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Experience the lifestyle of Muong people in Hoa Binh

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 . Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:49

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Muong people cover the majority of population in Hoa Binh. Muong culture has contributed to the unique identity of Hoa Binh culture. Once traveling Hoa Binh, visitors will have the opportunity to get exciting experience of the lifestyle of Muong people.

When I arrived in the village, there was a lot of talk about the hunting. It was very big part of Muong culture that they are proud. Muong people have a special connection to the forest because they mainly cultivate wet rice. In the past, all the daily necessities including wood, fruit, vegetables and meat were given by the forest. Apparently, locals always wear the green long sleeve shirt before entering the forest. The green shirt allows you to be remaining hidden in the forest. Wearing long sleeve shirt is necessary for them to avoid mosquitoes. This is the traditional way of carrying things in this area.

There are many farms near the village. It took about 20 minutes or half an hour to go from the village to the mountain. The locals say that you never go hungry on the spot because there are always fruits; you just have to know where to look. On the way up the mountain to find the bamboo, we had a break by a tranquil lake. While having a break, a local person showed me some local tricks for finding wild honey bees. One of them was he found a grasshopper and put onto a bamboo plate to lure bees. We observed bees picking up green grasshopper and when it flew away, we would know the direction to find the hive.

When we go deep into the forest to look for some honey bees, one honey bee found me, so hopefully that means a beehive nearby. One of many gifts that Mother Nature gives to the mountainous region is honey bees. Local people see the honey as the delicacy that the God gifted them.

Meeting local young Muong people up in the mountainside was really nice. I did not expect to see them and everyone was very welcoming and full smiles. Though we could not communicate as well because of the language difference, we all got on very well. I love the fact that they can hold their traditional language and an official language used in Vietnam. They still keep the tradition and are able to integrate with the society.

While sitting and chatting the local youngsters, I met “Yeu”, the local orchid hunter. He would climb the mountains in search of the most beautiful and rare orchids. Yeu’s job is very difficult because sometimes he climbs up very high and has no guarantee that he can find flowers at the top.  He did just have to climb up and hope, sometimes it pays off. It is very different from what I used to do. It is sharp rocks and trees all around. You just have to use your hands and your arms. Everything is so good, but the hardest thing for me was trying to follow everyone’s conversation about the culture significance of hunting practices and traditions, but I learnt so much. I have never had these conversations before.

 In addition, Muong people in Hoa Binh also hunt stone rats. Rats often live in the shady, well-aired caves. When arriving at the rat cave, we just left some baits into the cave and chopped up the cassava so that rats could smell the aroma. And we had to cut some leaves to disguise. We would hide behind and see rats appear. Unfortunately, we did not catch any rats. Hopefully, next time, I can go back to catch more rats.


Source: VTV4 –

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