Arousing passion for quan ho singing

Update: 09:39 | 20/03/2020

(BGO) - Being home to the quan ho (love duet) folk songs of the northern bank of the Cau River, Viet Yen district in Bac Giang province has established many quan ho clubs in villages and communes to teach and preserve the heritage.

Passionate about ancient lyrics

As usual, on Saturdays and Sundays, Nguyen Van Kha and Nguyen Thi Thuy, members of the management board of Minh Duc commune’s Quan ho Club came to the villages to teach locals how to sing quan ho songs for free. They all knew how to sing quan ho at the age of 7-8, and have performed in many places in and outside the province. Currently, the two are considered the senior quan ho singers in the commune.

Arousing passion, quan ho singing, Bac Giang province, folk songs, love duet folk songs, excellent artisans,  ancient quan ho village

Members of the quan ho club of the Minh Duc Primary School practice quan ho singing under the guidance of the communal quan ho club’s leaders.

Kha and Thuy can memorize and sing 150-200 ancient quan ho songs and confidently sing in response to excellent artisans in the quan ho villages of the northern and southern banks of the Cau River. "Although we teach quan ho free of charge and spend our own money to collect and print materials, we are still happy because more and more people love and become passionate about quan ho," Kha said.

Than Thi Ho, head of the club, excitedly shared that the village’s quan ho club was set up in 2015 with only nearly 10 initial members (mostly the elderly). Now it has more than 30 members, including middle-aged and young people, primary and secondary school students.

Minh Duc is not a commune with an ancient quan ho village, but in recent years, the movement of teaching and singing quan ho folk songs in the commune has developed strongly. All 11 villages of the commune have quan ho clubs. Particularly, the communal club has 42 members who are excellent singers in the villages. They are taught by the club’s leaders methodically and often attend exchanges in other localities.

This is also the first commune in the district to establish a quan ho club in school, attracting 48 primary pupils. Nguyen Ngoc Phan Anh, a 3rd grader of the Minh Duc Primary School, was taught to sing quan ho by the mother and grandmother at the age of 4 and has performed at many competitions.

In 2017, Phan Anh won a special prize for the Bac Giang Quan ho Festival, held at Bo Da Pagoda. Now, Anh can sing dozens of old quan ho songs with difficult techniques.

Preserving heritage

Since the quan ho folk songs was honored by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity (in 2009), the movement of teaching quan ho in Viet Yen district has made progresses, including the "Bagico Summer Camp" model launched by the Bagico Joint Stock Company, the Youth Union and the Culture and Information Division of Viet Yen district.

Arousing passion, quan ho singing, Bac Giang province, folk songs, love duet folk songs, excellent artisans,  ancient quan ho village

Quan ho club in Ke village, Minh Duc commune practice love duet folk singing.

After more than 10 years, over 2,000 children in Viet Yen and neighboring districts have been taught quan ho for free.

On that basis, in recent years, the whole district has established 74 quan ho clubs in 17 communes and townships. Communes with a strongly developed movement are Minh Duc, Quang Chau, Van Ha, Tien Son and Van Trung ...

Most of the people who engage in teaching quan ho are artisans or vocal teachers at schools and training facilities introduced by the district Center for Culture, Information and Sports.

Many ancient quan ho village have up to three generations involved in the activity and many artisans memorize hundreds of songs. The Mang Non quan ho club in Ha Lat village, Tien Son commune, chaired by Duong Thi Nha, has more than 30 members. Tien Son commune has three ancient quan ho villages including Ha Lat, Thuong Lat and Than Chuc. Each club has from 20-35 members, operating regularly and effectively.

Nguyen Van Thu, Deputy Director of Viet Yen district’s Culture, Information and Sports Center, said the unit is planning to develop and submit to the district People's Committee a project to teach quan ho in schools. It will propose mechanisms and policies to provide funding for the operation of the clubs, thus restoring the traditional quan ho culture space...

On the other hand, it will enhance coordination with the People's Committees of communes and townships to establish many clubs in villages; regularly organize exchanges and festivals to spread the love for quan ho, contributing to preserving and promoting the values of the heritage.

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Cong Doanh

 
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