Ancient ‘quan ho’ (love duet) of Dinh Ca village

Update: 08:15 | 15/10/2019

(BGO) - In Dinh Ca village, Quang Minh commune (Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province), many generations of local people are passionate about singing ‘quan ho’ (love duet) folk songs. Happily, the village’s ‘quan ho’ club has many members who are old but still enthusiastic, quietly transmitting the folk songs to young people.

Dinh Ca village, before the August Revolution in 1945, belonged to Mat Ninh district. In the village, there are two long-standing families: Nguyen Danh and Pham Huu. The village has three hamlets including Tham, Dinh and Mang. This is an ancient village, so it has kept a lot of traditional cultural features such as historical vestiges, communal house, pagoda, shrine and temple of literature… dating back to the Le Dynasty.

Ancient quan ho, love duet, Dinh Ca village, Bac Giang province, folk songs, long-standing families, traditional cultural features, male and female singers

Female ‘quan ho’ singers of Dinh Ca village.

In particular, the locals still retain the characteristics of the ‘quan ho’ folk songs of the northern Cau River region. The people here love ‘quan ho’, considering it a spiritual dish, so people at the age of 80 or above are still passionate about singing ‘quan ho’.

Coming to Dinh Ca village when the villagers were harvesting rice, despite being very busy, the members of the club still came to the village’s temple of literature from the early morning, including some elderly male and female singers.

In traditional clothes, they "showed off" the traditional folk songs of their homeland. The songs featuring traditional habits and customs in the behavioral culture of the ‘quan ho’ people were memorized and sung with enthusiasm by the elderly.

Chu Thi Ngoi, 87, knew to sing ‘quan ho’ when she was a child and is considered a person who knows and memorizes all ‘quan ho’ songs. Although her health is not good, her voice is no longer resounding, her eyes are blurred, and her limbs move slowly, she memorizes hundreds of ancient ‘quan ho’ sentences.

Ngoi proudly told that when she was young, she was taught to sing ‘quan ho’ by her grandparents, parents and adults in the village. People often sang ‘quan ho’ when they worked on the field. In the cool moony nights, young people in the village invited each other to sing ‘quan ho’ together, or enthusiastically sang the folk songs during the spring festivals of the village and the commune.

According to Tran Thi Sau, 85, when she was young, she and some people of the same age in Dinh Ca came to Bac Ninh to sing ‘quan ho’ with their hosts. The ancient ‘quan ho’ songs that the elderly people in the village still memorize are Kim Lan misses friends, Kim Lan stands at the gate of the pagoda, Going to Ba Vi mountain, Tuan Khanh, Calling the boat, Both parents and parents-in-law are old, and The moon on the communal house’s roof...

After many years of preserving ‘quan ho’, many members of the Dinh Ca club are still proud of their traditional folk songs. Many young people in the village have been taught to sing ‘quan ho’ folk songs and are taking a loving care of their precious values.

Head of the Dinh Ca village club Nguyen Danh Hien, 63, said: In 2005, recognizing that most of the people who kept the ancient ‘quan ho’ songs in Dinh Ca were old and one day when the elderly passed away, these ancient treasures would go away with them, the village’s officials and people established a ‘quan ho’ club and encouraged everyone to try to maintain it to preserve the cultural quintessence of the homeland.

The club members are the artistic nuclei who are enthusiastic with the cultural and art movement in the locality. Currently, the club has more than 50 members, and the oldest one is 94. They themselves pay the costs of making costumes, hiring audio devices, instrument players, and organizing ‘quan ho’ singing exchanges in and outside the province.

Nguyen Danh Hien confided that in order for the future generations not to forget their origin, the members of the club themselves are making efforts to maintain activities and teach their children. Fortunately, the village has people like Sau, Ngoi and Nhung ... who know a lot about the ancient ‘quan ho’ and actively transmit to their descendants the folk songs that have been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Bac Giang mobilizes resources to preserve, expand cultural atmosphere of Quan Ho and Ca Tru
(BGO)- The Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism (DCST) of Bac Giang province held a conference on 20 August themed “Preserving and promoting Quan Ho (love duet singing) and Ca Tru (ceremonial singing) in Bac Giang province” at the provincial Convention Center. This activity is included in the sequence of events to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Quan Ho and Ca Tru recognised by UNESCO as the intangible cultural heritages of humanity. 
Teaching Cheo and Quan ho folk singing
(BGO) – The Center of Culture, Information and Sports of Bac Giang city joined hand with the Center of Culture and Cinema in Bac Giang province and the People’s Committee in Hoang Van Thu ward to organize the course to teach Cheo (traditional opera) and Quan ho (Love duet) singing to the grass root art talents in 2019.
Quan ho folk art troupe makes performance tour in Europe
A Quan ho (Love duet singing) art troupe of the northern province of Bac Ninh held a performance in Prague, the Czech Republic, on June 11 as part of its performance tour of four European countries – the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and France. 
Teaching Cheo and Quan ho folk singing to the art talents
(BGO) – The Center of Culture and Cinema in the northern province of Bac Giang cooperated with the Center of Culture and Information in Tan Yen district on May 8 kicked off the course to teach Cheo (traditional opera) and Quan ho (Love duet) singing to more than 70 art talents in Phuc Hoa commune (Tan Yen district).
Opening Bo Da pagoda festival and celebrating 10 year anniversary of Quan ho folk song recognized by UNESCO
(BGO) – The People’s Committee in Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province on March 21 opened Bo Da pagoda festival and celebrated 10 year anniversary of Quan ho folk song recognized by UNESCO as  the World Intangible Cultural Heritage. 

Source: VNA 

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