Building Community Identity Through Restoring Traditional Festival (Case Studying in Duong Yen hamlet, Hanoi suburban)

Author: Le Thi Phuong (Institute of Cultural Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam)
Speaker: Le Thi Phuong
Topic: Multifunctionality
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2020 General Session


In recent decades, traditional festivals have been restored in most villages in Vietnam. Most of them not only have been restored with their cultural contents but have also been given new details called an “invention of tradition”. This renders village culture more abundant. In addition, these new details also create the cultural identities of villages against a background of modernization and urbanization. The Duong Yen festival in the Xuan Non commune, Hanoi’s suburban ethnicity, is a traditional festival that was interrupted by wars against French colonialism and American imperialism. Recently, it has been restored by being assigned with new elements. Studying this festival, the research applies the theory of “traditional invention” and the perspective of sustainable cultural development to understand the process of restoring a traditional festival in Vietnamese contemporary society. Thereby, I argue the following: in the contemporary context, community cohesion in solving common affairs of the village is still the criterion that people aim for, and the new inventional contents in Duong Yen festival play important roles in creating the local community identity.

Keywords: Festival, identity, community, traditional invention