Ethnic minority woman preserves Khang traditional culture

(VOVWORLD) - The Khang ethnic minority group in the northern mountainous province of Son La, have a rich culture. But some of their traditional festivals, folk songs, and dances are beginning to be forgotten. Ms. Lo Thi Pho of Chieng On communehas been travelling around to hamlets where there are Khang people to set up local art troupes in an effort to preserve the Khang culture.

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Ms. Lo Thi Pho.

Ms. Pho said she encountered a lot of difficulties when she tried to establish and maintain art troupes among the Khang.

“The most difficult part is going house to house to persuade people to join an art group. It takes a lot of time, but I patiently explain to them the need to preserve our traditional culture,” she said.

In 2017, thanks to Ms. Pho’s persistence, an art troupe of 20 members was set up. As head of the group, Ms. Pho prepares the members for a performance. The female are in charge of making the costumes, while the males make the musical instruments.

“I’m busy with farm work every day, but I still arrange time to participate in the art troupe. At first, I didn’t know how to sing or dance, but now I can do it well thanks to Ms. Pho’s instruction,” said Ms. Lo Thi Dung, one of the troupe members.

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An art troupe of Khang ethnic people.

In Chieng On commune 3 ethnic groups – the Thai, the La Ha, and the Khang –  account for half of the commune’s population. Now traditional festivals such as the Pang A, and festivals to pray for rain and bumper crops, have been revived. 

Ms. Pho’s art troupe performs locally and also travels to participate in art competitions. 

“We hope the younger generation will continue our efforts. I hope each hamlet of Khang people will start their own art troupe to preserve the Khang culture,” said Pho.