Exchanging two buffalos for a gong set is a vivid example of how the intangible heritage has effectively been preserved in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.

The Yang Bac commune People’s Committee has for many years allowed youth unions from local villages borrow land for farming, earning dozens of million VND per year. The money is used to cover their operation expenses, especially gong purchases.

Secretary of the Yang Bac Communist Youth Union Dinh Drap shared that his generation has fallen in love with the traditional instrument’s sound and all of them know how to play it.

Gong troupes have been set up gathering young people across 15 villages, he said.

In Gia Lai, in a bid to bring the music closer to children, many boarding schools have started teaching the gong as part of their educational programmes.

The province also organises a provincial gong festival every 4 years and a district-level event every two years.

Gia Lai is now preserving 5,655 gong sets, including 932 rare items.

The Central Highlands region, which comprises the five provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Lam Dong, Gia Lai and Kon Tum, is home to stunning mythical landscapes and a significant population of diverse ethnic minorities and cultures.

In particular, the region’s gong culture was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.-VNA