Vietnam’s xoan singing a community performance art from northern Vietnam, had been added to UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
On 8th December, in Republic of Korea, at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the information was announced.
In November 2011, xoan singing of Phu Tho province was listed by the UN’s cultural body as an element of heritage in need of urgent safeguarding as it was scarcely practised by the locals.
Since then, a concerted effort has been made to revitalize art, with measures ranging from promoting awareness and community participation to teaching art to schoolchildren and restoring the temples where sings usually the xoan.
The actions of the local communities and the government helped this singing to avoid the risk of disappearing into oblivion.
At the moment, there are 200 practitioners with average ages of 35, while back to 2009 only 100 artist practice this unique preform, and most of them are older than 60.
The total members of xoan clubs across Phu Tho province have also reached into the thousands.
Vietnam’s xoan singing also known as hat cua dinh and hat tho is associated with the worship of Vietnam’s legendary founders the Hung Kings.
It is usually performed in the Lunar New Year when spring arrives, the songs are sung to celebrate Hung kings, national heroes and ancestors; glorify nature and people; and express wishes of life and romantic love.
With the addition of xoan and bai choi, Viet Nam now has 11 elements of intangible cultural heritage which have been recognised by the UN’s cultural agency.0