Xoan Singing

Xoan singing is on the shorter List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding – in other words, in danger of dying out. It is hoped to move it to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, a list consisting of world culture that is endangered, but not on the brink of extinction.

Phu Tho province has financially supported training classes and activities, in addition to helping xoan singers directly helping to revive the ancient song form.The province is backing the study, collection of xoan singing and intends to publish a book titled Hat Xoan Phu Tho (Phu Tho Xoan Singing).

Phu Tho is regarded as the ancestral land and the root of the Vietnamese people. In this very place, more than 4,000 years ago, the Hung Kings founded the country of Van Lang, the first state of Vietnam. From this cradle, a lot of valuable cultural heritage of the Vietnamese people was established. Of these there is Xoan singing, a type of folk singing with the community’s cultural features and spiritual factors of the ancient Vietnamese people.

The department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has organised hundreds of performances to promote xoan singing. Using the mass media, these shows have been broadcast to domestic and international audiences. The department has also collaborated with experts, musicians and researchers to collect, edit and publish thousands of CDs and more than 5,000 books about xoan singing. These are used as aids for teachers and students. Phu Tho department of education has introduced xoan singing into all local schools to help following generations of children from the region understand their heritage and their obligation to preserve it. In addition, the province is working on giving the title of Distinguished Artisans title to 17 xoan singers.

The province will soon submit a document to UNESCO proposing xoan singing be removed from the list of heritages in need of urgent protection.

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