Today: 01/10/2023 22:53:01 (GMT+7)

Meet Saigonese man who has been making Tet calligraphy for half a century

Just before Tet each year Huynh Tri Cau sets up a small table at the corner of a street in District 11 and begins to do calligraphy.

Cau's family is from China's Guangzhou City, but he was born in Saigon.

He is a teacher at a Chinese language center.

For more than 50 years now, when Tet (Lunar New Year) comes around, he begins a second job making calligraphy works for people to decorate their houses.

Meet Saigonese man, Tet calligraphy, half a century, Huynh Tri Cau, do calligraphy, Chinese language center, decorate their houses, Lunar New Year

Huynh Tri Cau makes calligraphy works at his booth in District 11 on Jan. 24.

Vietnam has a nine-day break this year for Tet, the country's biggest festival, from Jan. 29.

It is a time for families to clean and decorate their houses, wear new clothes and eat traditional Lunar New Year foods such as banh chung (glutinous rice cake) with their families.

Calligraphers like Cau write Chinese characters on red paper (lien) but also in Vietnamese if asked by customers. They are much sought after since they symbolize what people wish for in the new year like good health, happiness and wealth.

In the beginning his customers were mostly ethnic Chinese who would ask him to write using traditional black ink.

In recent years he has been using gold emulsion ink because it looks brighter and more eye-catching.

The lien sheets come in different sizes and shapes, depending on where people want to hang them in their houses.

Depending on the size and quality of the paper, a work costs tens of thousands of dong to several hundred thousands (VND100,000 = $4.42).

Since there is huge demand for calligraphy works during the year-end, besides working on the sidewalk in District 11 from morning to afternoon he also works at home in the evening and delivers to people’s houses.

On Jan. 24, Dam Vien, 61, an ethnic Chinese woman from neighboring Binh Duong Province visited Thiec Market on Tran Quy Street to buy Tet decorations.

She says since she was a kid she had seen her father hang calligraphy works in front of the house during Tet. An acquaintance used to write a lien for her, but he recently passed away and she did not know where to find a new calligrapher.

Before discovering Cau, she used to buy printed ones to hang at home, but remained hopeful of finding someone to write by hand since it would mean softer and more realistic strokes.

Meet Saigonese man, Tet calligraphy, half a century, Huynh Tri Cau, do calligraphy, Chinese language center, decorate their houses, Lunar New Year

Cau writes out a wish for a customer on Jan. 24, 2022.

"We believe that the wishes written by a calligrapher will bring luck to our family and guests visiting our house during Tet".

She found Cau's booth while shopping, and asked him to write two sentences 90 cm long to hang in front of her main door. But after talking to him and seeing his handwriting, she asked him to write four more to hang in many places around the house.

Cau says he gets a few dozen customers every day though printed calligraphy is sold aplenty at Thiec Market.

"I find joy in calligraphy, but it will be more fun if every year I am asked by customers to write a new wish and not just traditional ones.

"This year, since the pandemic caused much losses, many people want wishes for prosperity, peace, good fortune, and health".

PM orders staying on duty round the clock to fight Covid-19 during Tet
The steering committees for Covid-19 prevention and control, departments and localities must stay on duty round the clock to fight the pandemic during the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) Festival, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has said.
Tet fair displays organic farm products and Vietnamese specialties
A trade fair selling organic farm products and goods to serve demand for the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, opened in Ho Chi Minh City, on January 27.
Phu Quoc Island set for Tet travel rush
With the weather being beautiful and quarantine rules relaxed, Phu Quoc Island is expected to draw huge crowds during the Tet holidays.
Over 7,800 tonnes of rice earmarked for localities on Tet
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has recently signed a decision assigning the Finance Ministry to earmark over 7,820 tonnes of rice from the national reserve to 10 provinces on the occasion of the Lunar New Year and the between-crop period in early 2022.
Domestic flights increased, Covid testing requirement scrapped as Tet nears
With travel demand picking up ahead of the Lunar New Year, airlines have increased flights to major cities and tourist hubs and ended Covid-19 testing requirements for flyers.

Source: VnExpress

Meet Saigonese man, Tet calligraphy, half a century, Huynh Tri Cau, do calligraphy, Chinese language center, decorate their houses, Lunar New Year
New comment has just been added. Click here
Sort:NewBest News