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19th Commonwealth Games closes with Indian traditional Arts.

October 14, 2010

As the curtains were drawn on the 19th Commonwealth Games, the impressive closing ceremony, held on Thursday, will be remembered by people who love traditional dance and art forms of India. One of the special features of the ceremony was 'Agni' (the fire), a matchless confluence of martial arts forms from different parts of the country. This was presented at the outset of the ceremony.

About 800 performers displayed the best of their states through traditional martial art form in an amazing light and sound of hundreds of drum beats. Kerala's Kalaripayatt, Manipur's Thang Ta, Punjab's Gatka, Silambam from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat's Talwaar Raas and Naga Warriors with their machetes came together in a high-intensity eight-minute performance.


The Indian animation industry will grow to $1.7 billion by 2012.

October 11, 2010

A study conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the domestic animation industry industry reveals that Indian animation industry will grow at a compounded annual rate of 30 percent to reach a market size of $1.7 billion by 2012 and add over 3 lakh skilled animators. With over 1.5 lakh skilled animators, it is currently a $1 billion industry.

The report also says that India would need skilled professionals like creative animators, conceptualiser, visualiser, 3D modellers, character designer and digital effect artists to handle multimedia softwares like 3D studio Max, Maya and Tictactoon.

The study urged the government to help the industry by giving them adequate funding, guidance on manpower development and recognition of the animation courses and tax incentives.


Traditional village of Vietnam modernizes production.

September 16, 2010(Source: VBN)

In order to maintain and develop their traditional craft, residents in the Nha Xa Weaving Village are gradually modernizing production.

Nguyen Quang Thoai, the head of the Nha Xa Weaving Village in Moc Nam commune, Duy Tien district, Ha Nam province, said that in 1993-1994 traditional production methods, low productivity and poor styles of products could not meet the requirements of the market-oriented economy. In such circumstances, to maintain and develop the traditional craft that came into existence in 1280, residents in the Nha Xa Weaving Village have gradually replaced traditional production methods with semi-industrial production methods. Currently, 225 households in the village have 270 weaving machines and 80% of workers in the village are doing the weaving craft with an average income of VND13 million per person per year. In recent years, some production stages have been specialized. Of the 218 households that are doing the craft, 170 specialize in weaving, 17 in bleaching, and the remaining households work for weaving enterprises in the village.

Nguyen Quang Thoai added that semi-industrial methods allow production facilities not only to double the productivity but also to improve the quality and diversify the style of products. Silk and satin products made in the village sell very well in big cities such as Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. Every year, the village produces 1.2-1.8 million m of fabric, which make up 50% of the total value of its product.


"New life" in Son Dong craft village.

August 16, 2010 (Source: VBN)

Son Dong craft village in Hoai Duc district, Hanoi, is Vietnam's largest craft village making wood statues of Buddha and objects of worship.

The village has set many national records for the quantity and quality of its wooden products and the number of people involved in the profession.

Arriving in the village in early July, the first impression for tourists is the strange but interesting sound of people busing carving the wood. In every nook and cranny of the village, the workers are concentrating on different kinds of statues. Each worker has his own task; some saw the timber while others carve the wood and paint the statues.

After painstakingly painting a horizontal lacquered board, Nguyen Viet Da, an 85 year-old artisan in the village, tells visitors about his village's profession. According to Da, the imitation antique statues are often made from three different types of timber brought in from the central highlands, Hai Phong or even imported from Cambodia. Only jackfruit wood can be used to carve the reproduction antique Buddha statues, as it is soft, durable and easy to carve.

From the raw timber, the skillful workers easily carve statues of Amitabha (the Buddha of Infinite Light) and the God of Prosperity, or create horizontal lacquered boards with parallel sentences.

The workers must go through dozens of steps before finishing a product including selecting the wood, carving it, then painting it. This highly skilled work requires great patience and concentration.

"These wooden objects are for worship, therefore the maker must have a good heart and mind," said Da. This is why the statues made in Son Dong village are quite easily distinguished from others.

Sustainably preserving and developing the craft village and tourism is a concern of all the workers in Son Dong workers. To achieve that, the village has made considerable changes. Along with wooden statues, the villagers are now making objects that contain traditional and spiritual elements of the Vietnamese culture.

The familiar image of the areca nut, betel leaf, calabash and luffa can now be seen in many of the village's unique products. Moreover, the statues of Buddha and fairies are now being made colourful and small enough to fit in a man's hand.

However, the villagers still want their products to reach domestic customers and for their village to become more popular and attract more domestic tourists.