Completion of the project “Discovery and Re-discovery of the Muong Culture through Education in Tu Ne Commune
On March 25, 2010, the 79th anniversary of the founding of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, which is also a cultural exchange day belonging to the framework of the project “Discovery and Re-discovery of the Muong Culture through Education” was organised in Tu Ne secondary school, Tu Ne Commune, Tan Lac District, Hoa Binh Province.
The celebration took place in a cheerful and enthusiastic atmosphere by all the teachers, school students and project staff. Mrs. Le Thi Van Hue – the project coordinator, represented the staff and reported an evaluation of the 2 year implementation of the project. The project’s objectives were to implement and experiment the effectiveness and possibility of cultural and environmental activities through outdoor activities, which will help the students have more understanding about Muong culture, therefore protect their environment better. Through the implementing process, the project achieved some certain successes and initially helped the 6th grade teachers and students approach the “creative thinking” method and apply this method to the discovery and preservation of Muong culture. The project first inspired the students’ pride of their culture and helped them apprehend the importance of Muong culture in people’s daily life. Mrs. Hue expressed her gratitude towards the teachers and the 6th grade students of both last year and this year for supporting, creating favorable conditions and enthusiastically participating in the project. To continue the achieved successes, CECAD plans to expand the project to the Thanh Hoi Middle School in Thanh Hoi Commune, Tan Lac District, Hoa Binh province in the following time.
In Muong cultural costume, the students performed Muong traditional songs, dances such as “Hoa đất Mường” (Muong’s flowers), “Mời bạn đến thăm Tân Lạc quê tôi” (Welcome to Tan Lac, my hometown) etc. The songs showed the students’ happiness and pride of their cultural identity. With merry music, the bamboo dance attracted many participants. As well as this, traditional games such as đi cà kheo (walking on stilts), nhảy bao bố (sack jumping) and kéo co (rope pulling) contributed to the exciting atmosphere.
In the framework of the celebration, an exhibition room which displays all the products made by the students in the implementing process of the project was introduced. There were numerous products representing Muong culture and tradition such as a model of Muong traditional stilt house, cái đó (a tool Muong people use to catch fish), Muong traditional costumes which were woven by the students themselves, a loom and a model of the water wheel. In addition, there were pictures painted by the students and photos of students and teachers of Tu Ne Secondary school which showed their activities during the project process, such as photos of them listening to the artisans explaining about the traditional stilt houses, how to make “cái đó” and photos recording their visiting trip to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi. The products were all created by the students and depicted their innocence yet confident voices, which allowed the viewers to feel the closeness of their works as well as their love to Muong cultural identity.
The celebration was such a success, ending in the joyfulness and excitement of the teachers, students and the project staff. There was a hope that from this successful project in Tu Ne Secondary School, it could be promoted in Thanh Hoi Secondary School. Furthermore, a higher expectation is to successfully build an educational model of conservation of the Muong culture for the students, so that the Muong culture identity will eternally be pride, love and intimacy in each Muong person’s daily life.