Preserving ethnic culture

(VOVworld)- In the context of international integration, cultural exchanges and tourism development, preserving and promoting traditional festivals of ethnic minority groups is of great importance. Much effort has been made to promote ethnic cultures to attract more tourists.

Gau Tao festival is a major ethnic minority festival in Duong Thuong commune, Yen Minh district, Ha Giang province. At this festival, local people show their gratitude to God for blessing them with bumper crops. This is one of several festivals and folk rituals recreated at the Vietnam National Village for Ethnic Culture and Tourism. Giang Mi Phu is of the Mong ethnic group in Duong Thuong commune: “We showcase the Gau Tao festival in this village in the hope that more efforts will be made to promote the festival to help people across the country learn about the beauty of Mong ethnic minority people”.

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Gau Tau festival of the Mong ethnic minority group

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has begun a project to preserve and promote the culture of Vietnamese ethnic minority groups until 2020. Under the project, more than 50 festivals of ethnic minority groups have been restored. They include the Gau Tao festival of the Mong, the Long Tong festival of the Tay, Fire Dancing of the Pa Then, Xen Ban and Xen Muong of the Thai, the Ooc Om Bok of the Khmer, and the Gong festivals of ethnic minority groups in the Central Highlands. Many cultural exchanges have been held from the central to the grassroots level. They include Culture, Sports and Tourism Days in the northeastern, northwest, central and southeastern regions; Cultural Days of the Mong, Cham, Khmer, Muong, and Hoa ethnic minority groups, and traditional fashion shows of Vietnamese ethnic minority groups. These activities have created opportunities for people of different ethnic minority groups to exchange and become aware of the need to preserve their traditional culture.

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Long Tong festival

Local authorities and the cultural sector have promoted tours of traditional festivals thus generating resources for economic development and promoting tradition and culture among ethnic minority people. Tran Huu Son is Director of the Lao Cai Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism: “Thanks to enhancing the cultural identity of ethnic minority groups, our traditional brocade weaving craft has been restored. Brocade products of Mong and Dao ethnic minority groups have been promoted. We have also mobilized the whole community to preserve ancient books of the Dao ethnic group. We are very proud of what we have done so far”.

It’s important to mobilize the community to preserve and promote their traditional culture, according to Hoang Duc Hau, Director of the Department of Ethnic Culture of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism: Due to social changes, people’s demands for culture have also changed. So we need to work out appropriate measures to preserve and promote our traditional culture. People are the ones who create their culture, so it’s important to encourage them to preserve their cultural values”.

The cultural sector has paid special attention to the preservation and promotion of the culture of ethnic minority groups. These efforts will contribute to enriching an advanced Vietnamese culture embracing national identity.