Hand-written letter exhibition awakes reminicenses

(VOVWORLD) - Letter writing is one of life’s most beautiful forms of communication. A special exhibition called “Back to naive days” featuring 100 letters hand-written by Vietnamese people during the last hundred years was recently presented in Hanoi by A Letter Home, a homestay accommodation provider that is also a patisserie, café, and bookshop. Bui Hang reports....
Hand-written letter exhibition awakes reminicenses  - ảnh 1 The oldest letter at the exhibition.

“In addition to sharing information, letter writing can be useful in minimizing personal conflicts. When you put something down on paper, the world seems to slow down, and any anger you feel will begin to fade”, said Nguyen Thi Da Thuong, who organized the exhibition. An old book collector and reporter, Thuong has met many intellectuals, book collectors, and families that possess huge book collections. They often possess letters they have preserved through generations. Some still write letters as a habit. Thuong finds such a natural, quiet, and beautiful habit very moving.

"During the collecting process, I’ve found some valuable hand-written letters. Some families I know have been communicating by letter for generations. After years of collecting letters, I wanted to share this beauty with other people in Hanoi.", said Thuong.

Unlike art exhibitions, “A Letter Home” offers visitors the chance to spend an entire day reading a hundred letters in Vietnamese, English and French, sent by intellectuals, artists, writers, and ordinary families. Some of them are love letters and some are official documents. There are letters by poet Mong Tuyet (1914-2007), the first female poet to publish poems in the Vietnamese language, to her friends; letters between scholar Vuong Hong Sen (1902-1996) and Vietnamese and French intellectuals of his generation; as well as letters between writer Tran Dan and poet Duong Tuong.

Hand-written letter exhibition awakes reminicenses  - ảnh 2A letter for writer Phung Quan from his friend with very old stamps.

"The exhibition displays 100 letters written during the past century. The oldest letters date back to 1905, and the latest was written in 2015. These letters cover a wide range of topics and each tells a story, often about a historical period of Vietnam when technology are less developed.", said Thuong.

Visitor Thuy Nguyen of Hanoi’s Ba Dinh district said: "These letters take me back to the past. Each of them is a little movie about characters we come to know through the letters. Some letters are short but their content is very interesting".

The “Back to naive days” exhibition is attracting quite a lot of young people. Phuong Trinh, who has just returned to Vietnam after years of studying in France, told VOV: "I found the love letters on display the most interesting. The emotions expressed in the letters amazed me. It’s very convenient nowadays to keep in touch with others via email or message app, but I think hand-written letters let people stay closer and seem warmer to each other."

Thuong said she hopes visitors will picture the era of the hand written word in Vietnam, the complicated details of handwritten letters – custom stationery, seals, envelopes, stamps, paper sizes – and gain a greater appreciation of handwritten communication.