Cultural talk about Việt Nam’s sacred guardian animal

November, 12/2020 - 09:28
The Friends of Vietnam Heritage on Sunday will hold a talk about nghê – a sacred animal that guards temples, communal houses in Việt Nam. The talk is to honour the Việt Nam’s Cultural Heritage Day on November 23.

 

Nghê stone statues seen at the entrance of the Gióng Temple in Hà Nội’s Gia Lâm suburban district. Photo vtv.vn

HÀ NỘI The Friends of Vietnam Heritage on Sunday will hold a talk about nghê – a sacred animal that guards temples, communal houses in Việt Nam. The talk is to honour the Việt Nam’s Cultural Heritage Day on November 23.

The talk will be conducted by art researcher Trần Hậu Yên Thế, who is also author of the recently published book Nghê Việt Tinh Tuyển (Selected Vietnamese Nghê).

The nghê is a sacred guardian animal with a rather complicated origin. According to some historical records, the nghê is a mythical creature, originating from Buddhism.

The nghê was brought to Việt Nam possibly in the 1st century AD by businessmen and Buddhist monks from India and central Asia. The nghê was popular during the Lý reign (1009-1225). Over time, the nghê has been carved in diverse forms and materials, displaying various facial expressions and characteristics. It has appeared in various positions at the spiritual sites of the Vietnamese people.

During the talk, researcher Thế will explain all about the nghê such as what are the origins of the sacred animal, how did it find its way to into Vietnamese culture, what is different between Chinese lion and the nghê, what does it symbolise, the difference of the nghê in different regions of Việt Nam and its role in Vietnamese culture.

The talk, taking place from 2pm until 5.30pm at the Việt Nam Fine Arts Museum, 66 Nguyễn Thái Học Street, will also include a tour of the exhibition of the Nghê curated by Thế, an áo dài fashion show depicting the sacred animal, a nghê dance performance.

The talk will be translated into English.

Fee: VNĐ200,000/person, excluding museum ticket of VNĐ40,000. Please RSVP to Stella at stella@fvheritage.org. VNS 

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