Today: 08/08/2022 05:43:37 (GMT+7)

“Museum” of an old journalist

(BGO) - Although this is first time I met him, I felt as if we have known each other for a long time. He and I were excited to talk about his 30-year journey to collect stone gadgets and agricultural tools and war memorabilia in the hope to preserve historical artifacts for young generations.

Preserving the soul of the homeland

As the twilight faded, Nguyen Dac Nong in Phon Xuong township, Yen The district, Bac Giang province was still working passionately by the stone mills arranged in queues in the middle of the yard. Along the path to his house, the old stone gadgets are carefully displayed.

Museum of an old journalist, Bac Giang province, stone gadgets, agricultural tools, historical artifacts, young generations, simple preservation, teaching history

Nguyen Dac Nong introduces about the bicycle of the labourers in the firing line during Dien Bien Phu Campaign.

Nong is 76 years old. He used to be the Vice Director of the provincial Radio and Television where he retired in 2006. He has spent time pursuing his passion for antique collection since then.

He started collecting antiques 30 years ago when he crossed Dong Tam commune, Yen The district and heard that a local found a couple of ware jars in Soi river bank. He found the way there and asked to buy the jars. Previously, many antique hunters found the local to ask about the jars but this man had not agreed to sell. He decided to pay higher price. After buying them, he brought them to test the Chinese characters inscribed on the jars which dates back to the Le dynasty.

His passion for antique collection became stronger after he retired. He paid attention to collecting stone gadgets because these items are durable which require more simple preservation. He drives his old motorbike to every village and corner across the province even Bac Ninh, Lang Son and Thai Nguyen provinces to seek stone gadgets such as mortar, mill and stone balls.

Day by day, he comes to wherever he heard to have stone gadgets or agricultural tools like plough and harrow.

“Firstly, many people thought I was so stupid because I spent money for the stuff the others wanted to throw away”, Said Nong.

Up to now, his collection includes more than 500 stone gadgets, some of which he bought and some he was given. A number of people asked to buy his stone “museum” with a large sum of money but he refused to sell.

“I collect antiques with a desire to preserve the soul of the nation for the next generations to know about the country’s history”, said Nong.

Teaching history with exhibits

In line with collecting stone gadgets, he preserves artifacts attached to soldiers in the resistance wars against French and American invaders such as cups, water bottles and bicycles.

Nong added, collecting antiques is not for sale or enriching but he wants to preserve for the next generations and teach history through the exhibits. Thus, he contacted the nearby schools to invite students to his house for studying.

At the beginning, only one or two schools in the district brought the primary and secondary students to visit. Then, many other schools in the province also organized study tours there for experiencing. He welcomes about 20 groups of students each year to discover the exhibits.

Nong’s “museum” has become more and more well-known. University students also visit his house to seek materials for their study and research. His house is always open for students to get in to discover the artifacts themselves even when he is not at home.

According to Nguyen Ngoc Son, Chairman of the people’s committee of Yen The district, there are a number of people collecting antiques in the district but most of them do it for commercial purpose. However, Nong collects and preserves ancient items which have cultural values for exhibition and teaching history to young generations not for earning money. His work is much appreciated.


Nguyen Thang
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Museum of an old journalist, Bac Giang province, stone gadgets, agricultural tools, historical artifacts, young generations, simple preservation, teaching history
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