Culture Culture

23/05/2019 - 07:55

Lotus color

Lotus is not exclusive to Hue, but one thing that is certain is that Hue lotus seems to be quite unique and different from lotus in the other regions.

Lotus at King Gia Long's tomb. Photo: Trung Phan

The lotus flowers are placed in a rather large vase and are given the most prominent location in the building – the former Hue Traditional Craft Village. The lotus color has faded. The lotus buds are still intact in the dull color.

Perhaps not many people paid attention because it was the time when Hue city was sunny, full of colors of flowers, fabrics, and handicrafts. The days of color flowed in the footsteps of people who fluttered down the street.

I also don't remember since when, but for many seasons, Hue lotus has been present in Hue Festival and later in Hue Traditional Craft Festival as a reappearing member. The slender white or pink lotus flowers seem like the gentle young girls. The lotus scent is soft, meekly spreading in the deeply silent moments, in the early morning hours, or late at night.

I have also wondered which is more beautiful, the catwalk of models in the ao dai festival, the deeply still nights of Trinh music in a deep corner in the Imperial Citadel or the pure beauty of the lotus flowers? Which is the main character in the scene and timbre of the festival days; or is it a harmonious combination of the things belonging to Hue?

Pink lotus in Vinh Thanh Commune (30 kilometers from Hue City). Photo: Trung Phan

There were days - I remember - when the flowers had just come from the lotus pond to the stage, entering many exhibition spaces and even in many rituals. I saw her - a woman in the pale purple ao dai bending down to pick up each fallen petal next to the brown vase, meticulous and attentive as if she had put all of her heart into it.

In another occasion, she told me about Hue's lotus days, with the excitement of talking about beauty. Once again, I was convinced, not because of the fragrant, gentle lotus buds in the festive space, but from the gentle and convincing voice, from the eyes shining brightly despite old age.

Happiness sometimes comes from a modest, simple change that not everyone realizes. With lotus, it seems like she has found her soulmate. And I, at the same time, thought about her with the beauty of a lotus, warm, kind and silent as she always was with everyone.

Lotus is not exclusive to Hue, but one thing that is certain is that Hue lotus seems to be quite unique and different from lotus in the other regions. There is almost no discrimination and I do not know if it is extreme to say that I think it is the difference in appearance, quality, and subtlety of aroma from the earth and air.

It is also possible because I watched the lotus and listened to lotus scented from the ponds, the fields on the roadside; listening to the lotus whispering its words in the crowded and sometimes packed space during the festivals. I saw people buying lotus from the roadside vendors in the fresh early morning. And to be honest, doesn’t it seem that only in Hue, in Hue Cultural Festivals or other Hue festivals that lotus appears as an "ambassador" of cultural space?

I am talking about beauty, even when the lotus has turned into a faded purple in the recent scorching days of Hue...