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Then singing festival wraps up in Ha Giang    
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Then singing festival wraps up in Ha Giang The sixth national festival of the art of Then singing and Tinh gourd lute of the Tay, Nung and Thai ethnic groups concluded in the northernmost province of Ha Giang on May 14 (Photo: VNA)
May 16 2018

NDO/VNA – The sixth national festival celebrating the art of Then singing and the Tinh gourd lute of the Tay, Nung, and Thai ethnic groups concluded in the northernmost province of Ha Giang on May 14.

Nguyen Thi Hai Nhung, head of the Department of Traditional Culture under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the festival offered a chance to promote the cultural heritage of Vietnamese ethnic groups to international friends and honour an art form of the Tay, Nung and Thai groups.

She affirmed that during the event, Vietnam’s heritage, and Then singing in particular, made strong impressions on visitors.

The festival gathered more than 500 artisans from the 14 provinces nationwide. It was considered a rendezvous for Then melodies, dances, and music from different ethnic regions.

Art troupes staged nearly 60 performances of Then singing accompanied by music played on the Tinh lute. These performances were deeply imbued with traditional cultural identities of Tay, Nung, and Thai ethnicities.

At the closing ceremony, the organisers presented certificates of merit from the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism to outstanding organisations and individuals who took part in the festival.

According to researchers, the word “Then” originates from “Thien”, which means sky or heaven. Then singing is regarded as a tune of the Gods.

The most important figures in a Then singing performance are “Ong Then” and “Ba Then” who can sing, dance, and play musical instruments at the same time during rituals while presenting offerings to the Gods, helping to ask for good health, bumper crops, happiness, and longevity.

In 2017, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism submitted a dossier to UNESCO to seek the recognition of Then sining as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.