“Ho khoan” Le Thuy singing recognised as national intangible cultural heritage

Friday, 2017-09-01 04:49:40
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A fishing net pulling “ho” performance at the ceremony recognising Le Thuy singing as a national intangible cultural heritage, on the evening of August 31. (Credit: NDO)
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NDO – “Ho khoan” Le Thuy, a genre of Vietnamese folk music from Le Thuy district, in the central province of Quang Binh, has been recognised as national intangible cultural heritage for its typical characteristics.

Quang Binh hosted a ceremony in Kien Gian town, Le Thuy district, on Thursday night, to announce the State decision to recognise its traditional art form as one of the nation’s priceless heritages.

The activity aimed at honouring the values of traditional art forms, contributing to the preservation of the nation’s precious cultures in the spiritual life of the population during the new integration and development period.

“Ho khoan” Le Thuy has both popular and professional characteristics, which have existed and been developed over a long period in the lives of local people. The song has become an indispensable cultural and artistic activity of the Le Thuy locals.

“Ho khoan” (meaning to row) Le Thuy is a type of folk singing, born during the labour of local people in the Le Thuy lowland area. This form of singing is dominated by nine main rhythmic elements. The labouring song is characterised both by its antiphonal nature, with alternating groups of female and male singers issuing musical challenges, and responses containing topics of love and sentimentality.

The singing fluctuates across all environments suitable for the role of conveying the minds and spirit of the people in order to entertain and eliminate tiredness during work and to speed up productivity.

Not only to be maintained and promoted among the local community, “ho khoan” Le Thuy has also been introduced in Le Thuy schools, efficiently preserving the art form.

In recognition of the outstanding values and efforts to preserve and promote “ho khoan” Le Thuy, on May 8, 2017, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued a decision recognising the labouring songs of Le Thuy as a national intangible cultural heritage. This is the first intangible cultural heritage of Quang Binh.

At the ceremony, in addition to the introduction of “ho khoan” Le Thuy and the announcement of its recognition, the programme also screened reports on the spiritual life of the local people as they participate in “ho khoan”.