The Bahnar ethnic minority group in the remote Konchoro district of Gia Lai province is in the spotlight for its efforts to preserve and uphold ethnic character for sustainable community development.

Konchoro district has for a long time been considered the home of gong culture in Gia Lai province, not only for the large number of gongs in the district but also their diversity.

The district is currently preserving 560 sets of gongs, including 150 ancient ones, which will be used in the community’s festivals.

Apart from gongs, local Bahnar people are also conserving many charnel houses. They believe that the souls of the dead still live with the villagers, so the community attaches much importance to preserving the charnel houses.

In the district, the communal house is a sacred place for villagers to gather and hold festivities such as celebrating the new harvested rice festival.

The communal house of Bahnar people was built using traditional methods with all the materials taken from the forest. After three years of construction, the house is essentially finished.

The house serves as a hallowed place for the god.

Apart from preserving its traditional character, the district is actively educating and encouraging villagers to abolish backward practices, take their children to school and go to infirmaries when they are sick.

According to Chairman of Konchoro People’s Committee Phan Van Trung, preserving and strengthening the traditional character fosters the local socio-economic development. For many years, the district has carried out many active and comprehensive methods to effectively preserve and uphold their traditions.

The conservation of traditions affirms the will and aspirations of local people, as well as the efforts of local authorities and functional agencies for the sustainable development of the community, he said.-VNA