JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Vietnam man swept along by traditional broom-making craft in Mekong Delta

Saturday, October 12, 2019, 09:00 GMT+7
Vietnam man swept along by traditional broom-making craft in Mekong Delta
Nguyen Ngoc An is seen in this photo. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre

A Vietnamese man from the Mekong Delta province of An Giang has been playing an important role in the preservation of grass broom making, a popular traditional craft in several localities across Vietnam.

The man is 60-year-old Nguyen Ngoc An, who has dedicated half of his life to the production of grass brooms through thick and thin.

Making grass brooms is particularly popular in Con Nho, a small village located in Phu Tan District, An Giang.

The craftsmanship took root in the village some half a century ago when a woman named Sau Hon showed local people how to make brooms from the flowers of the Thysanolaena latifolia plant, according to An.

The plant has other popular names including 'tiger grass' and 'broom grass', the latter referring to its wide usage in broom-making across Asian countries.

“Making grass brooms helped us get by,” An told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper as he recounted how his family first tried their hands at the craft.

Members of An’s family, like many other locals in Con Nho, used to navigate by boat to neighboring provinces in the Mekong Delta, such as Kien Giang and Ca Mau, to collect tiger grass for broom-making.

At first, broom makers greatly benefited from the plant's abundance in the wild, as it was basically free for the taking.

However, the source of the crucial broom-making material was quickly depleted due to deforestation for cultivation.

An thus had to travel to different localities, including the Central Highlands provinces of Kon Tum and Dak Lak and the north-central province of Quang Tri, to look for the down-like grass.

Two women make grass brooms at Nguyen Ngoc An’s facility in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre
Two women make grass brooms at Nguyen Ngoc An’s facility in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, Vietnam. Photo: Chi Cong / Tuoi Tre

He eventually found his luck in a Laotian province, which borders Quang Tri Province, with boundless fields of the Thysanolaena Latifolia plant.

“I was really happy, as successfully discovering a source for the material means that our broom-making craft can be maintained,” he said.

Shortly after An started to import the tiger grass from Laos, he got a large order for exporting grass brooms to Malaysia and Australia from a trader.

“I knew it’s a one-in-a-million chance and immediately grasped it,” An said, adding that the two sides have kept the business going until now.

An’s broom-making business has grown bigger as time goes by, and it now provides jobs with decent income to local people.

“I’m able to make ends meet with this [broom-making] job,” said Nguyen Thi Nhanh, a housewife who has been making grass brooms since the age of seven.

Nhanh is only one of more than 30 broom makers working at An’s premise, and among 850 craftsmen nurturing the traditional craft in Con Nho.

Tran Thi Kim Pha, vice chairwoman of the People’s Committee of Phu Binh Commune which administers Con Nho village, hailed that broom-making in general and An’s business in particular have made great contributions to the local economic development.

Pha told Tuoi Tre that the local authorities will provide more favorable conditions for the broom-making establishments to expand their businesses, creating jobs for more people.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Tuoi Tre News


Read more




Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news

Australia bushfire smoke linked to hundreds of deaths

Johnston said that was 'about 10 times higher' than in preceding years, despite not including costs associated with ambulance callouts, lost productivity or some diseases where impacts would be difficult to model, such as diabetes