Vietnamese Folklores

A Brief Look into Vietnamese Folklores

From the ancient times, Vietnamese people have had a rich moral life. A clear evidence for that is the folklore which is great in quantity and various in types. An important part of it is folk stories.

Those stories usually reflected their daily activities; therefore, they are simple and common with everyone. Their characters may be real ones from real life, or be created with suitable personality and situation of life in order to express the contents and lessons from those stories as well. There are three main kinds of folk stories.

The first type is funny stories. Since the old days, Vietnamese people have been deeply aware of the importance of the laugher in life. As a result, funny stories were created so as to bring joyful moment after hard-working days. There are two branches of funny stories: Chain-stories which includes many small anecdotes about one main character who is criticized for bad manners (Trạng Lợn), or praised for brevity, and ingeniousness (Trạng Quỳnh)

The second kind of folk stories is fairy tales. Fairy tales are divided into three smaller branches base on their content. Firstly, those stories may tell about animals such as: “Cóc kiện trời”, “Quạ và Công”, “Cọp xay lúa”, and so on. The second main content is miraculous fairy tales such as: “ Tấm Cám”, “Cây khế”, “ Sọ dừa”, “Cây tre trăm đốt”, etc.

The third one is seculars, which tell common events, however, with litter legendary factors like: “Trương Chi”, “Nói dối như Cuội”, “Sự tích chim quốc”, etc. The final kind of folk stories is allegories. In these stories, metaphor is used to demonstrate morality, philosophy, ethical standards, etc. Some main characteristics of this kind are: attacking the ruling class (in the past) (“Mèo ăn chay”, “Khi chúa sơn lâm ngọa bệnh”); criticize the bad manners of human beings (“Ếch ngồi đáy giếng”, “Thả mồi bắt bóng”); raising some experience, useful lessons in practical life (“Chuyện bó đũa”, “Đẽo cày giữa đường”).

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