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Paying tribute to the father of Vietnamese circus

List week together with Florence Evin, correspondent of the French paper Le Monde, I went to the ceremony consecrating the “definitive abode” of the father of Vietnamese circus, Ta Duy Hien.
 
In Viet Nam, the remains of the deceased are exhumed alter three years; to be re-interred in his definitive grave at a place selected with the help of a pomancer. The tomb can be built there and then, or years, even decades, to. This is the case with Tạ Duy Hiển, who died nearly thirty years ago. For him a magnificent tomb is built of imitation marble in his native village  of Quang Minh, about twenty kilometres from Ha Noi.
 
Present at the ceremony were not only his extended family but also the toe village. Eloquent manifestation of a certain return to the family and village community, a trend which has set in these last few years in reaction to the erosion of ưaditional values. Half a century of revolution, war, agri-, ctoral collectivisation, followed by disturbances created by the adoption of the market economy, has undermined the economic and religious lions of the patriarchal family. Even in remote villages the nuclear familylii taken pride of place. In reaction against the social and moral crisis botlỊỊÍ the growth of nigged individualism, many a parent thinks of rcvivinga^B spirit of the family or village group.
Two hundred members of Ta Duy Hien’s family came to pay their tribute. The man had three wives. The third wife alone, who had flowianotlb from Ho Chi Minh City, was surrounded by about forty descendants: sons, daughters, sons and daughters-in-law, and their children. It was a mow sight to watch young people in motorcyclist's crash helmet, T-shirt and jeans, dutifully performing complicated traditional rituals. Villagers gave their hearty approval and support to the ceremony honouring a respected member orthe commune.
 
Under the French colonial regime, Ta Duy Hien like any Vietnamese who dared to take up a foreign challenge, was an object of national pride. Ibis I was the impression he made on me when I was at primary school.
 
Ta Duy Hien (1888-1966) was bom into a family of dentist’s assistants known for their professional skill. He did not adopt that career, however. A self-made man, he was the promoter of the troupe called Vietnamese Circus, which gave its first performances in 1922 at the marketplace of Leather Street in Ha Noi. To confront foreign competition he devised numbers with a distinctly Vietnamese stamp. By the late 1930’s he had assembled about forty artistes and tamed many wild beasts from Vietnamese forests: elephants, tigers, panthers. . .His troupe toured Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma, Japan..., which was a true miracle at the time. Regrettably, his undertaking could not survive financial difficulties bom of the economic crisis.
 
See more about the Vietnamese circus with itinerary Vietnam and Cambodia 2 weeks
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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