|Furniture and wooden statues from the craft village of Thiết Úng, Vân Hà commune, Đông Anh district, Ha Noi, have been exported to China. — Photo courtesy of the Hà Nội Coordination Office for the Program of Building New-style Rural Areas|
HÀ NỘI — Alongside the overall development of Hà Nội's craft villages, the craft villages in Đông Anh district are undergoing a significant and dynamic transformation, in line with the trend of international economic integration.
They play a crucial role in enhancing the local residents' income levels and contributing significantly to the effectiveness of the new rural development movement in the capital city of Hà Nội.
Đông Anh is a rural district located on the outskirts of Hà Nội. It is home to many traditional craft villages, such as Mạch Tràng rice vermicelli village, Việt Hùng soy sauce village, Liên Hà Bánh Chưng (square rice cake) village, and Võng La bean village.
Particularly, the craft of wood carving and sculpture is concentrated in three communes: Vân Hà, Liên Hà, and Thụy Lâm, with around 5,000 production households, over 10,000 labourers, an annual revenue of approximately VNĐ1.5 trillion (US$63.8 million), bringing a monthly average income of nearly VNĐ7 million (US$300) per person for workers.
Vân Hà, a commune that achieved the new style rural area standard in 2015, has a bustling atmosphere of production. On both sides of the road, stacks of wooden logs are arranged layer by layer. The sound of carving and machinery blends with laughter and the movement of vehicles, making the production atmosphere in the commune vibrant.
Thiết Úng is the birthplace of wood carving and sculpture in Vân Hà. The exact origin of this craft is unknown, but since the name Thiết Úng appeared, wood carving and sculpture have been practised here. From one generation to the next, the skilled artisans of Thiết Úng always cherish their deep love for the craft and aspire to preserve the essence of the traditional skills passed down by their ancestors.
Nguyễn Đình Chiến, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the Vân Hà People's Council, stated that the commune currently has five villages with nearly 2,600 households, of which about 80 per cent are engaged in handicrafts and fine arts. There are 14 recognised artisans by Ha Noi city and 48 members representing production households and woodworking enterprises. In 2022, the woodworking craft accounted for about 70 per cent of the total revenue value in the commune. So far, the commune has established a stable product distribution network with around 20 companies specialising in trading and processing wooden products, including producing fine arts wooden items for export.
By 2023, Vân Hà aims to complete the next level of the new style rural area standard. The development of wood carving and sculpture has significantly contributed to the ongoing progress of the commune's new style rural area development.
|Đông Anh is a new rural district located in the north of Ha Noi. It is home to many preserved and developed craft villages, such as Mạch Tràng rice vermicelli village, Việt Hùng soy sauce village, Liên Hà square glutinous rice cake village, and Chài Võng La soybean village. — Photo courtesy of the Hà Nội Coordination Office for the Program of Building New-style Rural Areas|
In order to encourage, promote, and honour the creative ideas of artisans, skilled craftsmen, and designers in the craft villages, Đông Anh recently organised a Handicraft Product Competition, attracting 22 businesses, individuals, and households with hundreds of exquisitely crafted handicraft products.
The competition provides a platform for artisans and skilled craftsmen to exchange, learn from each other's experiences, and also serves as an opportunity to promote and expand the market for craft village products, create employment opportunities, increase income for rural labourers, enhance the value of products, and contribute to the preservation and development of rural crafts and traditional craft villages.
Nguyễn Xuân Linh, Chairman of the People's Committee of Đông Anh district, said that to develop the craft villages in conjunction with promoting the construction of the new rural areas, Đông Anh has issued a plan to implement the movement of "The Whole Community Joining Forces to Build New-style Rural Areas." In this plan, the district focuses on expanding the production of industrial clusters, rural craft villages, and restoring and strongly developing traditional handicraft villages. Special attention is given to certain crafts such as the production of domestic wooden furniture, fine arts, painted wooden items, steel and mechanical engineering, concentrated in communes like Vân Hà, Liên Hà, Dục Tú, and Thụy Lâm.
Đông Anh district is also committed to building the collective brand "Vân Hà Fine Wood" and developing other crafts such as soy sauce making, tofu production, rice vermicelli, traditional cakes, sausages, and garment manufacturing to meet the needs of local residents and those outside the district. The district has prepared solutions to ensure sustainable sources of raw materials for production, adapting to the specific development needs of each craft village.
At the same time, the district strengthens market research, supports craft village products to participate in fairs and exhibitions, enhances trade promotion, and promotes craft village products in both domestic and international markets. Moreover, Đông Anh focuses on developing the value chain of craft villages, integrating production activities and business of craft village products with tourism.
According to Nguyễn Xuân Linh, Chairman of the People's Committee of Đông Anh district, in 2023, Đông Anh will continue to maintain resources and improve the quality of criteria according to the set of criteria for advanced new rural areas, exemplary new rural areas linked to urban development. The district will organise training classes to enhance the capacity of officials involved in the new rural areas from the district to the commune and village levels. Particularly, by the end of 2025, the district aims to have 100% of communes meet the criteria for advanced new rural areas, with 50% of them achieving the standards of exemplary new rural areas. Good implementation of policies will ensure the material and spiritual well-being of the people.
According to Nguyễn Văn Chí, Deputy Chief of the Standing Coordination Office for the Program of Building New-style Rural Areas in Hanoi, the roadmap until 2025 will see an additional five districts in Ha Noi become urban districts. Therefore, the construction of new-style rural areas in localities such as Đông Anh has been integrated into the city's directive to meet the criteria for becoming wards and districts, building new rural areas in a civilised, modern manner connected to urbanisation. — VNS
*The article is written in collaboration with the Coordination Office of the New Rural Development Programme in Hà Nội.
Đông Anh has completed 28 out of 31 criteria for district-level recognition and 10 out of 13 criteria for commune and town-level recognition as wards and districts.Regarding the implementation of the new rural area construction tasks for the period 2021-2025, Đông Anh has achieved and basically fulfilled 7 out of 9 criteria for advanced new rural districts.There are 12 communes that have achieved the standards for advanced new rural areas, and one commune has achieved the standards for exemplary new rural areas.