Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar

student story

Interview with Huong Dinh Tran

This is a story about the Seminar’s international student Huong Dinh Tran who is from Vietnam. She’s talking about her experience in handcraft.

Handcraft brings me into the present moment.

I remember my parents being very strict about using my hands – there is a saying ‘you can turn soil into rice.’

 “Our hands can do anything

With your will, soil can become food”

(These two verses live deeply into my soul since I was a child)

My parents are strong-will people. They showed and guided us to use our hands to do things in life from cooking, baking, farming, gardening, fishing, and planting…, no machines and technology in my young age at all. And they were serious of completing the task they did. Unconsciously, all of these became a part of my personality.

Thanks to hard working and persistence they gained some success in life.

Very important to use my hands to do things until it is complete.

Didn’t recognise but did what my parents said. Working with hands gives me a sense of achievement, makes me confident that it is not too hard to live. I can care for my family. I’m very confident with my hands.

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When I came to Seminar, I learned how artistic and spiritual impulses bring more depth and vitality to my work – I am not only shaping the forms but myself as well. I have new spiritual insight in to what I can do with my hands, what lives in my hands.

I learn a lot about life by doing craft. It’s not buying what you want- we have to use our hands so that children can see what it is to make something. It is therapeutic and helps reduce stress. I am empowered by using my hands to do craft.

I have clear thinking of what I am doing; I have a warm feeling, and then I can do marvellous things out of this.

When I’m doing craft, I find myself very present in the moment: I enjoy seeing my hands moving with the stitch, and I can see beautiful pictures appear in my eyes, and I really enjoy it and I keep doing it in between times, for example when I’m waiting for my son to finish his lunch, I can do some craft and when he sees me sitting next to him, not saying anything, just seeing and doing my work, he feels very calm and comfortable playing around me. And I think because I’m present, I’m calm so I can bring a calm atmosphere surrounding me so my son and my family feel very comfortable to be side by side with me.

I discover that the more I use my hands on a project, the stronger my thinking is, the clearer it is in everything. This is like a practice activity to calm and train my thoughts, it focuses me.

I love it. It’s a relaxing activity. This is my first time doing cross stitch and tapestry and it’s really amazing, with my hands that I can do this kind of task! By doing this I discover that my hands can do so many things.

Nov 2020