Doi pagoda is a famous national historical and cultural relic. It’s more than 400 years old. Performances of Khmer musical instruments at Doi pagoda attract audiences with their beautiful sounds and exotic instruments.
The instruments look different and produce different sounds.
Phua Suong, Director of the troupe, said his troupe was founded in 2009 and has 9 members, most of them elderly. They come from different villages but all share a passion for traditional music. Some of them have to travel more than 10 km to reach the pagoda, but they don’t mind. The troupe members gather at the pagoda every day to practice.
"In some places in Soc Trang province a number of troupes performing traditional music were set up but they are not permanent. They only perform on certain occasions, maybe one or twice a year. But we perform every day, from 7h30 AM to 4 PM,” Suong added.
87-year-old Tra Vinh, the eldest member of the troupe, comes from Tham Don commune, My Xuyen district. He used to be a member of a professional art troupe. He says he is very happy to perform traditional music with the other troupe members.
“I’m old now. I’m very happy to play music with others. It’s not easy to preserve the Khmer tradition because young people are not interested in it. All these musical instruments are handed down from our predecessors. Playing traditional music at the pagoda, I hope to teach other people to play in order to preserve Khmer music,” he said.
Like Tra Vinh, many other members in the troupe are former artists of professional troupes. For them, playing music and inspiring others with their music is a joy. They all want to preserve and promote the traditional culture of the Khmer people.
Phua Suong said “I want to preserve and promote the tradition of the Khmer ethnic minority people, so I want to maintain this troupe and hope to train other people and inspire them to play traditional musical instruments”.
Since it was founded 6 years ago, the troupe has become famous all over Soc Trang province. In addition to performing at the pagoda, they also travel elsewhere to perform at traditional festivals, wedding ceremonies, and other special occasions. Their performances have enriched the lives of local people.