Nom village – A Vietnamese Ancient Village
Nom Village in Dai Dong hamlet, Van Lam district, Hung Yen province lies just over 30 kilometers east of Hanoi. The village was formed at the beginning of the Common Era, according to a stele preserved in Nom Pagoda.
Thousands of years may have passed, but Nom Village retains its image as a traditional Vietnamese village. The arched village gate is made of bricks, on which are inscribed Confucian characters and the image of two dragons encircling the moon. The villagers say that previously two dark wooden doors closed the gate, but they no longer exist. The gate is where villagers greet and send off guests.
The center of Nom Village is the communal house. Before the road leading into the communal house is a pond several decameters wide and approximately 200 meters long. In the village over a dozen ancient houses and seven altars of the various families remain. Most prominent is the home of Phung Van Long, which was built about 200 years ago, according to documents from Hung Yen province’s department of culture, sports and tourism. The house includes fully intact wooden pillars and columns, on which exquisite carvings remain.
The communal house of Nom Village worship Tam Giang who had merits to defeat the Western Han Dynasty (China) in the past. Also, Tam Giang communal house is another name of Dai Dong communal house. It was upgraded completely in 1924. Dai Dong communal house was constructed facing the southeast including front-worshipping room, middle room and harem. The external architecture was influenced by Fujian (China). Currently, Dai Dong communal house has preserved some valuable objects such as 12 conferments from Le dynasty to Nguyen dynasty, altar made of wood in Nguyen dynasty, etc.
The village is connected to a market and a Buddhist pagoda by a stone bridge called Nom Bridge, which extends across the Nguyet Duc River. According to materials from the People’s Committee of Dai Dong Hamlet, the bridge was built in 1860; it is almost 20 meters long and 2 meters wide in 9 sections. Each section is made up of a slab of stone with two dragon engravings on both ends.
According to the book Traditional Vietnamese Handicrafts by Bui Van Vuong, at the beginning of the 20th century, Nom Village specialized in trading scrap metal. Owing to the resourcefulness and resilience of the villagers in trading far and wide, the village economy was well-off and enjoyed an abundant livelihood. To this day, Nom Market still retains an antiquated character and convenes twice every week. In contrast to many northern villages, Nom Market lies removed from the residential area. On the other hand, although Nom Village is quite famous for trading scrap metal, it never became a center for trading metals or metal products. The market is only a place that provides village agricultural products and produce.
The people of Nom Village live a simple existence and are cordial to guests. The village women are gentle, refined, soft-spoken, and charming. The elders still value the rituals and family traditions of their clans.