Viet Reader.


Premier Newspaper for Vietnamese Worldwide

The story of Xuan La people, 30 years of sitting and kneading dough, making “stork toys”

For nearly 30 years, his funny shapes have followed Mr. Nguyen Van Kinh (from Xuan La village, Phu Xuyen district, Hanoi) everywhere to bring joy to the children of Da Nang.

The story of Xuan La people, 30 years of sitting and kneading dough, making “stork toys”
Around 8:00 am, Mr. Nguyen Van Kinh (57 years old) again prepared his tools and headed to the 29/3 park (Thanh Khe district) to make a toy that is hundreds of years old (Photo: Hoai Son) .
To he (powder seed) is a unique, edible folk toy. Today, making to he is folklore in the countryside of Vietnam, especially the North, where people also call to he “cake” (Photo: Hoai Son).
Sitting in a corner of the park, his hands quickly sculpting each petal and leaf, Mr. Kinh confided to us: “In the old days, to he was kept in baskets, not on styrofoam-like now. It’s very precious for a father to make a turtle” (Photo: Hoai Son).
Born and raised in a family with a tradition of making to he in Xuan La village (Phuong Duc commune, Phu Xuyen district, Hanoi). At the age of 27, he practiced his craft with molding the simplest designs and shapes (Photo: Hoai Son).
“This profession is an heirloom profession, passed down to me by my grandparents, but there is no school to teach it. In the past, the whole village lived well with children. But now the number of people following the profession is still very few,” Mr. Kinh confided. (Photo: Hoai Son).
Wandering everywhere looking for a livelihood, at the age of “afternoon”, Mr. Kinh chose Da Nang as a stopover to preserve this hundred-year-old profession. From Monday to Saturday, he sells to he at schools. In the evening, he went to the night market again, only on Sundays, he sold at the park (Photo: Hoai Son).
Customers are mainly children and teenagers. The children huddled together, excitedly pointing at funny pictures. Girls like to buy a rose or a majestic, colorful rooster, a whining pig, and boys buy a superman, Ton Ngo Khong (Photo: Hoai Son).
According to Mr. Kinh, in order to mold To He, artisans have to go through a meticulous process from preparation to shaping. The ingredients to make To He are made from glutinous rice flour mixed with color and then kneaded into lumps (Photo: Hoai Son).
“Preparing the dough is the most important step, the dough is pureed, then boiled, and mixed colors. Then it is kneaded until it is flexible and smooth, so when it is molded, it will produce a beautiful ball. meeting the requirements are put in a bag to keep it from drying out”, Mr. Kinh shared (Photo: Hoai Son).
Depending on how simple or complex it is, the process of making to he can take 1-3 minutes. Even the smallest details are carefully polished (Photo: Hoai Son).
“It looks like playing in the dirt, but not everyone knows about to he. My job is not only to generate income for myself, but also to let people know about the Vietnamese folk toy,” he said. Glass said (Photo: Hoai Son).
Initially, to he was a product made of flour used for offerings, so they often had the shape of animals such as peacocks, chickens, buffaloes, cows, pigs, and fish. Therefore, people often call this product a “stork toy” (Photo: Hoai Son).
“Later on, the product was attached to a pipe trumpet, at the top of the trumpet, there was a bit of malt, when blowing, it made a sound of to te, so people called it to te and then said camp citadel to he”, Mr. Kinh explained (Photo: Hoai Son).
Mr. Kinh added, each to he is sold for 20,000 VND. The best-selling days are on Children’s Day (June 1), Mid-Autumn Festival. Besides, primary schools on these occasions often invite him to mold to he (Photo: Hoai Son).
“Seeing the smiles of the children makes me happy and very happy. That’s also the reason why I still cling to the profession. I am proud of the family’s traditional profession, I hope these children will continue to thrive. preserved forever,” said Mr. Kinh (Photo: Hoai Son).

About author
You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page.
View all posts
More on this story