Visiting Lợi's House

Sitting down to dinner About 30 of us sat down to dinner at Lợi's house on Sunday. And in traditional manner 'down' in Vietnam means it. Another tradition is that women and children sit at one end and the men at the other, although this is not a rigid prescription In Tinh Gia meals come above all else, yet always seem precipitous. This meal was at Lợi's house 40 kilometres away, in the next Province of Nghệ An. Go to another site. Suddenly mid-morning showers were taken, instant noodles appeared and were consumed, and the disparate hords herded, after heated discussion, into one car – there were after all only 14 souls, and some of them very small ones. Đền Cờn Temple The Đền Cờn Temple by the River Hoàng Mai Not being linguistically up to speed, the point when the car turned off the way to Lợi's house, was when I found we were going via the Đền Cờn Temple. This building seems much visited for its symbolism of fortitude against the Chinese, the good luck associated with the tree of its story, and the general Vietnamese veneration for the dead; the only hint of religion that touches it is the Buddhist monk who found the royal family of the story. (See page on the Đền Cờn Temple. ) Everyone from 3 years and up goes to have a look inside We all troup in to see the Temple Disembarkation at Lợi's From the car, in the background, the company extract themselves to make their way down the narrow lanes to the house Unlike the UK or India, Vietnam is not blessed with good maps. The dozen kilometres from the temple to Lợi's house took most of an hour, relying as it had to on inspiration, for locals are never trusted, and Google's creative interpretations of what counts as a road helps little. The un-guided tour, of tiny villages in the nether regions of Nghệ An, brought us near Lợi's house by 4pm. Disembarkation resembled a magician pulling endless rabbits from a hat. Shoeing In Shoes are left on the three steps that lead up to the main house floor level. Some shoes are more equal than others Meal being prepared Intense activity in the kitchen Four young women of the visited extended family, plus the other four men in our party, set about making the meal. The women visitors consoled fractious youngsters, (being cooped up in a car for a couple of hours to visit a temple is not high among three year old's priorities) and began to prepare the eating area under the new roof recently erected to protect the front courtyard. Loi's House Lợi's house from the Gateway Mats out Mats ready for the meal By 5.30, at the sudden tropical dusk, the mats were out and the dishes in place. Our 14 visitors plus the household, plus the two brothers' families, brought those eating to near 30. Lợi's mother and his father-in-law are older than myself, other adults are in their 30s and 40s. Time was constrained by the need to reach another party near home - we left around 7. Lợi stayed with his family; with one less person and the remainder well oiled, we slipped into the car effortlessly. Children First And, before it is dark, the children get themselves in place for the food Loi Our host Lợi Lợi's household comprises, wife, three children and mother. His name is a bit like the "lot of" in Cockney: a "lo'a" money, but instead of saying 'a' say 'ee' (and drop your voice). Mats out Even us old people seem happy Return Journey On the way home, packed carefully back into the car - one body less, and three asleep The next page shows a little more of the Đền Cờn Temple which was introduced above. The main room of the Den Con Temple. line
Saturday 2nd January 2016 Murphy

Go to the Picture Posting contents page Return to the top