Vietnam’s northern midland province of Phu Tho is home to two UNESCO recognized intangible cultural heritages of humanity: Hung Kings worshiping and Xoan singing. The province is taking drastic measures to better preserve and promote its local heritages.
Xoan singing of Phu Tho province includes singing, dancing, drumming and clapper beating. It is closely linked to the worship of the Hung Kings, a belief rooted in the ancestor worship practice of the Vietnamese people. These two heritages are closely attached, supporting the preservation and promotion of both.
"These two heritages play a very important role in encouraging the local communities to better preserve their cultural heritages. They also help to boost the local economy through tourism development," said Nguyen Dac Thuy, Director of the Phu Tho provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
Phu Tho province has been accelerated measures to sustainably promoting its heritages, including boosting practices and teaching of Xoan singing, especially among the younger generations, and devising policies to offer Xoan singers favorable conditions to practice the art form.
"I was lucky to have been born to a family specialized in Xoan singing. I started to sing Xoan songs when I was only 8. Now I’m organizing classes to teach Xoan singing to the younger generations. 3 months of summer holiday are an ideal occasion to teach school children," artisan Le Xuan Ngu of Phu Tho province’s Kim Duc commune elaborated.
Such classes are being organized frequently at Lai Len shrine, home to the original Xoan singing.
In addition to supporting the local communities and individuals in conducting research, collecting materials, and practicing Xoan singing, authorities at all levels have organized many events for Xoan singers to pass on their singing skills.
"Lai Len shrine has been preserved as a live museum of Xoan singing and a spiritual tourism destination of both domestic and foreign visitors. It is a popular place for pilgrims to pay tribute to the Hung Kings at the annual Hung Kings Temple festival and to experience the art of Xoan singing," said Nguyen Thi Tam, President of the Kim Duc communal People’s Committee.