Khanh Hoa invests in protecting local Bai choi cultural heritage
The central province of Khanh Hoa has approved a project on preserving and developing the value of the local intangible cultural heritage of Bai choi with a budget of VND6.7 billion VND (nearly 286,200 USD).
Bai choi singing, a popular folklore style of singing in central Vietnam, was recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in late 2017
The project, to be implemented to 2023, designs concerted and feasible solutions to mobilize resources from all sources, and sets out seven tasks to realize the set target.
Under the project, Bai choi performances will be revived and recorded for archiving, and lyrics of Bai choi songs will be collected and published.
Ninh Hoa town will pilot a site for regular Bai choi performances, where events will be held every Saturday and Sunday as well as during festivals and holidays.
Six localities involved in the project – Van Ninh, Dien Khanh, and Cam Lam districts, Ninh Hoa town, and Nha Trang and Cam Ranh cities - are required to intensify communication activities on the art of Bai choi, include Bai choi into local music competitions and cultural festivals, and detect and foster talents in the art.
Bai choi singing, a popular folklore style of singing in central Vietnam, was recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in late 2017.
The folk singing genre is popular in the central provinces of Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa, and Da Nang city.
Bai choi is often seen at local spring festivals and resembles a game, using playing cards and village huts.
The stage for Bai choi performances encompasses nine cottages, each containing five or six ‘players’. One of the cottages, the central house, contains a troupe of musicians and instruments. A deck of playing cards is split in half, with one stack distributed amongst the players, and the other placed in the central house. The cards are stuck onto bamboo poles and erected outside the cottages.
The game singer delivers a flag to each cottage, all the while singing Bai choi, and then draws a card from the central house. Whoever holds the card closest in value to the game singer’s card wins.
The Bai choi songs are about festivals, daily life and work, and are accompanied by musical instruments.
The game and songs were developed by Mandarin Dao Duy Tu (1572-1634) to help locals protect their crops. Bai choi songs are moral lessons, demonstrating patriotism, connectivity in the community and living experience of people./.VNA
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