Joint effort needed to preserve amateur singing

(VOVWORLD) - Don ca tai tu (amateur singing) from southern Vietnam was officially recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013. There are around 300 amateur singing clubs in Ho Chi Minh city. But a joint effort by the community is still needed to preserve and promote this art genre.

Joint effort needed to preserve amateur singing - ảnh 1Pham Thai Binh (in blue traditional long dress) and his amateur singing troupe. (Photo: VOV)

Pham Thai Binh from the Vietnam Folk Arts Association, who founded an amateur singing troupe, said, “It is essential to recruit and teach young children to preserve this art. Many artists and researchers have helped with the training in Ho Chi Minh city. We teach many amateur singing classes for different ages each year.”

Amateur singing is indispensable to the spiritual life of people in the South. According to cultural experts, to preserve and promote this art form requires an audience who has some knowledge and understanding of this art genre.

Emeritus Artist Huynh Khai, former Head of the Department of Traditional Music at the Conservatory of Ho Chi Minh City, said the city needs to organize more performances and promote this art genre at cultural festivals and events. Khai says it is essential to update the lyrics, costumes, and performing style to make it more relevant to modern audiences.

“At first, amateur singing was performed only for the family or at local festivals. Now there are more opportunities for this music. This creates a need to update the performing style and invest in a stage with lights, sound, and 3D screens,” said Khai.

Amateur singing is often performed for tourists in Ho Chi Minh City. In Binh Quoi Tourism Village, it is performed every weekend. Ms. Tran Thi Huyen, Deputy Head of Binh Quoi Tourism Village, said, “At the weekend, tourists have an opportunity to experience specialties of the South in spaces typical of Southern people. One of these specialties is amateur singing. Our programs are very popular with the tourists.”

Joint effort needed to preserve amateur singing - ảnh 2An exchange of amateur singing is held in Thu Duc city at the middle of every lunar month. (Photo: VOV)

The Ao Dai (traditional long dress) Museum in Ho Chi Minh City organizes exchanges of amateur singing at the middle of every lunar month, attracting a lot of visitors. Ms. Huynh Ngoc Van, Director of the Ao Dai Museum, said, “Visitors can watch an introduction to Vietnams cultural heritages translated into English, Japanese, or Chinese.”

Amateur singing is now included in the curricula of some universities and colleges in Ho Chi Minh City.