Experts discuss features of Nghe - the spiritual animal mascot of Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Ninh Binh (VNA) – A showroom featuring the “Nghe”, the spiritual animal mascot of Vietnam, has opened at the Hoa Lu cultural space in the northern province of Ninh Binh.

Representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, scientists, historians, and cultural researchers attended the event, which was part of activities for the National Culture, Sports, and Tourism Festival 2018.

The showroom will display sculptures, paintings, and sketches of the Nghe, a cultural  and historical symbol of Vietnam in various regions. The works will focus on highlighting the image of the spiritual animal in the Dinh temple cultural space in Hoa Lu, Ninh Binh.

In Vietnamese culture, sacred animals are those originating from legends or are created and used as cultural symbols to deliver ideas and belief in their psyche and religion. They embody the natural forces and hold characteristics of mysterious supernatural powers that dominate humanity and the universe. One of them is the Nghe, a pure mascot for the Vietnamese people which appears in folk verses, such as “Each being has one profession/The Peacock is for dancing and the Nghe is for guarding”. The Nghe is a mixture of various sacred animals, with the body of a dog, the head of a lion, and the power of a dragon, as well as resembling a phoenix.

In the spiritual life of the Vietnamese people, the Nghe animal is important like other mascots, such as dragons and phoenixes, because it symbolises intelligence and such it is placed at both sacred sites and houses. 

The event has contributed to help locals, as well as domestic and foreign visitors, gain insight into Vietnam’s cultural symbols, while promoting and honouring the traditional culture values of the Hoa Lu ancient capital in particular, and of Vietnam in general.

The showroom will stay open until November 11.–VNA