20 January 2008

Ha Long Eco Museum - Vietnam Field School

One of the physically most stunning places I have seen on this incredible earth : Ha Long Ecomuseum.

Impossible for the lens to translate the profound beauty of this place...

When Prof Galla (UNESCO's technical advisor to Vietnam + the only non-vietnamese person who worked on the ecomuseum) was spotted on our boat - we heard "Galla ! Galla! Galla!". And these rowboats, all from the local floating village (one filled with 3 generations of a family) turned around swiftly and followed to meet us at the floating museum (below).

The world's first floating museum, which only employs locals from the next floating village. It's used as a community centre and a museum which exhibits local history, culture, traditions and the environment.

When money came to the community for a solar panel for the museum (as there is no electricity), they decided to use the solar panel for the school instead, as the community felt that was a greater necessity.

Our hosts, who live and grew up in the floating village, are now employed full-time by the floating museum.

When they welcomed us, they said that they had nothing they could give us, but that their gift would be a song.

Here, the tradition before a wedding : the bride and her friends sing, and the potential groom and his friends respond in song - the bride can refuse the groom if she believes that their singing is not up to her expectations.


Jane said...

Hi Nathalie

Do you have an e mail address? Jane in Nottingham

Nathalie Latham said...

Hi jane - you can contact me on nat.latham@REMOVEgmail.com take out the remove bit - this is to avoid spams - look forward to hearing from you !!! love nat