“Contemporary Saigon” Lotto set for European performances

VOV.VN - Artists of the "Sai Gon Tan Thoi" or “Contemporary Saigon” Lotto group are currently on tour in three European countries with the aim of introducing Vietnamese bingo folk art to international audiences.

Five members of the group are set to perform in several shows in France, Germany, and Switzerland.

"Contemporary Saigon" have toured Australia and Taiwan (China) and taken part in many different TV shows both in Vietnam and worldwide.

Established in October 2017, the group currently consist of a total of 30 members, mostly from the LGBT+ community. They had previously performed at trade fairs, but gradually transitioned to more professional stages over recent years.

Bingo or lotto, as it is called in Vietnam, is especially popular in the southern countryside.

Lotto originated in the 16th century as the Italian game of bingo, which then spread to England, France and other parts of Europe in the 18th century. It came to Vietnam with the French in the 19th century. Those were also its heydays, especially in the southwestern provinces, when everyone played it during the Lunar New Year festival.

In Vietnam, before the performances, the lotto artists sell to the audience a paper with a jumble of bingo numbers. The performers then sing songs based on the theme of that day’s show – acoustic or ballad – interspersed with the bingo numbers.

The audience listens attentively to the lyrics and crosses out the numbers the performers call out. The person with the winning number is called to the stage and given a gift. The process is then repeated.