Son La province preserves cultural values of ethnic minority groups

(VOVWORLD) - The northern mountainous province of Son La is home to 12 ethnic minorities each with its own diverse culture and customs. The provincial authorities have paid much attention to preserving and promoting the cultural values of these ethnic groups.

Son La province preserves cultural values of ethnic minority groups - ảnh 1The Het Cha Festival in Moc Chau district. (Photo:

Van Ho district houses 5 ethnic minority groups. On festive days, Van Ho is filled with the sounds of gongs and drums, folk music and dances by local ethnic women.

“We are supporting the effort to restore art and music clubs and troupes to preserve local culture and develop tourism. We have also revived traditional craft villages for making poonah paper, weaving brocade, painting with beeswax, and blacksmithing,” said Nguyen Thi Lu, head of Van Ho district’s Department of Culture and Information.

In Moc Chau district, preservation of the cultural values of ethnic groups is associated with developing tourism and the economy. Every year the district reenacts some unique traditional festivals such as the Het Cha Festival to express thanks and honor the Gods, pay gratitude to the parents, and to show community solidarity, and also to conduct a Rain Prayer Festival.

“The Het Cha Festival in Dong Sang commune is listed as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage. It is considered to be a unique part of the White Thai people’s culture,” said Nguyen Thi Hoa, Vice Chairwoman of Moc Chau district’s People’s Committee. 

Son La province preserves cultural values of ethnic minority groups - ảnh 2La Ha ethnic people perform the Pang A ritual to pray for favorable weather and bumper crops. (Photo: 

Son La city has 12 ethnic minority groups, most of whom are Thai people. Every year, the city holds many traditional festivals, music and art performances in an effort to preserve the values of tangible and intangible cultures and develop local tourism.

Son La city has set a target to establish 11 clubs to perform and preserve the ancient Xoe Dance of the Thai people, restore traditional craft villages, and build agricultural development models combined with experimental tourism.

“We have built a culture project with 10 basic tasks, including restoration of traditional cultural activities and preservation of the spoken and written languages of ethnic groups with the support of dedicated local artisans,” said Tran Cong Chinh, Vice Chairman of Son La city’s People’s Committee. 

Since 2021, Son La province has organized panpipe performances of the Mong ethnic people in Moc Chau district and issued 4,000 brochures introducing 2 intangible cultural heritages of the La Ha people: Xoe Dance and the Pang A Ritual. The province has also opened classes to teach young locals how to play the panpipes, as well as to introduce the worship rituals of the Mong ethnic minority group.

“The culture sector has participated in consultation with local authorities and related agencies on measures to boost local culture and to develop tourism with a focus on both tangible and intangible cultural values. Regarding tangible culture, we concentrate on renovating, preserving, and promoting cultural and historical relic sites, while developing scenic spots as tourist attractions. In terms of intangible culture, we organize traditional festivals and music and art events, and develop art troupes and community tourism,” said Tran Xuan Viet, deputy head of Son La province’s Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.