Two Bac Giang men blow village soul into native products

Update: 07:00 | 06/02/2019

(BGO) - At the beginning and end of National Highway 17 from Yen Dung district to Yen The district, there are two famous men named Khuyen, both in their forties. Luu Xuan Khuyen is a national pottery artisan whose nickname is Khuyen "pottery", while Than Nhan Khuyen, Chairman of the Xuan Luong commune People's Committee (Yen The district), owner of the Ven village tea facility, has the nickname Khuyen "tea". The passion of the two is to blow the "village soul" into native products.

Xuan Luong not only has many advantages for tea production but also boasts great potential for tourism. This place has all-year-round green primeval forests, Nga waterfall with four seasons of silver water, endlessly stretching tea hills and a multi-thousand-year-old ironwood tree. Especially, this land also preserves the unique culture of Cao Lan ethnic people. 

Bac Giang province, village soul, native products, famous men, Luu Xuan Khuyen, Than Nhan Khuyen, tea production, great potential for tourism

Khuyen “tea” (second from left) introduces visitors to Ven village tea growing area.

“Every year, Xuan Luong attracts thousands of tourists, so I want to develop community tourism products. I want to have more stilt houses in local households so that visitors can stay and enjoy the tea products of Ven village, five-colour steamed glutinous rice, Yen The hill chicken and Huong (fragrant) pork... I know you are an expert in this field so you should help me!”- Khuyen "tea" told Khuyen "pottery".

I and Khuyen "pottery" were interested in what Khuyen “tea” talked about his homeland. So choosing a warm and sunny year-end day, Khuyen "pottery" enticed us to visit Khuyen "tea". From Bac Giang city, it took only less than an hour to arrive in Xuan Luong.

Khuyen "tea" took us to the family of Mai, who has a large tea area in Ven village. Receiving a cup of green tea from Mai's hands, everyone complimented the tea is very delicious. Mai smiled and said that the tea will not change its color for the whole day. All the tea made is sold out. Before we had to bring tea to the market to sell but now the cooperative buys all.

Khuyen "tea" is a pleasing person. He talked about many things, from the story of Cao Lan people who came here to set up their lives hundreds of years ago and customs to the techniques of producing and processing clean tea, packaging, vacuum technology, and domestic and foreign tea markets... It seems that he knows everything. Perhaps it is the person who loves this land and the tea tree very much so that he can know everything thoroughly like that.

As Chairman of the communal People’s Committee and Director of the cooperative, Khuyen "tea" thinks that the quality is not neglected because of the pressure to increase production. 

“To improve the quality, equipping farmers with knowledge is the most important factor. The selection of varieties, care, and use of fertilizers and plant protection chemicals must follow certain processes. When to pick up tea leaves to create green tea water is also the secret of our Ven village”, Khuyen "tea" said. What Khuyen tea" is concerned about is to invest in modern processing technology to increase the added value of tea products.

Unlike Khuyen "tea", I have known Khuyen "pottery" for over ten years, from the time when his couple graduated from fine arts school and returned home to build a one-floor house next to Ngoi village.

During the first days when the ceramic kiln was fueled by firewood and charcoal, with unstable quality and lack of production capital, Khuyen and his wife were both bosses and workers, Now, Khuyen has a spacious property and a new factory of about 500 sq.m, two gas-fueled kilns with fire all the day and night. All ceramic batches meet quality standards.

Khuyen "pottery" is also pleasing like Khuyen "tea". For him, above all is the love for pottery. All scenes of rural life brought into ceramic products by his hands are very lively. Each product is made from his passion for art, the diligence of his talented hands, and his folklore love.

The folk nature of the Ngoi village pottery is reflected in the images from banyan tree, wharf, communal house yard, field and river to folk figures like Bom, Cuoi, Phu Ong, old farmer, and quan ho (love duet) male and female singers, and characters who come out from literature such as Chi Pheo, Thi No, and Uncle Teu ... It can be seen that the Ngoi village pottery has typical characteristics of rustic simplicity and popularity imbued with national identity.

The everlasting national soul has been blown into pottery by Khuyen. What turn out are beautiful, unique and strange ceramic products. Good wine needs no bush. Not only spiritual establishments and temples but also luxury restaurants and hotels have come to buy Ngoi village pottery products. 

Bac Giang province, village soul, native products, famous men, Luu Xuan Khuyen, Than Nhan Khuyen, tea production, great potential for tourism

A work of Khuyen “pottery”.

In 2018, the Ngoi village pottery marked remarkable progress when the village won a bid to make a giant ceramic painting of over 2,200 sq.m at Cai Dam intersection in Quang Ninh province. The painting depicts many world wonders. Hundreds of workers had to work day and night for the whole year to complete the ceramic painting, the largest of its kind in Vietnam.

The giant ceramic painting in Quang Ninh is exactly the "boom" of the Ngoi village pottery brand. "My desire is to pass the craft to many people in the commune, thus establishing a cooperative and creating large quantities of ceramic products for sale in and outside the country," he said.

Surely both Khuyen "pottery” and Khuyen "tea" grasped that proverb so they always respect the "love" for their homeland so that their villages’ products can reach far away.


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Tran Duc

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