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06/20/2019 03:38
Khmer Pagoda in Tra Vinh provides vocational training in wood carving
Monks practices wood carving skills under guidance of craftsman Sơn Sóc (sitting)

Kampongnigrodha Pagoda, a Khmer Buddhist temple with nearly four hundred years old located in Chau Thanh district in the Southern province of Tra Vinh, has been an attractive place for visitors. About 10 km from Tra Vinh provincial city, it is also called “Hang (Cave) Pagoda” as its entrance gate has a design similar to a great cave.

The pagoda is not only a Buddhist worshipping establishment with an ancient and unique architecture of design but also a visiting place for those interested in wooden works elaborately carved with a training shed for wood carving skills.

As informed by the pagoda monks, in 2002 craftsman Thạch Buôl from Vinh Long province was invited to complete several architectural items at the pagoda. After that young monks at the pagoda became interested in wood carving, so they asked the craftsman to stay and teach them carving skills. Initially, only several monks at the pagoda learnt wood carving skills. Later, many monks from other pagodas in the Vietnam south and Khmer people came over to the pagoda for learning the wood carving.

In 2005, Seniour Monk Thạch Suông established a wood carving club with a dozen members who were monks with high skills in wood carving for teaching Khmer youth, as well as introducing and selling wooden-carved works in order to raise funds for financing the free vocational training in wood carving.

For the last 17 years the working shed has successfully trained hundreds of young people with thousands of wood works completed. Many of the new craftsmen have returned to open and successfully run their own working shed; some of them choose to stay at the pagoda for training new generations.

Craftsman Sơn Sóc, one of the first generation of the vocational training in wood carving, is know the main teacher of the training shed on wood carving at the pagoda, with nearly 20 young practitioners, including six monks.

Currently the pagoda has a show room displaying hundreds of wood works completed by craftsmen trained at the pagoda. These wooden carving works have a wide range of shapes and types, including those close to the cultural life of Khmer people, such as wooden Naga snakes, Buddhist statues and sacred animals.

The wooden carving skills provided by Hang Pagoda have practically helped preserving a traditional craft as well as cultural traditions of Khmer people in Tra Vinh.

PTT

Khmer Pagoda in Tra Vinh provides vocational training in wood carvingThe pagoda is not only a Buddhist worshipping establishment with an ancient and unique architecture of design but also a visiting place for those interested in wooden works elaborately carved with a training shed for wood carving skills. As informed
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