Themed “Southern Don Ca Tai Tu – Preservation and Development”, the event will be jointly held by the People’s Committee of Binh Duong and the Departments of Culture, Sports and Tourism of 21 southeastern and southwestern localities.
At a press conference in Ho Chi Minh City on March 27, the organising board revealed that various attractive programmes and activities will be held during the festival, including a gastronomy space, a “Don Ca Tai Tu” contest, a photo competition and an art exchange.
A scientific research at provincial level on the sustainable conservation and promotion of Don Ca Tai Tu will be launched, while tours serving visitors during the festival will be organized, along with an ancient motor parade.
Huynh Vinh Ai, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that the festival will create a playground for Don Ca Tai Tu artists, while raising public awareness of protecting and developing the art, and connecting localities in tourism and trade promotion.
The first national “Don Ca Tai Tu” festival was organised in the southern province of Bac Lieu in 2014.
Known as a musical art that has both scholarly and folk roots, Don Ca Tai Tu was developed in southern Vietnam in the late 19th century. The impromptu art honours the creativeness and artistry of the performers.
The art is performed at numerous events, such as festivals, ‘death anniversary' rituals, and celebratory social events. The audience can join in, by practicing, making comments or creating new words for songs.
It has been transmitted from generation to generation through official and unofficial forms of education in all 21 provinces, where the art form is popular. Don Ca Tai Tu has continually been popularised through cultural exchanges among peoples, presenting their mutual harmony and respect.
The art form is played on a variety of different instruments, including the kim (moon-shaped lute), co (two-stringed fiddle), tranh (16-string zither), ty ba (pear-shaped lute), song lang (percussion), bau (monochord) and sao (bamboo flute), and the violin and guitar, which were adapted.
The musicians who contribute to Don Ca Tai Tu include master instrumentalists, master lyricists, master singers, instrumentalists, and singers.
Influenced by other forms of cultural heritage from the central and southern regions of Vietnam, such as nhac le (ceremonial music) and hat boi (classical theatre and folk song), the music genre was added to the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2012.