Update: 08:36 | 29/09/2020
Google, the world’s most popular search engine, has honoured Vietnam’s ‘cai luong’ (reformed theatre) art by posting a doodle on its homepage on September 28.
In an introduction honouring the ‘cai luong’ art on the observance of Vietnam Stage Day, Google wrote " A blend of traditional and contemporary influences, cải lương combines opera with spoken drama to create a vibrant expression of Vietnamese culture and identity.".
Google Doodle honours Vietnam’s ‘cai luong’ art.
According to Google, ‘cai luong’ evolved from a traditional Vietnamese opera called hat boi in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam at the turn of the 20th century.
Accompanied by an orchestra containing traditional Vietnamese instruments like the ‘dan tranh’ (Vietnamese 16-string zither), ‘cai luong’ brings to life a wide range of stories, from ancient legends of monarchs and warriors to explorations of modern Vietnamese social themes. While the subject material may vary, one common element is the signature melancholic song structure called ‘vong co’, which translates to “nostalgia for the past.”
One of the most iconic ‘cai luong’ productions is “Tieng Trong Me Linh” (The Drum Sound of Me Linh). The historical play tells the true story of Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, two sisters who helped lead the fight for Vietnamese independence from the Han army in the 1st century. A classic of the artform, “Tieng Trong Me Linh” has been staged by many of Vietnam’s top cai luong artists since it first debuted in 1977.
“Over a century after its birth, cai luong is still enjoyed today as one of the many uniquely Vietnamese artforms and a vital link to the country’s history.”, Google added.
Through this, Google wishes to bring the ‘cai luong’ art to many Vietnamese audiences at home and abroad, especially the young. This arouses both pride and motivation to help ‘cai luong’ artists stick with the profession in a period when stage activities are facing many difficulties.
In addition to changing the doodle, Google also cooperated with Ho Chi Minh City Television (HTV) to bring classic ‘cai luong’ works to the YouTube platform and introduce a fully-fledged performance to the community not only in the country but also across the world.
Participating in the programme are many famous artists including: People's Artist Kim Cuong, People's Artist Bach Tuyet, People's Artist Minh Vuong, Meritorious Artist Le Thien, People's Artist Thanh Tuan, Meritorious Artist Ngoc Khanh, Artist My Chi, and Meritorious Artist Huu Quoc.