An overview of trades corporations in Vietnam
In the villages, the inhabitants are mostly farmers. However, in many places, groups of inhabitants can make a living from other trades. These people band together and make the occupational village – Phường.
In the countryside, you can meet numerous occupational village, such as “Phuong gom” (village specialized in the making potters) which manufacture earthenware and porcelain, and “Phuong nê” (village specialized in making masons) which take care of constructions, “Phuong chai” (for fisherman) ”Phuong vai” (for weavers), etc. There are some that are not manual trade corporations like “Phuong Cheo” which groups popular theater actors. Even children can gather in a corporation like “Phuong chan trau” that of the buffalo keepers, or “Phuong cat co” that of the grass cutters (to feed the cattle).
Alongside the villages which bring together people of the same profession in the countryside, and more generally thereafter, for Vietnamese society as a whole, there are hoi (associations) bringing together people with the same tastes, the same pleasures, or of the same environment. The “tu van” association unites the Mandarin scholars in the village; the “van pha” association brings together non-Mandarin scholars; the “vo pha” brings together martial arts enthusiasts; the “bo lao” is the association of elderly men and the “chu Ba”, that of elderly ladies who practice Buddhism. There are still associations of wrestlers, card players, cockfighting enthusiasts, chess players, etc.