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Vietnam’s ca tru art form gets a Google doodle

The Google homepage featured a ca tru illustration Sunday to celebrate the establishment of this musical art form.

February 23 is celebrated as the Ca Tru Day in Vietnam. Google chose an illustration by artist Xuan Le to mark the occasion. It depicts a typical ca tru performance, with a female singer playing the phach (a bamboo bar beaten with small wooden sticks), accompanied by a man playing the dan day, a long-necked, three-string lute used exclusively for this art form.

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The illustration on Google's homepage depicts a typical ca tru performance.

 

The illustration also features a judge – a ca tru whose job is to strike a drum in praise or disapproval of the singer’s performance, usually done after every passage of the song.

A Google statement said the art form was being featured on its home page not only to show appreciation but also to remind the youth of this traditional art form, which is said to be in danger of disappearing.

Ca tru originated in the 11th century and has characteristics similar to Japan’s geisha rituals and opera performances. Initially, it was considered entertainment for the royals. Later it became an integral part of Hanoi culture, Google noted

Nguyen Van Mui, principal of the Thai Ha Ca Tru School, said, "For a family like ours, with seven generations of ca tru performers, it’s such an honor. I feel this art form is being given its due appreciation."

According to Mui's Son Nguyen Van Khue, there are nearly 100 ca tru clubs in the country. He has given lectures about the art form in several Vietnamese localities as also abroad in countries like Japan and China.

"But ca tru is fading away right now. Our family has only been able to archive about 40 songs and 100 tunes. We are trying to preserve the art form and keep it authentic. Those who want to take up this art form should not only have talent, but also the will to maintain it," Khue said.

Xuan Le, the author of the illustration, said he watched ca tru videos to find inspiration for the work. He hoped that being featured by Google will make more people curious to find out more about this art form.

Ca tru estimated to go back 10 centuries, was included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritages in need of Urgent Safeguarding by UNESCO in 2009. Nowadays, ca tru has become a type of chamber music for those who enjoy its combination of music and poetry.

Reviving Ca tru in Dong Lo commune
(BGO) - Located along the Cau River, Dong Lo commune (Hiep Hoa district, Bac Giang province) is known as the ancient land where there is Lo Hanh communal house, dubbed as "The First Kinh Bac", with the carving "the girl plays ‘dan day’ (a Vietnamese plucked lute with three strings, a trapezoidal wooden body, and a very long wooden neck with ten raised frets)”. 
 
Songstress Ong Thi Hoai devotes whole love to Ca tru
(BGO) - Over the past 10 years, the art of Ca tru (ceremonial singing) has been restored, preserved and promoted in the Yen Dung land (Bac Giang province), which is rich in cultural traditions. Ong Thi Hoai, head of the district Ca Tru Club, is a core member who has made significant contributions to preserving this art.
 
Bac Giang strengthens actions to safeguard Ca tru art
Authorities and people of the northern province of Bac Giang have made great efforts to preserve and carry forwards the values of the art of Ca tru (ceremonial singing), aiming to removing the art from UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.
 
Bac Giang’s achievements in preserving and promoting Quan ho, Ca tru
(BGO) - On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Quan ho (love duet singing) and Ca tru (ceremonial singing) recognised by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritages of humanity, the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has just held a scientific conference on "Preserving and promoting Quan ho and Ca tru in Bac Giang province”. 
 
Bac Giang to celebrate 10th anniversary of UNESCO recognition of Quan ho and Ca tru singing
(BGO) – On August 22, Vice Chairman of the Bac Giang provincial People’s Committee Le Anh Duong, Head of the Organization Board for the 10th anniversary of UNESCO recognition of Quan ho (love duet singing) and Ca tru (ceremonial singing) as the intangible culture heritage of humanity as well as the second ceremony to bestow title of People’s Artist and Meritorious artist in the field of intangible cultural heritage in 2019 chaired a meeting to finalize the instruction and implementation.
 

Source: VnExpress

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