A New Year – The Year of the Buffalo is coming. In the zodiac, buffalo is the animal which is the closet to the farmer, and becomes a symbol of Vietnam civilization of wet rice agriculture.
Researchers of culture and philosophy often mention an image that Lao Tzu rides a buffalo leaving China. In addition, Tue Trung, a brother of Tran Hung Dao, considers the buffalo as a Buddha. These great masters certainly found the buffalo’s characteristics that are consistent with their profound morality.
The buffalo and the farmer has a close relationship. When being very little boys and girls, they knew how to herd, cut grass to help their parents, and catch crabs, snails or play three chrysanthemums (Tam cuc), play cards, so on. When growing up, they all control buffaloes to plow and pull the vehicles, and even when getting old, in role of grandparents, they continue to lead buffaloes and calf for their children.
The intimacy between people and buffalo has created a close relationship. However, it maybe the process of working together and the similarities in fate and characters between the farmer and buffalo that are the important factors for a close and loyal friendship. The gentle and hardworking buffalo in both days and nights, “no time to breath as working, no time to chew as eating” like humans, buffaloes are also honest, simple, and suffer disadvantages due to “the early bird catches the worm”, they are also stable and strong like humans, and used to mention strong people, it is often said that “as strong as buffalo”.
If you visit Vietnam in any rural villages in the highlands or plains, it is not difficult to see buffaloes working hard in the fields – With terraced fields on the mountainside, buffaloes are hard to plow the soil for their owner to prepare for a new planting season. Some places have only a small piece of soil hidden in rocks (Ha Giang rock plateau), buffaloes quietly plow the soil for their owner’s cultivation. When the evening arrives, along with their owner, they go slowly on the mountainside to return to the village to rest after a hardworking day. You will hear the echo of the wooden bells ringing from far distance which are the sound of buffaloes working or grazing.
In the plains, the buffaloes work with their owners on wide and flat fields, and then they pull vehicles to carry rice when the harvest is complete. Finally, the buffaloes contribute to farmers’ a full crop.
On weekends, in addition to trading of goods in the highland fairs, the buffalo market also accounts for a large part of the market. They trade and exchange buffaloes, then the buffaloes will follow the new owner to the new village to continue its duties. Buffalo is a friend of the Vietnamese which is an animal accompanying with the hard work of the Vietnamese for many years. You will definitely have a beautiful photo to keep memories with buffalo in the field?? Let’s join us on a tour to the Vietnamese villages at any time.