Kon Tum province has inventoried and made dossiers of local intangible cultural heritages, preserved and promoted the gong culture heritage, traditional crafts, and traditional festivals of local ethnic groups, and increased cooperation with other localities to boost local tourism.
The province has particularly focused on restoring and promoting folk culture, religious cultures, festivals, and epics.
“Over the past few years, we have paid much attention to preserving and promoting local culture. We have organized exchanges between local art troupes and ethnic groups and with other provinces in order to introduce Kon Tum culture to a wider population in Vietnam and other countries,” said Phan Van Hoang, Deputy Director of the Kon Tum Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
Local gong culture and Xoang dance have been included in school curriculum in an effort to preserve them. Local schools have worked with administrations, and village chiefs and dignitaries to teach people how to perform Xoang dances and play gongs.
A Thoi of Trieu Thi Trinh primary school said, “I’m happy to learn how to play the gong. At home, my grandparents and artisans are teaching me to do this to preserve our Banah traditional culture.”
Gong lessons are taught 15 minutes before school begins and during extra-curricular sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These lessons attract a large number of school children.
Hoang Van Ba, Rector of Trieu Thi Trinh Primary School, said, “Lessons on gong culture and Xoang dance have brought our school closer to the community. These activities have been supported by parents and have inspired the children.”
The province’s education sector organizes Gong culture and Xoang dance festivals biennially, attracting more than 1,200 school children in 20 teams.
Kon Tum province still retains many unique cultural heritages including a gong culture space, which has been recognized by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”. The province has more than 400 Gong art troupes with more than 1,900 sets of gongs.
“We will strengthen communications on the preservation and promotion of traditional cultural values to people in remote areas to help them better understand the value of their culture and the need to preserve it. We will organize more cultural festivals between ethnic groups, gong culture exchanges, and classes on folk culture,” said Mr. Hoang.