Exciting with Dances, Sounds of Central Highlands

The ceremony to honor the UNESCO official recognition of the Space of Gong Culture in the central highlands of Viet Nam as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity was held at Pleiku stadium in the central highland province of Gia Lai. The Gong festival was opened with the fires lit by high rank government authorities and Chairmen of People’s Committees of five central highland provinces. 
 
 
 
Representative of UNESCO (left) awards the recognition Certificate of the Space of Gong Culture as a world heritage.

A sudden March rain brought unusual cold to the central highland region and made the meadow on the stadium very green and smooth like a carpet. The coldness of central highland mountain and forest also made dances of the highland minority ethic groups more enthusiastic and passionate.

In the rumble of the falls, the sound of water running in the streams, eleven brotherhood minority ethnic groups from five central highland provinces such as Catu, Coho, Churu, Ma, Jrai, Bana, Xedang, Ede, etc. performed zealously dances, gongs, songs which have been taught orally through many generations. Especially, spectators were impressed with the participation of a Gong artist from Mnong ethnic group in Daknong province who has performed Gong passed through from his Grandmother.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized the Gongs as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. This is not only an honor for the central highlands, but also a source of pride for Vietnamese.

High ranking government officials attending at the ceremony were Vietnam's President Tran Duc Luong, Head of the Party Central Committee's Ideology and Culture Commission Nguyen Khoa Diem, and Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam's Central Committee - Head of the Party Central Committee's Mass Mobilization Commission Tong Thi Phong, Minister of Culture and Information Pham Quang Nghi.

Gong dance is performed by minority ethic group of E De at the ceremony.

 
Speaking at the recognition certificate awarding ceremony, Mr. Gadi GY Mgomezulu, Director of UNESCO Division of Cultural Heritage, said UNESCO put Nha Nhac (Vietnamese Court Music) on the list of Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. This important list again included “Space of Gong Culture in the central highlands of Viet Nam” in 2005.

The diversity of cultures unites humankind closely. Nha Nhac and the Space of Gong Culture, which are representatives of Viet Nam’s diversified culture, make great contribution to the diversity of humanity culture.

Minister of Culture and Information Pham Quang Nghi announced duties accepted by Viet Nam’s authorities at a meeting in Paris in 2003. 
 

The duties were to continue to seek, collect and take notes of skills in Gong adjustment and Gong performances of Gong artists in the central highlands; establish Gong culture heritage storage rooms; set up departments and subjects of Gong at art schools in the central highland region; popularize the Space of Gong Culture under many forms such as website, compact disc, video compact disc, etc.

By Pham Thuc – Translated by Yen Chuong

Other news