Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam admires Hang Trong folk paintings

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“This is my 5th year in Vietnam. I have had a lot of Tet experiences,” Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Nadav Eshcar told VietNamNet during a recen visit to the home of an artisan who makes Hang Trong folk painting.

The Ambassador said that in the previous Tet, he made banh chung (square sticky rice cake) with preschool students, experienced calligraphy near the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, and learned how to make Vietnamese ao dai (traditional gown).

“I have learned the origin and background of Vietnamese culture. I think the most beautiful thing is the Tet season. This year, I am eager to go further and learn more about this special and joyful art genre, which is a symbol of Vietnamese emotions during Tet,” he said during his visit to the house of artisan Le Dinh Nghien, a Hang Trong folk painting maker.

Mùa Tết, cùng Đại sứ Israel ngắm tranh Hàng Trống
Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Nadav Eshcar talks with Hang Trong folk-painting artisan Le Dinh Nghien.
Mùa Tết, cùng Đại sứ Israel ngắm tranh Hàng Trống
Mùa Tết, cùng Đại sứ Israel ngắm tranh Hàng Trống

“Painting as well as literature connects many generations in society. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to meet Mr. Nghien and learn about this art,” the ambassador said.

“Mr. Nghien showed me how he has been drawing for over six decades. He learned from his father and is teaching it to his son. This is a folk art passed down from generation to generation. He told me the different colors with their meanings in each painting. For example, the yin and yang of a warm or cool color should be used in a very balanced manner.”

“Compared with many other lines of paintings, I find Hang Trong paintings colorful. The colors are extremely striking and show a sense of playfulness. That’s why people want to hang Hang Trong paintings on their walls, especially for Tet. During Tet, they can bring joy. The subject in the drawings themselves is the wish for prosperity and health, so many people like it very much.”

Mùa Tết, cùng Đại sứ Israel ngắm tranh Hàng Trống
Israeli Ambassador learns how to make Hang Trong folk paintings.
Mùa Tết, cùng Đại sứ Israel ngắm tranh Hàng Trống
“I enjoy Tet as much as I can. On this occasion, I learn about culture, meet friends and colleagues, and celebrate Tet,” said Mr. Nadav Eshcar.

Talking about the last Tet in Vietnam as Ambassador, he said: “I enjoy Tet as much as possible. On this occasion, I learn about culture, meet friends and colleagues, and celebrate Tet. For me and my family, this is a special Tet. Actually 19 years ago I went to Vietnam for Tet. And I will definitely be back.”

“Relations between the two countries are reaching a peak. We have cooperated in many fields such as academia, investment, culture, education, industry, agriculture and many more. I am optimistic about the future of relations between Israel and Vietnam. The two nations have many similarities. The Vietnamese can be called the Israelis of East Asia, and the Israelis can be called the Vietnamese of the Middle East.

“So many things connect us. With a close thinking and approach, it is very easy for us to dialogue with each other. Next year, the two countries will sign a free trade agreement. It will open up great opportunities for our relationship.

“I would like to send my best wishes for the new year to the people of Vietnam. I hope that the relationship between the two countries will be stronger and stronger. Wishing all my friends in Vietnam Tet wishes and a happy new year. I wish you all good health and prosperity, and hope that the pandemic will stay behind and a happy life will come,” he said.

Thai An – Xuan Quy – Pham Hai

Hang Trong painting, a genre of Vietnamese woodcut paintings originating in the Old Quarter in Hanoi serves as “food for the mind”. The art form had been nearly lost, but one man is trying to preserve the traditional folk painting.

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien has hailed Israel as a promising market of Vietnam in West Asia.

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