Rushing to buy votive objects
Hang Ma Street, which is called the votive object street in Hanoi, has become very bustling these days. People flock there to buy votive objects, though the Lunar New Year would only come in more than one week.
Hong, the owner of votive object kiosk on Hang Ma Street, said that the best sellers are the clothing for the Kitchen God. According to traditional belief, the Kitchen God returns to heaven on that day every year to report to the creator about all households on earth during the past year. Besides, people now also purchase the votive objects for the Lunar New Year worship ceremonies as well.
According to Lao dong, a set of clothes for the Kitchen God is priced between 50,000 dong and 120,000 dong, depending on the size and the design. Gosh money and gold burnt for the dead have become 1000-2000 dong more expensive. Besides, customers can also buy votive gold areca, gold bar, gold bracelets and gold rice as demanded.
Votive objects are also being displayed at the shops next to pagodas. The shops here seem to be very crowded. People buy votive objects and then burn immediately for the dead, believing that the pagoda areas are the holy land.
High grade products attract more buyers
Besides traditional things, high technology products have also been selling very well.
Luxury orders like high-rise buildings, cars, have been selling very well. People think the afterlife is similar to ours, so many people are willing to pay millions of dong for paper votive objects that satisfy those in the next world.
A lot of new products have for the first time appeared on the market. Besides TVs, buildings, cars and mobile phones, people nowadays buy domestic helps, security guards as well to send to the next world to their parents and relatives.
A motorbike with Dream brand is priced at 80,000 dong, while an SH at 120,000-180,000 dong. A sedan is selling at 180,000-220,000 dong. Meanwhile, 7-seat cars are more expensive, at 200,000-280,000 dong. Especially, super cars’ prices could be 350,000 dong.
Thao, a housewife in Dinh Cong residential quarter in Hanoi, said that she offers new houses and new cars to the parents every year. “As the living standards have improved, I have to send to them a domestic help and a washing machine this year,” she said. “I have been leading a good life, and I will not let them live in poverty,” she added.
Hi tech products have been in high demand. Apple’s managers could not imagine that products with Apple brand are being sold everywhere in Vietnam, and the only difference from real Apple’s products is that they are made of paper.
The latest hi tech products such iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and iPad 2 all have been available on the market. Besides, there are also Samsung Galaxy Tab and Samsung Galaxy S2. Since they are “high tech products”, they are also very expensive, even though they are made of paper.
“The products are expensive because they require very high patience and the high skills of the workers,” Hong, the owner of votive paper shop, explained.
“These are not popular products, and we only sell the products to orders,” she added.