Hot TikTokers bridge ethnic cultures
Created last July, the TikTok channel of Chao Thi Yen, a 32-year-old girl from the Dao Tuyen ethnic group in the northern province of Lao Cai, has had nearly 213,000 followers and 4 million likes.
Yen studied in Germany for two years before returning to her hometown in Bat Xat District, Lao Cai Province, to work. She is currently the owner of a homestay in Sapa and a member of a non-governmental organisation specialising in forest resources.
"On returning to my hometown, I saw many young people who did not want to go to school and spent much time surfing TikTok. Realising it is a platform accessible to young people, I decided to set up a channel of my own to share my journey of studying abroad to inspire others and introduce the mountainous areas' culture to more viewers," Yen said.
Each of Yen's videos has its own way of showcasing Dao Tuyen's cultural identity, from their costumes and language to food and lifestyle, combined with its creator's great sense of humour.
Besides TikTok, her Facebook Page, Chao Yen, has also garnered over 3,300 followers.
"The culture of ethnic minorities always contain good values. If not promoted, these values lack pervasive power and gradually fade away. Furthermore, not many people have the opportunity to travel to remote areas to experience such unique cultures," Yen said.
"Therefore, such clips will help viewers, even just surfing their phones, understand more-or-less about the culture and life in the mountainous land. It is also expected to connect ethnic communities and introduce Vietnamese ethnic culture to international friends."
She said she did not expect that her short videos recording her simple daily life and the traditional culture of her community would attract so many other TikTokers after just one year.
"I feel happy, but not because of having many followers on my page but because the message I want to convey has reached many young users," she told Việt Nam News.
Another ethnic girl, Nguyen Hoai Thuong from the northern province of Ha Giang, has also recently become a hot TikTok sensation with over 350,000 followers and 7.6 million likes.
The short clips of the Tay girl impress viewers with their slow pace and the peaceful scene of cooking rice on the fire in the late afternoon, cutting grass on terraced fields and enjoying the traditional New Year Festival.
"Most of my videos are about the daily life of my hometown. Many still think of Ha Giang Province as a remote and difficult place. I want to change their point of view about my hometown and the culture of the Tay ethnic group through my channel," Thuong said.
Each short video showing the features of nearby localities is supported by viewers as long as the content does not deviate from reality, she said.
Thương has tried to make her channel, Thao Nguyen Farmer, as realistic as possible by having all of the videos recorded randomly and spontaneously during her trips to the fields or while cooking traditional dishes in her hometown.
TikTok has become one of the most popular social networks worldwide, particularly among the young. The app is estimated to have over 1 billion monthly active users and has been downloaded over 2 billion times, making it the most downloaded app globally. Such figures reveal how influential TikTok has become in all walks of life, including cultural promotion.
"That some young TikTokers have created content about regional and ethnic cultures proves that the young generation is concerned about preserving traditional values," Assoc. Prof. Bui Hoai Son, a permanent member of the Committee on Culture and Education of the National Assembly, told Văn Hóa (Culture) Newspaper.
"In the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, such creativity is essential to attract young people's attention to traditional culture. Platforms like TikTok are proving to be an effective tool in bringing culture closer to the younger generation."
Source: Vietnam News