During my visit to Hanoi Vietnam I came across the Vietnamese Women’s Museum (VWM). The museum has a wealth of information about the lives of Vietnamese women.
First off, it is very nice to get an air conditioned break from the heat. Secondly, there is not a crowd at the museum. Yea me!
I first see a very informative exhibit on marriage and patrilineal (men make the decisions) vs matrilineal (elder women make the decisions) societies in Vietnam. There is a mix of both in Vietnam, mostly depending on what region the group lives. I learn about the varying customs that different groups follow.
I love the exhibit on marriage and birth traditions.
I enjoy the demonstrations of tools and cooking methods.
One of the temporary exhibitions is a mother goddess exhibit. It describes the practice and rituals of worshiping mother goddess by traditional Vietnamese.
This exhibit reminded me slightly of Candomblé, the afro-Portuguese religion where worshipers would take on the personas of deities in a trance-like state (I witnessed a ceremony when visiting Brazil many years ago).
Women during the Vietnam war.
Another floor has an exhibit on how important women were during the Vietnam war.
Women were instrumental in creating human bridges that would make it possible to carry wounded across waterways when it was flooded.
Vietnamese women were skilled in sneaking private documents behind enemy lines. There is an exhibit on the ways women used to sneak documents. Women would walk around unnoticed during the war and were often employed in this capacity.
A final impressive exhibit is the display of the different attire of Vietnam. I love seeing the different colors and styles throughout different regions.
Very nice way to spend an afternoon.
related post: More Hanoi