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Yen The preserves ‘Sinh ca’ songs

(BGO) – ‘Sinh ca’ is one of the unique cultural features of the Cao Lan ethnic group in the mountainous district of Yen The (Bac Giang province). As this folk art is at risk of gradually disappearing, local authorities and people are actively preserving and transmitting it to the younger generations.

Ethnic minorities account for 33.5 percent of the district's population with seven main groups, including Tay, Nung, Cao Lan, San Diu, San Chi, Dao, and Hoa. Of which, the Cao Lan ranks third (accounting for nearly 7 percent) after the Nung and Tay, living mainly in Xuan Luong, Dong Tien, Tam Tien, Dong Vuong and Canh Nau communes.

Yen The district, Sinh ca songs, Bac Giang province, unique cultural features, Cao Lan ethnic group, folk art, cultural and spiritual life, cultural beauty

A practice session of the members of the Cao Lan ethnic singing and dancing club.

Preserving the ‘Sinh ca’ songs is the desire of the Cao Lan elders in Yen The district because in the current integration context, many cultural features of the Cao Lan ethnic group have been unintentionally forgotten by the younger generations due to the attractiveness of modern entertainment and cultural forms.

To deal with that situation, in recent years, many localities in Yen The district have paid attention to preserving the unique cultures of ethnic minorities, including the ‘Sinh ca’ songs of the Cao Lan people. Xuan Luong is the commune with the largest number of Cao Lan ethnic people in the district, accounting for 40 percent of the population, living mainly in Ven, Thuong Dong and Nghe villages.

In Ven village alone, there are 150 Cao Lan households, making up more than 90 percent of the village's population. With the desire to preserve and transmit the ‘Sinh ca’ songs in the daily, cultural and spiritual life of Cao Lan ethnic group to the young generations and serve community-based tourism activities, Xuan Luong commune established a singing and dancing club of Cao Lan ethnic group in March 2021 with 30 members. The club's practice sessions take place in every Saturday and Sunday evenings at the stilt house - a place for community cultural activities.

Ninh Thi Lim, Chairwoman of the club, said that initially the club faced difficulties as many people thought that speaking Cao Lan language was difficult, singing was even more difficult.

With the attention of the local government and the desire to restore the ‘Sing ca’ songs - the cultural beauty of her ethnic group, Lim and the club members actively persuaded people to participate in.

Among the members, the oldest is 85 years old and the youngest is 8 years old. Since its establishment, the club has taught the ‘Sinh ca’ songs 10 children to preserve the national cultural identity.

As a young member, Tran Hoai Tho, a 4th grader of the Xuan Luong Primary and Secondary School, is very hardworking and actively participates in the club's training sessions.

Trieu Van Phuong, head of the Culture and Information Office of Yen The district said: “Sing ca is a folk art form that deeply reflects the spiritual life of the Cao Lan people. In 2021, Yen The district has coordinated with the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the provincial Intermediate School of Culture, Sports and Tourism to open a class to teach the ‘Sing ca’ songs for the people to preserve and protect the art.

In addition to the ‘Sinh ca’ chant of the Cao Lan people, the district is preserving and promoting the ‘Soong hao’ singing of the Nung ethnic group and the Then singing of the Tay people. Since 2010, it has organized 10 contests and performances focusing on the folk songs of ethnic minorities.

In order to preserve and promote the unique cultural values of the ethnic people in general and the Cao Lan in particular in the district, in the coming time, the district Culture and Information Office will continue to advise the competent authorities to strengthen the organization of training courses for the people, especially the young generations who are ethnic minorities, so that they have the opportunity to exchange and learn in expressing their voices and singing as well as preserve their own cultural identity.

 

Thanh Luan
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