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Lai Xa village gets Recognition for photography role in Vietnam (November 09, 2003)

The photographic occupation has existed in Lai Xa village, Hoai Duc district, Ha Tay northern province for more than 100 years. The locality has recently been recognised the traditional photographic village.

Lai Xa is one of the four villages of Kim Chung commune, Hoai Duc district, Ha Tay province, about 15 km northwest of Hanoi centre.

The traditional photographic occupation has existed in Lai Xa for 111 years now. In 1892, Nguyen Dinh Khanh. who was born in 1874 in Lai Xa and died in 1946 in Paris, France, opened a photo shop named Khanh Ky in Hanoi, giving birth to the Lai Xa traditional photographic village. Nguyen Dinh Khanh is now considered the founder of the craft village. For 111 years, Lai Xa people opened photo shops across the country and many other countries like China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, France, Germany, the US the the former Soviet Union. The golden age of the photographic occupation of Lai Xa village was in 1940s and 1950s. More than 2,000 Lai Xa people opened around 150 photo shops.

At that time, Hanoi saw 33 photo shops, Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, had 34 shops and Haiphong, 13 shops. Photo shops of Lai Xa people were seen everywhere.

On May 31, 1946, Dinh Khanh passed away. On June 25, 1946, President Ho Chi Minh and his entourage came to pay tribute to Mr Khanh, also known as Khanh Ky. Uncle Ho was very moved and expressed his gratitude to Mr Khanh Ky who helped him in the photography in his early days in France.

For over 111 years, many people in Lai Xa followed the occupation of old man Khanh Ky. Many students of Mr Khanh Ky became talented photographic artisans and photo shop owners, including Pham Van Giai, Pham Van Cam, Nguyen Van Truc, Pham Van Uyen and Pham Van Tuu in the 20th century. Later, there were photographic artist, reporter Vu Dinh Hong, Professor, Doctor of astronomy Nguyen Quang Rieu, Doctor of Physics Nguyen Quy Dao and former Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Huyen.

From 2000, photographic clubs and training courses have been set up. Forty percent of the labourers in the village work in the photographic occupation.

On July 9, 2003, the Ha Tay province’s People’s Committee issued a Decision to recognise the traditional photographic occupation of Lai Xa village.

On October 25, 2003, the locality held a meeting to receive this noble title.

Tien Phong newspaper


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