Stilt performances in Nam Dinh – Long-legged life

Coming to Nam Dinh, tourists have chances to see stilt performances and experiencing fishing life of this coastal province.

Stilts are popular in Quan Vinh village

Stilts are popular in Quan Vinh village. Photo: Internet

Stilts were initially used to allow fishermen to walk into deep water off the coast to catch shrimp. The men learn the art at a very young age and become very agile. They can run, dance even play drum, play sword… Using stilts skillfully has becoming a unique art of local citizens here.

In Quan Vinh village (Nghia Thang commune, Nghia Hung district, Nam Dinh province), both men and women use stilts proficiently. Used to wade in the sea, the shortest “legs” are at least 1.5m high and up to 3-4m high for the longest. There are some kinds of stilt depending on using purpose, user’s age and depth of sea level.

To make good "legs," local people choose long, straight bamboos to soak into ponds for a year, then hang them in the kitchen until soot turns their color into brown to make stilts.

Walk-on-stilt performances.

Walk-on-stilt performances. Photo: Internet

Nigh Hung district was once a natural bog inaccessible to sail boats, which was why the stilts were so useful. Today they are an environmentally friendly alternative to engine-powered boats, with some fishermen so adept they can venture into water 10m deep.

Stilts are also used for relaxing after a hard working day. Locals can play badminton, football, swinging, fencing and other sports on stilts like the real circus artists. Stilt performances are indispensable in every festival.

Walk-on-stilt performances can be seen in other localities. However, Quan Vinh village’s quaint shows have become a brand name with football playing, dragon dancing, horizontal and parallel bar performances plus martial arts and sword-fighting demonstrations.

The Quan Vinh stilt-walking team has joined many festivities and events that have happened in the country, including SEA Games 22, Hanoi International Tourism Festivals and Hoi An Tourism Festivals and it is particularly popular in its home locality.

From Hoa Trang - VietnamToday