Đậu, 87, Dao Ethnic Group, Vietnam
“The corn will be dried. Part of it is for pigs, another part is for chickens and the last part is used to make corn rice.”
Grandma Đậu, 87, sits in her house shelling corn, talking about her village and culture. She is wearing the traditional clothes of the Dao ethnic group, one of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. “I made my clothes a long time ago. It is all handmade” she explains. It’s quite common to see members of the Dao ethnic group wearing their traditional handmade clothes in everyday life.
“When I was a kid, my ancestors told me that this area was just forests. My village is new, my current house used to be my ancestor’s rice field. I used to live in the other village. It is more than 200 years old.”
The old village she refers to sits on the mountainside overlooking the valley she lives in now.
“I have never traveled to any places far away from my village. I only go to town.”
“I am happy on Tet (Vietnamese Lunar New Year) because on that occasion the locals visit each other and drink together. Normally, I stay at home alone or walk around because young people are busy and don’t have much time for me.”
“I wish I could become younger to see the differences in my villages in the future.”
“In the past, there used to be just corn and rice here, none of us thought there would be cars visiting our village. I want to become younger, so I can live longer to see how my village will change in the coming years.”
Lý Thị Đậu, 87 years old
Dao Cham Ethnic Group
Ha Giang, Vietnam