Making news

Phu Tho: 14 more Xoan singing artisans recognised

Additional 14 people in the northern province of Phu Tho have been presented with the “Xoan singing artisan” title in recognition of their contributions to preserving and promoting the value of the UNESCO-recognised intangible cultural heritage.

Speaking at a ceremony on November 23, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Ho Dai Dung said that the 14 newly-recognised artisans are prestigious and expert in the musical art.

To date, Phu Tho has 66 Xoan singing artisans recognised by the State, including 20 Meritorious Artists.

Closely linked to the worship of Hung Kings, Xoan singing is a religious practice rooted in the ancestor worship of the Vietnamese people. It is traditionally performed during the first two months of the lunar calendar in holy places such as temples, sanctuaries and communal houses.

There are three forms of Xoan singing: worship singing for the Hung kings and village guardian spirits; ritual singing for good crops, health and luck, and festival singing where villagers alternate male and female voices in a form of courtship.

The Vietnamese musical tradition was inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2011 due to declining appreciation of this tradition, notably among young people.

The performing art was transferred to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2017 in recognition of efforts by the local communities and the national authorities to reinforce the viability of Xoan singing.

Phu Tho now has 34 Xoan singing clubs with 1,557 members.