Thach That is a suburban district located in the west of Hanoi. It comprises 22 communes and one town, with a total of 59 villages. Among these villages, 50 are craft villages and 10 are recognized as "traditional craft villages". These villages have created a large volume of diversified and abundant products for domestic consumption and export. They have also generated many stable jobs for workers while helping conserve and preserve the cultural values of craft villages.
Handicrafts from Thach That district
The quintessence of craft villages
Some famous craft villages in Thach That include Phung Xa mechanical-metal craft village, Huu Bang carpentry-apparel village, Phu Hoa rattan and bamboo craft village, Thai Hoa bamboo and rattan craft village, Binh Xa bamboo and rattan craft village, Thach che lam (sticky rice cake with groundnut and sugar) village, Chang Son carpentry village, carpentry-construction villages in Canh Nau and Di Nau communes, and traditional carpentry and wooden house building village in Huong Ngai commune.
Chang Son village is a famous traditional craft village. The village is known for its artisans who created more than 70 Buddha statues, with the most unique being 18 Arhat statues. Each statue is carved very elaborately, delicately and vividly from facial expressions to gestures and eyes. The statues not only tell us about our forefathers’ creative quintessence, but also show us how materials, textures, and shapes are harmoniously combined to create the pinnacle of contemporary statue sculpture.
Chang Son hand fans are also famous for their eye-catching colors and diverse designs. They are made from paper, silk, fabric and other materials. The skillful and meticulous hands of artists make quality products. The drawings on each fan are symbolic of the nation’s famous scenic spots. They also send old-time stories about national heroes to friends worldwide.
The hand fan in the shape of Bohdi tree leaves comes in different designs and colors. This product undergoes many stages of preparation and requires the sophisticated skills of artisans and workers. Currently, producers mainly make hand fans as New Year gifts, birthday gifts and souvenirs for customers. In addition, bamboo blinds are exported to European countries as well as sold domestically. Joining the One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program, 20 rattan handicraft products of Dai Viet Fine Arts Export Co., Ltd based Binh Phu commune are certified 4-star class.
Thach Xa Village is known for its bamboo dragonflies made from natural bamboo. Beautiful products are created with skillful hands and artisans' creative minds who give many unforgettable childhood memories. Bamboo dragonflies with eye-catching colors that can stand on any material and surface have become souvenirs and favorite decorations for many people. The product was recognized and certified OCOP in 2021.
The bamboo and rattan business in Binh Phu commune has existed for a long time, with the strongest development witnessed in the early 1990s. Its key market is Eastern Europe, which imports a variety of products from the village.
Craft village preservation and development
According to Vice Chairwoman of Thach That District People’s Committee Nguyen Kim Loan, traditional craft products in Thach That district blend culture with the expertise and skills of workers, and crystallize the aesthetic values, talented hands and creative minds of artisans from generation to generation. Not only do they have economic significance, but traditional craft products also vividly reflect the lifestyle, customs, practices, dreams and aspirations of local people from past to present. However, the number of handicraft producers is still small and their production scale remains narrow. Rising input prices, shrinking markets, insufficient production spaces, inadequate young workers and lower incomes than other trades have hindered the conservation and development of craft villages and traditional trades of the district.
In order to remove difficulties, connect supply and demand and find output markets for local craft products, the Thach That People’s Committee has adopted a series of solutions. They have arranged funds to organize fairs and exhibitions to boost trade promotion and connect producers to display, introduce and exchange their products.
Thach That district has synchronously carried out many solutions together with the new rural development program and the OCOP program. In particular, the district has accelerated the construction progress of Di Nau and Chang Son (second phase) craft industrial clusters according to the decision of the Hanoi People’s Committee to provide production spaces for local producers.
At the same time, the district has introduced funding support policies for vocational training and skill improvement in a bid to create new products with beautiful designs, high quality and low prices to generate more jobs with good incomes for local people. This will foster the sustainable development of Hanoi’s traditional craft villages together with building the “Innovative City” brand for Hanoi.
The district is also actively applying solutions to develop tourist routes to craft villages and connect city tours with traditional craft villages in the suburbs, including Thach That district.
By Bao Dan, Vietnam Business Forum