|M'Duk gong group at the final round of the cultural and sports festival for ethnic minorities in Buon Ma Thuot City in March, 2018.
When the sound of the Ching kram, the bamboo gong of the Ede ethnic people, is heard, the young gong performers of M’Duk hamlet forget their shyness.
Despite their youth, their performance is highly praised by experts and was selected for the final round of the cultural and sports festival for ethnic minorities in Buon Ma Thuot City last month.
"The other group members and I were a bit anxious because this was the first time we had taken part in a gong performance on behalf of our hamlet. But we were proud and happy to be in the final round of the festival. I hope our group will continue to improve to better promote our ethnic gong culture," said Y Wan E’Ban, a member of the M’Duk gong group.
Established 3 years ago, the M’Duk gong group includes 12 performers aged 9 to 17. They practice 3 nights a week.
Y Liang Nie Kdam, the youngest member, started playing gong at the age of 6. He told VOV, "I used to study music before playing the gong and it really helped me to figure out the rhythms. I asked my mom to register me for this group."
|A class of the M'Duk group
Y Hiu Nie Kdam, who teaches the group, said he is very proud to see his students improving their skills and mastering the art of gong performance. This has given them a love for the instrument.
Over the past decade, many of the hundreds of young gong performers trained by artisan Y Hiu Nie Kdam have mastered the art and have taken part in performances across Dak Lak.
Kdam told VOV, "More and more teenagers and their parents have acknowledged the unique beauty of gong performance, which is part of their cultural tradition. The number of kids registering for my class is increasing this year. It takes up to 4 years to train a gong group of 7 performers."
Y Ninh E’Ban registered his son for the class and often accompanies the group to their performances.
"Parents like me are very grateful to have Y Hiu who has been passionate about teaching the younger generation gong performance and other traditional arts. We support any activities to spread and promote our ethnic cultural values," said Y Ninh E'Ban.