Solutions sought to preserve Tay Nguyen gong culture

A workshop discussing ways to preserve and uphold the value of Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) gong culture was held in Gia Lai province on December 1.

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Hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the event was part of activities of the ongoing Tay Nguyen Gong Culture Festival 2018. 

 Scientists analysed and assessed difficulties and challenges as well as proposed solutions to preserve and promote cultural values of the art genre. 

 Prof. Dr. To Ngoc Thanh from the Vietnam Folklore Arts Association affirmed that a number of measures have been taken by the regional localities to conserve and uphold the value of gong culture, focusing on inventorying the number of musical instruments and artisans.

 He underlined the need to enhance the practice of the genre together with efforts to preserve, saying that the practice should be sustained and transmitted to young people in a systematic and comprehensive manner. 

 According to Prof. Dr. Nguyen Chi Ben from the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies, changes in the form of agricultural production pose challenges to the gong practice. 

 He suggested implementing a specific project to preserve Tay Nguyen gong culture, towards sustainable preservation of the art genre. 

 In the framework of the festival, a folk art performance programme was held in Pleiku city of Gia Lai province on the same day, attracting over 500 artisans from 19 art troupes from the five Central Highlands provinces of Kon Tum, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Lam Dong and Gia Lai. 

 The event featured many unique performances, such as folk singing of J’rai people and epic performances of Bahnar people, among others. 

 Main activities during the Tay Nguyen Gong Culture Festival 2018 from November 30-December 2 include traditional rituals, folk wood sculpture, brocade weaving, epic recitals, photo and document exhibitions, and conferences on the preservation and promotion of gong culture legacy of ethnic races in the region, among others.

 The Cultural Space of Gong of Tay Nguyen was recognised by the UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of the humanity in 2005. It is closely linked to the daily life of local people. Their belief systems form a mystical world where the gongs produce a privileged language between men, divinities and the supernatural world.

 Currently, Tay Nguyen has more than 10,000 sets of gongs, over half of which are kept in Gia Lai province.


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