Central Highlands gong festival celebrates culture, tradition

On the occasion of Vietnam’s Cultural Heritage Day (November 23), a Gong Festival was held at Di Linh Commune in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong November 28-29. The event aimed to preserve and promote the gong culture of the area’s ethnic minority people.

Gong melodies are used as background music for the elders of the ethnic groups who sing songs based on their stories and epics.

Eleven groups including more than 300 artisans from ethnic minorities such as Mr, K’ho, Churu and M’nong attended the festival.

The event kicked off with an offering ceremony to the God of Fire of the K’ho ethnic minority, followed by a performance of gong and folk music accompanied by traditional dancing.

Other activities included a buffalo ceremony and time honored folk games.

The Central Highlands Lam Dong Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism gave permission to 12 gong troupes in the province this September to perform for locals and hold events.

As of September 2009, there were more than 100 gong troupes in the region with 14 troupes in villages of Lac Duong District, Lam Dong Province – most of who perform for tourists.

With permission from the culture department, the troupes will be able to enlarge the scale of their performances to promote the culture of the Central Highlands, attract more tourists to the province, and improve the lives of local ethnic people.

The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said it would continue to appraise and license more gong troupes to perform at tourist sites.

By staff writers, translated by Y Nhi

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