Update: 08:48 | 19/02/2020
(BGO) - While in some places, the typical culture of ethnic minorities is at risk of fading away, for many years Phon Xuong commune (Yen The district, Bac Giang province) has still maintained the Sloong hao songs. The person making great contributions to preserving that type of folk art is Nong Dung Long.
Singing Sloong hao is a typical cultural feature of Nung ethnic group. People often sing Sloong hao in highland markets and spring festivals. In the context that the Sloong hao melodies are in danger of disappearing because many young people cannot sing them, in 2001, Long founded the Nung Ethnic Folk Songs Club of Phon Xuong commune, which is led by him.
Artisan Nong Dung Long (left) guides people how to sing Sloong hao.
From the few initial members, the contingent now reaches several dozens living in most villages across the commune, including children, middle-aged and elderly people. For nearly 20 years, the club has held activities regularly and been growing more and more.
Every two months, the members meet and sing at the cultural house of Dong Nhan village. At the age of nearly 80, living 3km away from the village cultural house, Long still does not fear rain and shine and is always on time to join activities with other members.
Sloong hao singing is a form of call and response singing, requiring the response of the singer. Therefore, in addition to old songs, the club’s members often have new lyrics suitable to each situation. In each meeting and practicing session, Long always guides the members how to sing each sentence. For children, he teaches them to sing each sentence and then repeat it until they remember.
Long confided: “To help the members remember many songs, for nearly 20 years, I collected songs from the elderly in the village, took notes and taught them such as Luon nang oi, co lau and sinh lang".
Sloong hao singing is a kind of love exchange singing, so the themes need to be diverse. Dissatisfied with the inherent materials collected, Long has composed dozens of new melodies such as inviting water, inviting betel, wishing for happy new year and happy birthday ... to teach the members of the club.
Reportedly, the club has often participated in performing at local festivals, notably the Yen The Festival, and had exchanges with many other clubs in the district. In recognition of this achievement, last year, Nong Dung Long was awarded by the State President the title of "Meritorious Artisan" in the field of folk art performing.