As usual, during the months before the Lunar New Year festival, a small hamlet in Ho Chi Minh City becomes more active and dynamic to keep up with upcoming orders
When the calendar turns to the final month of the lunar year, citizens from a small community that makes brooms by hand in the city's District 6 begin to prepare for one of the busiest times of the year.
As a traditional custom in Vietnam, each family will buy a new broom at the end of the year.
To fill such a big demand, main workers who have decades of experience will make 200-300 brooms every day.
From 7:00 am to 5:00 pm each day, the workers take turns to conduct their duties in various phases of making a broom: tearing down materials, which come from a tree with scientific name ‘thysanolaena latifolia,’ bundling, and chopping to make a finished product.
“Most customers prefer handmade brooms because of their durability, I have to hire more laborers to keep up with the large orders," said Nguyen Thi Thu Hong, a woman with thirty years of experience making brooms in District 6.
“Our broomstick prices range from VND20,000 [US$0.87] to VND40,000 [1.73] apiece.
"We mostly distribute the products in Ho Chi Minh City and other Mekong Delta provinces."
Nguyen Ngoc Hue, another worker who has spent 45 years making brooms, shows happiness when a traditional job can survive in modern times.
“Everyone wants to have a seamless new year, and each household will buy a new broom according to a local custom, which will result in many jobs for me and my hamlet as well,” said Hue.
“Despite the job being dusty and hard, we are all happy when the Lunar New Year festival is coming.
"Seeing that the traditional profession has not waned for decades, I am really glad."
|Chopping sticks to make a perfect broom is a step when making a broom. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|Three workers laugh with one another during a short break after working hours. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|Chopping sticks to make a perfect broom is a step in making a broom. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|The workers making brooms are often exposed to dust from flowers, but they are happy to continue doing the traditional work. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|Around five brooms are bundled into a pack to be available for being transported to local markets. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|A worker braids a broom with a metal thread, another stage of making a broomstick. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|It takes Tran Van Cuong only five minutes to bundle a broom, but he must use a lot of power to do it well. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|A worker handles flowers of dot trees, one of the first stages of making a broomstick. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|Nguyen Huu Hieu, 48, bundles a broom in a way he has done for the last 20 years. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|Nguyen Ngoc Hue, a veteran in making brooms, said she felt satisfied with the fact that the traditional work can survive in today’s modern life. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|A corner of the hamlet making broomsticks in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City in the lead-up to the 2021 Lunar New Year festival. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre
|Nguyen Thanh Quang, 47, who has 30 years of experience in making brooms, bundles dot sticks to make a broom. Photo: Minh Phuong / Tuoi Tre