'Then' singing signals arrival of Spring for ethnic groups in Bac Giang

Update: 14:38 | 19/04/2020

“Then” singing is a cultural activity imbued with the belief and art of the Tay and Nung ethnic minority people in Bac Giang province. As it dates back centuries, no one knows exactly when it first came into being. The ancient land of Luc Ngan district in Bac Giang has been preserving this element of the local cultural identity and sing “Then” songs when Spring comes.

The Tay - Nung ethnic minority group holds the notion that “Then” singers have been sent by the gods to be saviors of the world, and the image of “Then” singers with guitars in their hands is like a fairy among thousands of white clouds.

Then singing, arrival of Spring, ethnic groups, Bac Giang province, cultural activity, belief and art, Luc Ngan district, local cultural identity

“Then” singing has therefore retained its unique cultural beauty since days long gone.

The distant village of Luc Ngan seems isolated and separate from the outside world, because everything belonging to modern times has little impact on the place. “Then” singing has therefore retained its unique cultural beauty since days long gone.

The deep humming sound of the musical instrument, known in Vietnamese as Dan tinh, accompanying “Then” songs gives listeners a tour into a slightly mysterious realm.

“Then” singing is not only an art form but also boasts spiritual elements, such as praying for a bountiful harvest and blessings. The lyrics are soft and vibrant but sometimes sad and pensive. Each stanza portrays a particular mood accompanied by the sound of the musical instrument, which together with the vocals create a magical atmosphere.

In order for the art form to continue into the future, “Then” singers have taught their craft to the younger generation, since they will be the heirs to these beautiful cultural values.

With passion and a desire to preserve the local culture, “Then” singing clubs in Luc Ngan are popular and are engaged in teaching the younger generation about the artform. Its preservation, however, also requires due regard from local authorities.

The Tay people consider “Then” singing to be not only a ritual in resolving spiritual issues but also a cultural and spiritual activity. When Spring arrives, plum blossoms cover the forest, and Tay people gather together to enjoy “Then” singing. The sound of a harp and the “Then” singing is like a stream flowing from spring to spring, from generation to generation.

Preserving folk singing with drums
The art of folk singing alongside drums, hat trong quan in Vietnamese, started in Bui Xa village, in today’s Thuan Thanh district, the northern province of Bac Ninh, in the 13th century, but locals still practise the art.
 
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.
 
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).
 
Teaching Cheo and Quan ho folk singing
(BGO) – On  March 19, the Center of Culture and Cinema in Bac Giang province joined hand with the Center of Culture, Information and  Sports in Bac Giang city to organize a training course to teach Cheo and Quan ho folk singing in Phan Son hamlet, Dong Son commune.
 
Continue to honor and preserve Quan ho folk singing
(BGO) – Having founded and sponsored the operation of BAGICO Quan Ho (Love Duet Singing) Club for more than 10 years, Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuc, Chairwoman and Director of BAGICO Joint Stock Company (Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province) wishes to contribute to preserving the precious cultural heritage of the homeland. 
 

Source: VNA

 
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