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Author Topic: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture  (Read 621 times)

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Offline 大越

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Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« on: December 31, 2017, 10:43:11 AM »
Communal houses, which also serve as ancestral halls, have been a unique part of traditional North Vietnamese culture where people go to worship their ancestors and perform celebratory rituals. Most of these buildings are centuries old and some are nearly a thousand years old. The photos in the link below show 100 communal houses in Hanoi, but there are thousands all over northern Vietnam.

These are not found in the southern part of the country.

Northern Viet culture has a deep and meaningful history. It is profound.

Check out the pictures here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1121061844697815.1073741883.100003820303507&type=3
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Offline lalapaluza

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 03:37:41 PM »
I like these old buildings. I don't think we have them in our village but various family members have an ancestral house where all the kids come to pay respect to the dead.

problem is there's so little preservation effort due to finances and knowledge. Simple things like conditioning the wood people don't do. My uncle even took a set of nice ebony wood furniture from the 30's and put them outdoors for patio furniture.

Offline 大越

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 08:06:03 PM »
I like these old buildings. I don't think we have them in our village but various family members have an ancestral house where all the kids come to pay respect to the dead.

problem is there's so little preservation effort due to finances and knowledge. Simple things like conditioning the wood people don't do. My uncle even took a set of nice ebony wood furniture from the 30's and put them outdoors for patio furniture.


Many of the northern communal houses are still well maintained and are very much a part of daily life. There are thousands of annual festivals held each year, as each communal house has their own celebrations for their respective clans. It’s a living culture and persists today. Very unique to northern Vietnam.

A few examples







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Offline 大越

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 08:11:22 PM »
Communal Houses are used for all sorts of events, like traditional performances of hat xoan and other forms of rituals and songs depending on the clan. The rituals and performances themselves have a rich history.

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Offline NT

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 11:18:01 PM »
When I look at these old building there is a sense of lost, and a desire for restoration. But I must forsaken thee...

Everything changes and disappears, and I myself too will shortly vanish. Being a man is being subject to death and change. I do not wish to lose my life or witness things I love lost.  If I lost the things I love, what would be left of myself. and yet i must learn how to lose everything, because who knows when it may be taken from me.

to live in wisdom and happiness, therefore, is to fix your heart on what is eternal, let your desire be limited to your position in life, fulfill your duties before your wishes, extend your necessity over  your wants, learn to forsake things at the command of virtue. And learn to lose what may be taken from you.

Offline lalapaluza

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 10:34:10 AM »
I'm speechess! speechless. I AM without speech!

Offline 大越

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 06:41:46 PM »
This is a nice looking one. Similar to my maternal family’s ancestral hall. This one looks brand new and is actually quite small. Must be a very little village.

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Offline lalapaluza

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 06:08:10 PM »
Very small. Not as nice as our house in the village. Sits on 2 acres and has two main buildings.

Offline 大越

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 11:55:02 PM »
Very small. Not as nice as our house in the village. Sits on 2 acres and has two main buildings.

Which province is your family from?

To me, rural culture is the heart of Vietnamese culture.
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Offline lalapaluza

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2018, 12:08:59 AM »
Near Vung tau.

The old house have dark wood. I should get some pics from my brother and post them here.

Offline lalapaluza

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2018, 08:51:31 AM »
this house look like the back side of our house. The front is fancier with a covered steps and a porch.

http://disanlangviet.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/lang_co_phuoc_tich_11.jpg

Offline 大越

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2018, 05:15:36 PM »
this house look like the back side of our house. The front is fancier with a covered steps and a porch.

http://disanlangviet.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/lang_co_phuoc_tich_11.jpg

Ah very nice. When you have a family reunion that’s where you should all party.
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Offline Qu Đơn

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 09:09:57 AM »
Chinese character...where in the North is your family from?

Offline 大越

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 09:56:11 AM »
Chinese character...where in the North is your family from?

Maternal side from Ha Nam province. Paternal from Hanoi. What about yours?

My screen name is pronounced “Dai Viet”. Your ancestors are rolling in their graves from the fact that you can’t recognize the name that your own country went by for 800 years.
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Offline Qu Đơn

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 10:20:24 AM »
My ancestors didn´t have a choice.  Modern Vietnamese have a choice, and no one uses these archaic and backward characters except for ceremonies. 
Vietnamese recognize ĐẠI VIỆT not Dai Viet.  99% of Chinese cultural contribution is Dark Age superstitions anyways.  I tried very hard to like Chinese culture but the more I learn about it the more I look down on it.  That´s why your name on this site will always be Chinese Character Guy.

Maternal side from Ha Nam province. Paternal from Hanoi.

My screen name is pronounced “Dai Viet”. Your ancestors are rolling in their graves from the fact that you can’t recognize the name that your own country went by for 800 years.

Offline 大越

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2018, 10:24:58 AM »
My ancestors didn´t have a choice.  Modern Vietnamese have a choice, and no one uses these archaic and backward characters except for ceremonies. 
Vietnamese recognize ĐẠI VIỆT not Dai Viet.  99% of Chinese cultural contribution is Dark Age superstitions anyways.  I tried very hard to like Chinese culture but the more I learn about it the more I look on it.  That´s why your name on this site will always be that Chinese Character Guy.


Vietnamese now use a script created by a Portuguese Jesuit priest. That’s the heritage.

Anyhow, where is your family from?
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Offline Qu Đơn

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 10:43:19 AM »
You should thank Catholics for giving Vietnamese a writing system that is not only standardized but easier to learn.  And it wasn´t one white guy (he´s ethnic French not Portuguese) doing all the work but numerous Vietnamese court scholars helping him in the process.  The old writing system requires them to learn literary Chinese.  How can you develop your own culture if you have to not only learn but master someone else´s culture first?  By the way, it was the commies who promulgated Quốc Ngữ, and thank to this modern writing system, Vietnamese people can read their own history.  It is hypocritical of the commies to do this as Quoc Ngu was intended for Vietnamese Catholics to read the bible.  If they are anti-Christian why adopt Quoc Ngu to begin with?  Fake nationalists that´s why.

Much of old Nom and Chinese texts have been translated to Quoc Ngu for anyone to read.  Under Quoc Ngu, literacy has reached 97% while under classical Chinese, even during the Golden Age of Vietnam when Le Thanh Tong ruled, literacy was like .0005%.  Vietnam has always had foreign influences; it takes intelligence to discriminate.  Quoc Ngu was an excellent choice, communism was a terrible choice.  Under communism, the China coms burned numerous literary Chinese texts. It didn´t help them either.





Vietnamese now use a script created by a Portuguese Jesuit priest. That’s the heritage.

Offline 大越

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2018, 10:56:11 AM »
I don’t get the literacy argument. If you look at Taiwan their literacy rate is 100% despite using traditional characters.
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Offline Qu Đơn

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2018, 11:10:52 AM »
You can also travel from New York to Florida on horse drawn buggies instead of electric teslas but there ain´t many people doing it but the Amish.
 A fish does not know it lives in water.  Chinese character is an outdated writing system not good for native Chinese why would it be better for Vietnamese?  Vietnamese kids learning English are thanking their ancestors for adopting Quoc Ngu as we speak.  The French occupied Vietnam for less than 100 years and they gave us a writing system, coffee, chocolate, banh mi, lavender soap and wide boulevards.  The Chinese occupied Vietnam for 1000 years and gave us snake wine and superstitions.


I don’t get the literacy argument. If you look at Taiwan their literacy rate is 100% despite using traditional characters.

Offline 大越

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Re: Communal Houses, the center of traditional Viet culture
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2018, 11:21:06 AM »
Well, you’re pretty much cut off from traditional Vietnamese culture anyhow.

I’m just discovering how rich the old culture is and how many aspects of ancient traditions are very much alive today. Hence this thread about communal houses.
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