More and more young people are working to save national folk music “ca tru” (ceremonial singing), which is on the list of intangible cultural heritages in need of urgent safeguarding.

Many have spent significant amounts of time and money attending courses, in some cases for many years, or have been studying online recordings thoroughly, according to musician Dang Hoanh Loan.

The national “ca tru” festival currently being held in Hanoi has attracted nearly 30 troupes from 12 provinces and cities throughout the country, mainly from younger generations.

The event, the fifth of its kind so far, is part of a national programme to preserve and develop “ca tru”, which was recognised as an intangible cultural heritage in need of protection by UNESCO in 2009.

Around 130 sets are planned to be performed between August 26 and August 29.

To repopularise the traditional art form, musician Loan suggested running “ca tru” classes regularly and on an annual basis, and adopting measures to support mature and experienced artists who are now few and far between.

Deputy head of the Vietnam Institute of Musicology Pham Minh Huong is of the same opinion and argues that preserving “ca tru” is not only the responsibility of state agencies but also communities home to cultural heritages.

“Ca tru” appeared in the North around the 15th century and thrived until the early 20th century. Since then, it has decreased in popularity due to the spread of modern recreational and cultural activities. Today, this kind of singing is practised in 15 provinces and cities throughout Vietnam.-VNA