Xoan Singing to receive official recognition as heritage of humanity

Thursday, 2018-01-25 17:49:26
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Xoan artisans from Phu Tho province. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Xoan Singing of northern Phu Tho province will receive the official recognition as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity from UNESCO in a ceremony at Lai Len Shrine, Viet Tri city, Phu Tho on February 3.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Ha Ke San, the province will take necessary steps to protect and tap intangible cultural values of Xoan Singing in 2018, including the provision of lessons about Xoan Singing for singers of local folk singing clubs, particularly children and the youth, and to promote it at schools.

Phu Tho will also honour outstanding Xoan singing practitioners and repair and renovate historic relics associated with the tradition, San said. He stressed the need to develop a communication strategy to bring Xoan singing closer to the public and highlight it as a local signature tourism product.

Closely linked to the worship of Hung kings, Xoan singing is a religious practice rooted in the ancestor worship of the Vietnamese people. It is traditionally performed during the first two months of the lunar calendar in holy places such as temples, sanctuaries and communal houses.

There are three forms of Xoan singing: worship singing for the Hung kings and village guardian spirits; ritual singing for good crops, health and luck, and festival singing where villagers alternate male and female voices in a form of courtship.

The Vietnamese musical tradition was inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2011 due to declining appreciation of this tradition, notably among young people.

The performing art was transferred to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2017 in recognition for efforts by the local communities and the national authorities to reinforce the viability of Xoan singing.