Artisan Đặng Đình Hổ (in black) teaches children to make tò he (toy figurines) at an event of the Việt Nam Museum of Ethnology. — VNS Photo Minh Thu
HÀ NỘI — The culture of the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai will be on show during the mid-autumn festival held on September 7-8 at the Việt Nam Museum of Ethnology.
In collaboration with the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the museum will introduce significant cultural activities originating from Gia Lai such as gong performances, folk singing and dancing, musical instruments, basket weaving, brocade weaving and local cuisine of the Ba Na and Gia Rai ethnic minority groups.
With the theme ‘Colours of Gia Lai Culture’, the festival aims to introduce culture and people of Gia Lai Province, preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the ethnic minority people to domestic and international participants, according to the museum’s director Bùi Nhật Quang.
“The mid-autumn festival is an annual event hosted by the museum. Many families are expected to attend,” said Quang.
“Each year, we select a theme for the festival to introduce cultures of different regions to participants.”
Apart from the highlights of Gia Lai Province, festival goers will also enjoy various activities to celebrate mid-autumn festival as usual such as dragon dances, painting masks, making traditional toys and preparing a mid-autumn festival feast including moon cakes and various types of decorated fruits.
Participants will have a chance to learn about the customs of the mid-autumn festival with instructions by artisans and cultural experts.
Đặng Đình Hổ, an artisan of tò he (toy figurines) from Phú Xuyên District, has participated in the mid-autumn festival for 10 years. Before the official festival, he trained volunteers at the museum to make tò he.
“Every year, the mid-autumn festival attracts many children, they love making tò he,” he said.
“Traditionally, tò he are in the form of animals like dragons, flowers, popular characters like the Monkey King in the epic Journey to the West. Nowadays, I teach the volunteers to make characters like Princess Elsa and Angry Birds. The children are very interested in these toy figurines. I believe that’s the way to make them enjoy traditional toys which seem to be replaced by foreign toys.”
The museum will also host a seminar for participants to learn more about traditional toys such as how images can rotate in đèn kéo quân and how a kite can fly. The artisans will teach scientific knowledge with folk experience in making toys. — VNS