Salt-making named a national treasure

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Bac Lieu Province’s salt-making craft has been recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage.

The salt-making craft of the southern province of Bạc Liêu has become national intangible heritage. Photo

Bac Lieu’s natural conditions with low levels of magnesium, calcium and sulfate give the salt a strong and special taste. Furthermore, natricloride content is high at 96.6 per cent on average, approximately equal to the national premium salt standard which is 97 per cent.

According to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the craft has been a cultural feature in the area for hundreds of years, transferring from generation to generation.

“Salt-making has been around in the province for a long time. Salt has become rooted in people’s lives and provided them with an income,” said department director Tran Thi Lan Phuong.

“Our ancestors brought their methods of producing salt here. It developed gradually as salt-making villages were established and the craft was handed down from one to another. It is a speciality of the province and has now been recognised an intangible cultural heritage of the nation,” said Phuong.

The province’s salt fields spread tens of kilometres from Vinh Chau Beach to Ganh Hao Estuary. Salt producing is one of three key sectors along with rice and aquaculture, helping Bac Lieu become one of the three biggest economic centres in the Mekong Delta region.

Phuong added that Bac Lieu’s farmers are known as experts because during prosperous times they were able to supply their products to not only six southern cities and provinces but also neighbouring countries.

“Thanks to the recognition, the craft will play a bigger role in creating more jobs and uniting salt-making communities, inspiring people to work harder and creatively to contribute to the local economy,” said Phuong.

Vice chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee Cao Xuan Thu Van said the recognition was a source of pride for local residents, especially the salt farmers.

It will also help the province to improve its tourism sector by introducing the typical characteristics of the province to domestic and international friends.

Van asked the community and local authorities to continue preserving and developing the traditional salt-making craft by expanding the fields and improving quality to lift salt farmers’ living standards and build a local salt brand.

At the same time, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will create tourism packages with salt-making experiences; produce souvernirs and medical products made of salt; and organise an annual salt festival to lure more people.

In Bac Lieu, the salt fields can mainly be found in the districts of Dong Hai and Hoa Binh, with nearly 900 households working on a total of about 1,360ha./.

Source: VGP