Songstress Ong Thi Hoai devotes whole love to Ca tru

Update: 09:59 | 02/01/2020

(BGO) - Over the past 10 years, the art of Ca tru (ceremonial singing) has been restored, preserved and promoted in the Yen Dung land (Bac Giang province), which is rich in cultural traditions. Ong Thi Hoai, head of the district Ca Tru Club, is a core member who has made significant contributions to preserving this art.

10 years of "pairing" with Ca tru

Following the introduction of Ta Hai Nam, Deputy Director of the district Centre for Culture, Information and Sports, we came to the house of Ong Thi Hoai, head of Yen Dung district Ca Tru Club.

Songstress Ong Thi Hoai, whole love, Ca tru, Bac Giang province, ceremonial singing, cultural traditions, significant contributions, cultural and artistic traditions

Hoai and her granddaughter Thao Chi at a performance.

Born in 1956, Hoai had more than 30 years working in the education sector. As a literature teacher, with a love of art, during the years of teaching, she spent a lot of time to learn about the cultural and artistic traditions of the nation.

While it seemed that everything just stopped at a passion, a turning point came to Hoai. In 2009, Ca tru was added to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). At the same time, Yen Dung district Ca Tru Club was established with the goal of restoring and preserving the traditional art of the nation.

Hoai recalled: "It took me only 5 minutes to think about registering to join the club."

Because at that time she already retired, she devoted her full of love to Ca tru and participated in most of the training classes hosted by the province. She vividly remembered training sessions by artisan Man in Lo Khe, Dong Anh (Hanoi). The dedication and responsibility of the artisan helped her to have a good start, thus gaining more faith and motivation to stick to Ca tru.

Many times, she traveled to Bac Giang city to watch members of the provincial Ca tru Club (located at the Cheo Theater) practicing and performing in order to learn and feel. With enthusiastic members such as Hoai, the Yen Dung district Ca Tru Club has maintained its activities effectively.

Preserving to make the heritage shining

A decade of "pairing" with and doting on Ca tru, songstress Ong Thi Hoai thinks that she must always respect, preserve and promote the value of Ca tru, thus helping the traditional cultural heritage increasingly shine.

She has always worked with the club’s management board to find ways to help the members to join performances. The presence of Ca tru repertoires performed by the club members at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, Truc Lam Phuong Hoang Zen Monastery, Kem Pagoda, Ba Tong Communal House and Khanh Van Pagoda for many years has brought enjoyable experiences to visitors.

Songstress Ong Thi Hoai, whole love, Ca tru, Bac Giang province, ceremonial singing, cultural traditions, significant contributions, cultural and artistic traditions

In addition to good Ca tru singing skills, Hoai is also very responsible and eager to learn. This is really a typical core member of the Ca tru Club on Phuong Hoang (Phoenix) land

Meritorious Artist Quynh Mai (the Bac Giang Cheo Theater), head of the provincial Ca tru Club.

In addition, songstress Ong Thi Hoai has built the club into a united collective. She has arranged many programmes for the club to participate in Ca tru festivals organized by the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, obtaining many high achievements. Most recently, at the provincial Ca tru and Quan ho festival in 2019, Yen Dung district Ca tru Club won the A Prize for the whole team. Hoai herself was also given an individual prize at this professional stage.

Hoai often mentioned her granddaughter Ong Ha Thao Chi. She is only 10 years old, but Thao Chi has had 6 years following her grandmother to practice and perform Ca tru. From a young age, Thao Chi was taught Ca tru by her grandmother and now she has mastered many melodies such as xam hue tinh, xam Song Thuong, bo ho, and chuc ho...

However, what Hoai concerns is that young people are still not interested in Ca Tru. “In addition to Thao Chi, currently the Yen Dung district Ca Tru Club has very few young members. This will greatly affect the conservation of Ca tru"- she said.

Therefore, she always hopes Ca tru will receive more attention from the culture, sports and tourism sector and local authorities. She also wishes that one day Ca tru will be present in the school environment, so that this type of folk art is increasingly widespread.

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Quoc Truong

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