(HBO) – An interesting cultural relic of the Mong ethnic group in the northwestern region of Vietnam is that of the "ném pao” or ball throwing. It is not merely a folk game but represents much more to the ethnic traditions of the Mong. Nem Pao is a unique form of partnership and happiness that can lead to much more for ethnic Mong couples.
Mong ethnic women in Hang Kia commune,
Mai Chau district are throwing the ball (Nem Pao) on a spring day.
Images of Mong women busily sewing the last stiches on clothes and colourful
pao flow into the spotlight as visitors drop by the Hang Kia and Pa Co communes
in Mai Chau district. Colourful pao is made from linen cloth, stuffed with
flaxseed. According to Mong ethnic beliefs, the linen and flax balls are
colorful symbols of happiness and represent fertility and future partnership
within the community.
Pao making has been passed down through generations. Trumpet and khen (pan-pipe)
dances help men to find their partner, and pao are the equivalent symbol of
partnership for women.
A simple game, pao throwing carries great cultural value in that it allows men
and women to introduce and meet each other around the pao symbol of happiness.
The cultural phenomenon results in couples first meeting and transitioning into
becoming husbands and wives.
According to Sung Thi Mua, a local in Hang Kia hamlet, Hang Kia commune, it is
the Mong ethnics’ tradition that women should yield their paos in the spring to
start a season of fertility and partnership.
"We are passing down the making of pao and ball throwing festivities to younger
generations, and in doing so, perpetuate the Mong cultural traditions”, Mua
Sung Y Mai, a brocade weaving artisan in Hang Kia commune, said Mong men want
to marry a woman who is good at weaving, embroidery and sewing pao.
"A good Mong woman must know how to make a good pao”, she said, explaining a
good pao must have tight stitches and it should be the perfect shape.
Pao is held at the yard of the local cultural houses or at the pitch, during
which two teams, each with three-to-ten men or women, throw the linen ball and
ensure it does not fall to the ground. While playing, women and men exchange
glances, smiles, and affection. After the game, if the woman and man feel the
love, the man will keep her pao and express his admiration on a subsequent
visit to her home. The goal, of course, is a lifelong partnership between them,
based on sewing skill and enjoying the cultural festivities together.
life in Mong villages has changed drastically. The Mong people are paying due
attention to preserving their cultural values by integrating traditional games
into extra-curricular activities at the local schools.
According to Vang Y Sai, a teacher of Hang Kia Primary and Secondary School, in
a bid to preserve and develop folk games, the school carries out a wide range
of measures to encourage both students and parents to join folk games on regular
Together with ball throwing, other folk games like "đánh yến” (rooster feather
shuttlecocks), tu lu (traditional version of spinning tops), "đẩy gậy” (stick
pushing) and "ném còn” (còn throwing) have been well preserved by the Mong
ethnic in Mai Chau.
The games are not only a vivid illustration of Mong men’s strength and bravery
and the skillfulness of Mong women, but they also raise hope for a happy and
(HBO) - Mai Chau mountainous district is known as a concentrated residential area of the Thai ethnic group. Although in the modern life, it is rare to see images of people wearing traditional clothes every day, Thai culture is still permeated through words, voices, customs or the image of stilt houses, festival activities, and folk songs and dances.
(HBO) - According to Plan No. 127 / KH-UBND, dated on July 18, 2022 of the Provincial People's Committee, on July 31, our province hold the art program "Hoa Binh - the sound of Muong” and Carnival in 2022. It is a special art program combining the characteristics of the province's traditional culture with the modern, dramatic, artistic and engaging features.
(HBO) - On July 15, the Provincial People's Committee held a meeting to agree on a number of contents relating to the preparation of facilities and the content of the art program "Hoa Binh - A place of cultural convergence” and Carnaval in 2022. Mr. Nguyen Van Toan, the Vice Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee chaired the event. The leaders representing the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Department of Transport, the Provincial Radio and Television Station, Hoa Binh Electricity Company, and the Representative office of Sun Group from Capital Region in Hoa Binh attended the meeting.
(HBO) - The women in Mai Chau have been promoting the role in conserving and preserving the national cultural identity, contributing to diversify forms of gathering and attracting members. Thereby, improving the quality of the union’s staff is one of the practical and effective solutions that Mai Chau District’s Women's Union has paid attention to in recent years.
(HBO) - After the merger of the three communes of Thuong Bi, Trung Bi and Son Thuy, Xuan Thuy commune in Kim Boi district soon stabilised the situation in all aspects. Locals have joined hands in developing the economy and building the cultural life in residential areas. The local patriotic emulation movement has been increasingly promoted as well.