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Windy Days Group Organize Trips for Vietnamese Culture Appreciation

Windy Days is a non-profit program organized by a group of Ha Noi-based students with the goal to entice the youth to travel and live more as a way to learn and appreciate traditional Vietnamese culture. The members, composed of students and Vietnamese folk culture experts, get together once a month to go to specific destinations which are deemed historically significant.


On its 11th trip, organizer Toi Xe Dich decided to visit Tho Ha Temple in Northern Bac Giang Province and Phat Tich Pagoda in Bac Ninh Province. Researcher Ngo Duc Thinh, cheo (traditional opera) master Tran Dinh Ngon, cheo director Doan Vinh, cheo artist Thanh Ngoan and Vietnam National Fine Arts University lecturer Tran Hau Yen The acted as guides.


At Tho Ha Temple, the excursionists saw different wooden sculptures such as the tone nghe, an imaginative holy animal which looks like a dog with a long tail. They are often seen in sacred places kissing each other. There were also fairies riding dragons which symbolized women with aristocratic status. They were able to admire the 300-year old beauty of folk sculpture on wooden pillars and decorative panels.


At Phat Tich Pagoda, there were stone lions, sacred animals and Buddha statues. The latter varied between an ordinary and a special one by the carvings and the harmony of details. A fine example of a Buddha masterpiece is one built in 1057 and placed inside the pagoda. It wears a robe and has many circles around the lower part of the body representing power.


Lunch is also part of the trip which includes local specialties like com nam, muoi vung, boiled rice with roasted sesame, peanuts and salt, and gio cha or pork sausages. This way, the students get to literally taste another part of Vietnamese culture.


Nguyen Thi Thu Ha has been the project head of Windy Days since 2012. She is a graduate of Ha Noi Foreign Trade University and has won as runner-up of the 2012 60s Chinh Phuc Nha Dau Tu (60s Investors’ Conquest Contest), a venue for the youth to express their knowledge and opinions. Her entry was the Vietnam Travel Radio Project which promoted the country’s culture and art through the young people and tourists.


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Since leading the group, Nguyen Thi Thu Ha has successfully organized 11 Windy Days trips which brought together hundreds of local students to explore and appreciate other beautiful Vietnamese culture like the Long Bien Bridge which is over 100 years old; cheo art; Dong Ho panting handicraft art printing; and hau dong, a ritual of spirit mediumship in connection with the Vietnamese Mother Goddess religion Dao Mau.


Unlike other tours too, the guides of Windy Days purposely retract from sharing too much information about each destination and object in order for the students to research ahead and appreciate Vietnamese culture on their own.


“Move” is a special project of the group which brings together not only the young people but the older generation as well, especially foreigners, to create a unified yet evolving perception about Vietnamese tradition, history and culture, all geared towards a better knowledge and love for it.

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