Xoan singing experiences revival

17:15 | 14/03/2016 Society

(VEN) - Xoan singing which was once listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding has experienced a revival.

Xoan singing experiences revival

Xoan singing is now regularly practiced at Xoan groups and clubs in Phu Tho Province

Xoan singing, a beautiful cultural trait

UNESCO officially recognized Phu Tho Province’s Xoan singing as Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding on November 24, 2011. The genre combines local cultural, historical and folk-artistic characteristics in rhymes and rhythms.

The music has a sparse structure with fewer ornamental notes and simpler rhythms than Ca Tru or Quan Ho singing. The perfect fourths are prominent and instruments include drums and clappers. With its clear rhymes and rhythms, Xoan singing has won UNESCO’s recognition.

There are three stages of a Xoan singing ceremony including 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.

In the first phase, singers petition the Hung Kings and village guardian spirits to manifest and accept the ceremony. In the second phase, 14 different rhymes and rhythms will be performed by a leader who is accompanied by male instrumentalists and female singers. In the final phase, there is a variety of performances including couple love singing and recreational setups that attract great participation.

“Xoan singers sometimes sing while standing still with their fingers open like a five-petal flower, but sometimes sing while imitating wading through rice fields and planting rice, conveying their lives of joy and hardships,” said To Ngoc Thanh, Chairman of the Vietnam Folklore Arts Association.

Xoan revival

Phu Tho Province has proactively implemented Xoan singing conservation and promotion tasks as part of the National Action Program on the Conservation and Promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritages in Need of Urgent Safeguarding during the 2012-2015 period.

A Xoan singing conservation and promotion project for the 2013-2020 has been prepared by the province and approved by the government with a focus on upgrading Xoan singing sites, identifying the core of Xoan songs, opening Xoan singing classes, promoting the development of Xoan singing clubs and policies to honor and support Xoan singers.

As many as 19 Xoan sites in Phu Tho, especially the Lai Len Temple, and the Thet, Kim Doi and An Thai communal houses have been restored and upgraded. The province has prepared detailed funding plans for Xoan singing teaching and promotion until 2020.

Thanks to positive Xoan singing conservation and promotion efforts by the whole community, Xoan singing has been revived and gradually developed. “Through raising Xoan singing conservation and promotion awareness among the younger generations, this type of folk singing have gradually interested young generations,” said Dr. Le Thi Minh Ly, a heritage expert.

As of November 2015, Phu Tho had registered 28 Xoan singing clubs attracting more than 1,100 participants. It expects to write off Xoan singing from the UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding this year to become a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

“Xoan singing is no longer on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and is developing,” said Ly.

Phu Tho expects to finish upgrading Xoan singing sites in the city of Viet Tri, restore Xoan singing festivals combined with worship singing for the Hung Kings and honor all people who have contributed to Xoan singing conservation and promotion.

 

Thanh Tam

Theo ven.vn