France bestows honor on ethnomusicologist, master

Hervé Bolot, the French ambassador to Viet Nam, conferred the Medal of Art & Literature on ethnomusicologist and don ca tai tu Nam bo (southern amateur music) master Nguyen Vinh Bao on January 12.

Dr. Diep Thi My Hanh (L), French ambassador Hervé Bolot, musician Nguyen Vinh Bao and Professor Nguyen Thuyet Phong (R) at the award ceremony.

Mr. Bao, 92, was one of the founders of the National Music School (now known as Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music) and taught music here for 10 years from 1956 to 1966.

He is the only remaining master of don ca tai tu Nam bo to teach foreigners in English, French, Cambodian, Japanese, Chinese and other languages.

Mr. Bolot also gave away the Gold Palm of the French Academy to Dr. Diep Thi My Hanh for her Ecological Bamboo museum and plant conversation project to protect the biodiversity of Vietnamese bamboo and other southern floral species.

She is a teacher at the HCMC University of Natural Sciences.

Her ecological area in Binh Duong Province is the first for bamboo in any ASEAN member country.
It was jointly set up by the Rhone-Alpes region in France, Binh Duong, France’s Natural Garden, and the HCMC University of Natural Sciences.

By Kim Ung – Translated by Kim Khanh

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