidery to escape stress in their daily lives.
“I enjoy making clothes not for business but for myself. I took a course on sewing at the Cultural House for Women in District 3 two years ago because it helps me forget my business pressure,” said Nguyễn Thị Vân Anh, a 31-year-old mother of two children.
Anh is taking a three-month course on embroidery taught by a female artisan at her home in Thủ Đức District.
“My course has 12 women and I’m the only who is married. We believe household arts are an intrinsic part of women’s spirit, and we can improve ourselves and find peace through the work,” said Anh, owner of a beauty salon.
Cultural houses and art clubs are offering courses in household arts such as cooking, sewing and embroidery aimed at girls and young women to relieve stress at work or lure them away from spending too much time on Facebook.
“Embroidery is a traditional art of Vietnamese women passed down from old generations to younger ones. In the past, women had to be skilled in this art before marriage. But times have changed,” said embroiderer Trần Thị Thu Thảo of Bình Thạnh District.
Thảo offers her service to tailor shops, fashion designers and costume designers who work for theatres and traditional art troupes.
She also offers two training courses twice a week for women, one for girls under 15 years old and the other for women, with fees of VNĐ1 million (US$45) and VNĐ3 million ($145).
One of Thảo’s students, Lê Thị Phương Thúy, a first-year student of the HCM City University of Economics, said: “I like to embroider clothes after buying from shops. I wanted to create designs on my clothes to make them different from others.”
Another city resident, Nguyên Hà, is learning how to make leather products in an online course at Facebook Saigon Handmade Leather.
“I like handmade accessories that are made from leather. I dream of opening a centre for women which offers training in household arts and handmade leather products,” said Hà.
Before joining the course, Hà, who lives in Bình Dương Province, visited the city every Saturday and Sunday to learn how to make quilted blankets taught by artisans at the Junior Art Club in District 8.
Embroiderer Đỗ Hoàng Quang, of the city’s Cultural House for Women, said: “We hope young women will be able to learn about household arts and traditional lifestyles instead of just working in offices and playing online games.”
Quang’s class provides students with basic training in cooking and sewing every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The fees are VNĐ1.5 million ($75) a month. Poor women receive training for free.
"My class attracts around 30 students. Some of them are not wealthy, but they still save money to learn,” said Quang.
He said that creating courses was not difficult. "One reason is that we are interested in the work. We all love to make life and the world more beautiful,” he said.
Courses offered by the city’s Youth Cultural House and Labour Cultural House are also a good choice for migrant labourers.
These courses, which are either free or have low fees, attract many women from the city’s rural districts of Củ Chi, Nhà Bè, Cần Giờ and Hóc Môn.
“Please reduce your study and work load, and learn how to relax and do your favourite things,” Quang said.— VNS