Following uncountable rainy and sunny seasons, the brilliant mural paintings in Canh Duong Village, Cảnh Hoa Commune, Quang Trach District in the central province of Quang Binh have faded over time; however, the echoes of a land imbued with its coastal cultural identity still seem to hold on visitors and coax them into scheduling a return date.
A mural painting in Canh Duong Village. (Photo: Nguyen Le)
The fishing village at the mouth of Loan River is familiar to many people through the song “Quang Binh, que ta oi” (Quang Binh, my homeland) with its romantic lyrics. Since 2018, visitors have come to Canh Duong because it is famous as the first mural village of the land of “hot winds and white sand”. Around 50 vivid attractive 3D mural paintings are on display along the road from the ancient temple to the entrance to the sea, each wall and gate of local households are no longer gray concrete slabs. The vibrant art tells the history of the village’s development.
Several murals depict ancient times when the village was established, while many others reflect strong fishermen reaching out to the sea or locals paying their respects in the Cau Ngu (Whale Worshipping) Festival, hoping for a peaceful sea and bountiful harvest. Through many mural paintings, people can see the locals’ pride in their tradition of a scholarly land honoured as one of the eight famous villages of Quang Binh Province. It is also well-known for its revolutionary spirit during the war against the French colonialists.
The colourful paintings which record the daily life of the people in this coastal land are also equally attractive. Visitors will be interested in these idyllic scenes with basket boats on the shore, fishing activities as well as images of beautiful smiling babies and bicycles leaning on the village roads. They are rustic but familiar.
Another indispensable part of the journey to Canh Duong village is the Linh Ngu temple, the temple dedicated to the village’s ancestors and the adjoining whale cemetery which has been the resting place of whales for hundreds of years. Canh Duong has also a space to display two large fish skeletons in their original shape so that visitors can understand the origin of the name “Village of Whales” that locals call this land.
Translated by NDO