|Tough work: A woman makes round sticky rice cake. — VNS Photos Phan Anh Tuấn|
Phan Tuấn Anh
The Hà Nhì ethnic minority group is one among 19 groups residing in the northern province of Điện Biên. Many Hà Nhì people live in Mường Nhé District.
|Rise and shine: People get up early to prepare for food.|
The Hà Nhì group has various traditional customs in different events like a ceremony to pray for rain and a ceremony praising a forest god.
|Tradition: Stuffed sticky rice balls are essential offerings to ancestors.|
They celebrate their traditional festival, named Có Nhẹ Chà, at the end of the 10th and early in the 11th month of lunar year. The festival lasts for a week, through days and nights, people join various games, make special food, sing and dance.
|Solemn: A woman prepares for a worship ceremony.|
According to Pờ Chinh Phạ, vice chairman of Sín Thầu Commune’s People’s Committee, the commune hosts nearly 320 families with 1,400 people of seven ethnic groups, among whom the Hà Nhì account for 96 per cent.
|Many hands make light work: Each family prepares pork meat for the festive event.|
Decades ago, Sín Thầu remained isolated till 2007 roads were built from the centre of Mường Nhé District to the commune. After 2012, the national electricity system reached the most remote villages of Tá Miếu and Tả Cố Khừ.
|Party time: People dance at night.|
In recent years, the commune’s economy has been much improved with the total rice per head reaches 400kg per person a year and average income nearly VNĐ30 million (US$1,3000) per person anually.
This development has brought a warmer and happier life for the Hà Nhì. — VNS