Thursday, May 3, 2012

A visit to a museum in Vietnam.

Last week I visited Vietnam on a study tour. We were a mix group of Thai and Bhutanese Students. Thanks to the University for the trip. The objective of the tour was to study the education system especially the curriculum and instructional practices of the country. We visited several schools and universities and learned many best practices, some of which can be useful in Bhutanese education system. However, my intention of this post is not to recount what I learnt from visiting the schools and universities (perhaps I will keep it for the next post) but to share what I encountered when I visited the museum of the University of Social Science and Humanities at the country's capital city, Hanoi. It is one of the finest universities in the country.

I felt lucky to be walking and looking at the archaeological artifacts kept on display, which according to the person who ushered us, dated back to some 1000-1500 years. As I walked past the artifacts I was surprised by how some of the artifacts looked similar to what we have in Bhutan.

Look at this half woven cloth set on a loom. The patterns woven on the cloth are so much like the ones in Bhutanese hand woven clothes.
The loom too is similar to a Bhutanese loom. The frame, the beater, the pedals, the seat, the shuttle and weft, they all look similar to what we have in Bhutan.
These are agricultural tools used by ancient Vietnamese and they are similar to the sickles and spades that Bhutanese farmers use.
These are traditional violins. They resemble Bhutanese violin known as Pchiwang. Like Pchiwang the body of these violins are made from horns; are two stringed; have two tuning pegs and I can imagine that the sound they give out is also similar to the sound that Bhutanese Pchiwangs produce.
This is a rice beating device.It is basically built on the principle of lever. The U-shaped stone is the fulcrum. On pushing the shorter arm of the lever with our feet the longer arm that has a vertically attached wood thuds the rice in the stone container like a hen pecking from the stone container. Such devices are used by people in southern Bhutan.

The above two are mortar-and-pestle like devices used for beating rice and such devices are heavily used by people in eastern Bhutan.

These are bamboo baskets and they look like the Bhutanese bamboo baskets known as Tsew used by people all over Bhutan.
This is a Dulcimer and it looks like Bhutanese dulcimer known as Yangchen.

Look at the patterns on these clothes. They are similar to the ones on Bhutanese hand woven clothes.