On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Quan ho (love duet singing) and Ca tru (ceremonial singing) recognised by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritages of humanity, the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has just held a scientific conference on "Preserving and promoting Quan ho and Ca tru in Bac Giang province”.
At the event, representatives from the Department of Cultural Heritage (the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) highlighted the achievements of Bac Giang province in preserving and promoting Quan ho and Ca tru.
Expanding Quan ho cultural space
Quan ho singers in Noi Ninh village, Ninh Son commune (Viet Yen district).
After 10 years of being recognised, Quan ho folk songs are still practised continuously in the community as well as in festivals, traditional ceremonies, competitions, shows and cultural events at home and abroad, thus spreading strongly. The Quan ho teaching is often done in both forms: in the community (artisans voluntarily teach the folk songs to the next generation) and in the school.
Authorities of localities with the heritage have been taking measures to prevent the traditional practice of Quan ho folk songs for commercial purposes. They have regularly carried out the inventory to grasp the status of the heritage, thereby taking appropriate protection measures.
Agencies, organisations and individuals have actively researched, collected and restored traditional forms of Quan ho singing and some typical customs of Quan ho culture ... After two times, the President has awarded the title "People’s Artisan" to one artisan and the title "Meritorious Artisan" to 15 artisans of Bac Giang.
Along with the above solutions, Bac Giang province has promoted the heritage through many art programmes such as the Quan ho singing festival; and organised an area displaying Quan ho folk songs at the provincial Museum.
The community has also voluntarily engaged in preserving, protecting and teaching the cultural heritage of Quan ho in the locality and had exchange performances with other localities.
The vitality of Ca tru
For Ca tru, many protection measures have been implemented in accordance with the realities and current status of the heritage such as opening classes; facilitating the practising, performing and teaching of the heritage; organising festivals; building mechanisms and policies to honor artisans; inventorying, identifying and promoting the heritage...
Ca tru performance at the conference "Preserving and promoting Quan ho and Ca tru in Bac Giang province".
Besides, there are the active participation of the community, individuals in practising the heritage, as well as the effective operation and responsibility of individuals, groups, management agencies at all levels and associations.
The heritage has been practised more often. The national Ca tru festival has been held every three years and every time Bac Giang artisans have won prizes. Provincial-level festivals have also been organised. Ca tru performances have been increasingly appearing at local cultural events.
The community, social organisations and authorities have organised many classes to teach young people in the manner that older artisans teach directly in the community or in professional art schools. Among the learners, many young people have basic knowledge about music as they are trained in professional training establishments, so they can quickly acquire and practice Ca tru fluently.
Ca tru today is more involved in new events and cultural spaces instead of just being performed at the front of the communal house door as before. Performances serving visitors have been formed gradually, attracting a large audience. The traditional elements have been step by step restored and maintained. Researchers, experts and artisans have studied, explored and restored traditional skills and techniques to teach the younger generations.
Looking at the National Action Programme on protecting Quan ho folk songs and Ca tru that Vietnam committed to UNESCO, it can be seen that with the efforts and engagement of the authorities and the community, Bac Giang province has joined hands with other localities to fully and effectively realise all the contents with the aim of sustainably conserving these two types of traditional art.