The 50-year-old man writes Tet holiday in Saigon – VnExpress


At the beginning of December, Mr. Cau set up paper and ink and a small table at the corner of the sidewalk on Tran Quy Street, District 11, and began to practice writing for Tet.

As long as a red piece of paper on which is written a couplet or a wish expressing the wishes of the owner for a new year like Happy Spring Festival, Happy New Year, Peaceful Family… In the past, his urn was written in Chinese characters, and gradually there were also bowls in Vietnamese in the style of calligraphy if the guests requested it.

Mr. Huynh Tri Cau, 69 years old, is a native of Cantonese, China, born and raised in Saigon, currently a teacher of a Chinese language center. For more than 50 years, every New Year comes, he has a second job as a writer to serve people to decorate their houses.

“When I was a child, I followed my father here to write letters. By the age of 15, I was able to ‘sell letters’ with my father. Since then, I have never had a Tet holiday because I love writing and hope my words bring joy. joy and hope for everyone in the new year”, Mr. Cau shared.

Mr. Cau was in his column on the morning of January 24. Photo: Diep Phan.

Initially, Cau’s customers were mostly of Chinese origin, so the red bowls were written in traditional black ink. In the past few years, he has switched to gold emulsion ink because it looks bright and eye-catching, suitable for the Tet atmosphere, which many people like.

The sheets have many different sizes and shapes, depending on the place to hang (stick) of the guests. “Hanging on either side of the main door is a rectangular shape, nearly a meter long. Paste in the safe, use square paper. In addition, it can be written in horizontal paper size…” Mr. Cau said.

Depending on the size and quality of the paper, each picture costs from several tens of thousands to several hundred thousand dong. At the time of Tet, when many people clean their houses, the demand for hanging lanterns increases. At this time, in addition to writing on the sidewalk from morning to afternoon, he also took advantage of writing more at home in the evening to deliver to customers.

Although the items printed with letters are sold a lot in the Thiec market area, Mr. Cau still has hundreds of customers coming to him in the last month of the year.  Photo: Diep Phan

Mr. Cau is finishing a picture for a guest, on the morning of January 24. Photo: Diep Phan.

On the morning of January 24, Ms. Dam Vien, 61 years old, a native of China in Binh Duong went to the Thiec market on Tran Quy Street to buy Tet. She said that since she was growing up, she had seen her father have a custom to hang a coffin in front of the house on New Year’s Eve. As a businesswoman, every year she often asks an acquaintance to write a letter. This year, that person passed away, so Ms. Vien did not know who to ask.

Before knowing Mr. Cau, she bought a few pre-written urns to hang in the house. However, with a large urn hanging in front of the door, she still hopes to find someone to write by hand. According to her, the handwriting will be softer, more realistic and more soulful than the printed model.

“My family believes that the wishes on the statue will bring luck to our family and guests who come to our house to play during Tet. When I ask for words, the writer will send my wishes on my behalf. If someone writes a letter to help their family run smoothly, they will follow that person to ask for help,” said Ms. Vien.

While shopping, she was pointed out by small traders to Mr. Cau. Initially, she only wrote two sentences for the length of 90 cm to hang in front of the main door. But after talking and seeing his handwriting with her own eyes, she asked him to write 4 more pictures to hang in many places in the house.

A memorial letter written by Mr. Cau to Ms. Vien with the content wishing good luck and selling, money coming in like water, good health... Photo: Diep Phan

The memorial Mr. Cau wrote to Ms. Vien with the content: Ms. Vien’s Phuoc Nghe Thanh facility wishes you a happy new year, good luck in buying and selling, money is like water, good health… Photo: Diep Phan.

Mr. Cau said that every day, he has a few dozen guests like Ms. Vien coming to order letters. Although the items printed with letters are sold a lot in the Thiec market area, Mr. Cau still has hundreds of customers coming to him in the last month of the year.

“My joy is in writing, but it will be more fun if every year I am asked by a guest to write a new sentence that is not an existing one. This year, due to the pandemic causing a lot of loss, outside Wishes about business, peace and luck, the best wishes for health, “said Mr. Cau.

Diep Phan

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