Last update: 13:36 | 16/05/2018
The Cong ethnic group in Muong Te district, the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau, is one of the most disadvantaged ethnic minorities in Vietnam, but the group boasts a diverse cultural life with traditional values.
A class teaching Cong ethnic group's folk culture in Nam Khao commune, Muong Te district, Lai Chau province
Over the years, with the Party and State’s support, local authorities have worked to preserve cultural identity of their group, which has around 1,500 people, living mainly in Nam Khao and Nam Cha communes in Muong Te and Nam Nhun districts.
There are classes where the elderly people have been teaching the group’s melodies and dances to young people as a way to preserve their distinctive culture.
Ly Thi Giong, among six artisans in Nam Khao commune, is considered a living treasure in helping preserve the traditional folk art of the Cong ethnic minority, especially for younger generations.
“Every day, I call young girls to practice dances in a hope to stop Cong cultural identity from falling into oblivion,” said Giong.
“In the past, we had to equip by ourselves with paraffin lambs and wood canes for practicing. Now it is more convenient as we are equipped by the authorities with electricity and loudspeakers,” Giong told Vietnam News Agency.
Local young girls are preparing their traditional costumes before a class
Besides helping resettled people stabilise production life since 2014, local authorities of Nam Khao commune have worked hard to maintain these classes in an attempt to preserve the traditional cultural values of the Cong ethnic minority group.
Ly Van Hieu, Chairman of the Nam Khao communal People’s Committee said the commune has six art troupes for six villages with each one being provided with six million VND a year and having one artisan for preserving traditional culture.
“In the future, we hope that the State will pay more attention to providing assistance for classes and artisans who can participate in preserving the traditional cultural values of ethnic minorities such as Sin La, Cong, Mang, La Hu to younger generations,” said the chairman.
The traditional cultural values of ethnic minorities are precious heritages, contributing to a diverse but united Vietnamese culture. However, the widespread pervasion of foreign cultures has posed challenges for local authorities in preserving cultural identity.
Given that, upholding and promoting traditional cultural values of ethnic minorities is an urgent mission. To that end, classes and art troupes passing down folk culture to younger generations need to be multiplied so that culture is nurtured and can maximise its internal strength.-VNA