Bac Ninh preserves, develops Quan Ho folk songs

Update: 14:31 | 23/12/2019

Bac Ninh has made efforts to preserve the art of Quan Ho love duet singing to implement commitments to UNESCO on conservation and development of the folk art, which has been recognised by UNESCO as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

Quan Ho folk songs are performed as alternating verses between two women from one village who sing in harmony, and two men from another village who respond with similar melodies, but with different lyrics. The women traditionally wear distinctive large round hats and scarves; the men’s costumes include turbans, umbrellas and tunics. 

Bac Ninh province, Quan Ho folk songs, love duet singing, UNESCO, folk art, world’s intangible cultural heritage, cultural activity

Artists perform Quan Ho love duet songs.

There are more than 400 song lyrics, sung with 213 different melody variations, express people’s emotional states of longing and sadness upon separation, and the happiness of lovers when meeting each other, but custom forbids marrying a singing partner.

Quan Ho was regarded as a cultural activity at which people in Bac Ninh and some other areas nearby gathered, shared their passions, with their fascinating voices. They “played” Quan Ho, not “performed” it, with the main purpose to satisfy their demand to meet and make friends with other people who have same hobbies, and exchange their love on traditional art in a large community.

Quan Ho singing is common at rituals, festivals, competitions and informal gatherings, where guests will perform a variety of verses for their hosts before singing farewell.

Quan Ho songs express the spirit, philosophy and local identity of the communities in this region, and help forge social bonds within and between villages that share a cherished cultural practice.

Local artisans said singing folk songs on the full-moon night depicts the love for Quan Ho, and the eagerness to promote folk songs to a wider audience.

In recent years, Bac Ninh has invested in renovation and construction of cultural institutions. Of which, the key project is Bac Ninh Quan Ho folk theatre. The 90 billion VND project covers an area of 1.9 ha. 

The theatre has four storeys and a unique architectural design featuring the images of a house, dragon boat, a strip of peach silk and a large round hat, which are symbols of Quan Ho singing, representing the cultural features of Bac Ninh–Kinh Bac.

Le Manh Thang, Director of Quan Ho Folk Theater, said previously, even without the current facilities, many artists had tried their best to study, popularize and promote their folk songs to the community.

With support provided by the authorities at all levels, the artists have been enthusiastic and motivated in conserving as well as staging new programmes to introduce Quan Ho to tourists, he said.

In implementing its commitment to UNESCO, throughout the years, Bac Ninh has called for efforts made at all levels, branches and people's communities, in jointly implementing the project "Preserving and promoting the value of intangible cultural heritage, Bac Ninh Quan Ho folk songs and Ca tru in 2013-2020 ”.

In particular, Bac Ninh is the leading province in developing mechanisms and policies to honour and reward artisans in the field of intangible cultural heritage, according to Resolution No. 213, 2015 of the provincial People's Council. This is a move to nurture passion, enthusiasm, dedication of talents to preserve and promote the cultural heritage values of the nation.

With the attention and support of the local government, Quan Ho folk songs have increasingly gained the applause of a broader audience. This has affirmed the strong and persistent vitality of a unique and quintessential art form of a land rich in historical, cultural and revolutionary traditions.

Artisan Hoac Cong Cho whole-heartedly dedicate to ancient Quan ho
(BGO) – The year 2019 marks 10 year period UNESCO recognized Quan ho (love duet folk singing) as the intangible cultural heritage of the humanity. For a decade, Bac Giang province has achieved positive results in preserving and promoting the value of Quan ho. The artisans or “the living treasures” have dramatic contribution to the general achievement, including the People’s artisan Hoac Cong Cho.
 
Bac Giang’s achievements in preserving and promoting Quan ho, Ca tru
(BGO) - 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”. 
 
Bac Giang to celebrate 10th anniversary of UNESCO recognition of Quan ho and Ca tru singing
(BGO) – On August 22, Vice Chairman of the Bac Giang provincial People’s Committee Le Anh Duong, Head of the Organization Board for the 10th anniversary of UNESCO recognition of Quan ho (love duet singing) and Ca tru (ceremonial singing) as the intangible culture heritage of humanity as well as the second ceremony to bestow title of People’s Artist and Meritorious artist in the field of intangible cultural heritage in 2019 chaired a meeting to finalize the instruction and implementation.
 
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.
 

Source: VNA

 
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