VietNamNet Bridge – Elderly people, tribal chieftains, artisans and prestigious people from16 small ethnic groups with populations of less than 10,000 people have asked the Government to pay more attention to conserving and restoring their cultural heritage.


Ethnic musicians play Ch'pay, a musical instrument, at a class in the Mekong Delta's An Giang Province. Ethnic groups are calling the Government to pay more attention to conserve their cultural heritage — VNA/VNS Photo Cong Ma


Speaking at a conference in the capital city yesterday (Aug 6), they said one of the reasons their culture was disappearing and their people losing their identity was the deep integration of people from various ethnic backgrounds in mountainous regions and border areas.

They said there was a rapid spread of different cultures and recreational formats that had strong influences on young people.

These tendencies had discouraged old artisans passing on age-old ethnic traditions to younger generations.

Participants agreed on the need to conserve and protect the culture values of small ethnic groups, particularly their mother tongues, costumes and traditional arts.

Huynh Vinh Ai, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said his ministry would consult with leading people from these groups before adopting policies to preserve their cultural values.

He also asked local authorities to adopt measures to encourage knowledgeable people from ethnic groups to share their experiences with young generations and encourage them to maintain and preserve their traditional cultures.

At present Viet Nam has 16 ethnic minorities with less than 10,000 people. Most live in the mountainous provinces of Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Cao Bang, Nghe An and Kon Tum.