Hung Kings’ worship ritual receives UNESCO title

The unique practice of worshipping Hung Kings in Phu Tho province, Vietnam has been recognised by UNESCO as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

The Inscription of Worship of Hung Kings in Phu Tho on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was made at the seventh session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris on December 6. 

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Ambassador Duong Van Quang, Head of the Vietnamese permanent mission to UNESCO, said the recognition is a great honour to Vietnam in general and Phu Tho province in particular. It comes after the Xoan singing was recognised as the intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent protection last year, he said. 

It proves that the world highly values and acknowledges the spiritual life of Vietnamese people, which has existed for thousands of years, he added.

In the context of cultural integration and diversification, the recognition also shows the vitality of Vietnamese culture, which is closely connected to the world’s, he said. 

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Talking to Vietnam News Agency, Chairman of the Phu Tho provincial People’s Committee Hoang Dan Mac said the province will create an action plan to preserve and uphold the cultural value of its heritage, including the restoration of tangible and intangible cultural heritage at Hung Kings’ temple. 

Dr. Le Thi Minh Ly, a member of Vietnam’s National Heritage Council, affirmed that the Vietnamese State has paid special attention to the preservation of intangible cultural heritage, especially those of ethnic minority groups. 

According to historical researchers, no country in the world has a similar ritual to the worship of the nation’s ancestors in Vietnam. For generations, Vietnamese people have believed the Hung Kings are the founders of the country and the ancestors of the nation. 

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Therefore, the worship of Hung Kings has become a unique cultural ritual in the spiritual life of the nation. It is also a symbol of origin that stimulates solidarity and national pride. 

Cultural researchers said the worship of the national forefathers in Vietnam is the highest development of ancestral worship. The unique elements look towards origin and community connectivity.
VNA/VOV online