Nguyen Hue pedestrian street in District 1, HCM City (Photo: ndl.com.vn)
HCM City (VNA) - Every Saturday, Hoang Van Huong, a resident of HCM City’s Binh Thanh district, takes his 11-year-old granddaughter to enjoy free traditional music performances on Nguyen Hue pedestrian street.

They often take a walk around the area before watching the group of young artists.

“I wanted my granddaughter to learn about traditional music,” said Huong, adding that there were few places that offer free music aimed at children and youth.

In the first days, Huong bought an ice cream for his granddaughter to convince her to attend the music performances instead of playing online games on her iPad, which goes with her anywhere outside.

“She now knows the name of several traditional instruments and folk songs and dances. She even told me she wanted to become a zitherist after school,” said Huong.

Huong and his granddaughter are only two of several hundred visitors, including foreigners, who enjoy the free music performances on the pedestrian street on Saturday night.

The shows are part of a cultural programme, Khong Gian Van Hoa-Nghe Thuat and The Thao (Space for Culture, Arts and Sports), launched by the city’s Youth Union.

“Our programme aims to help visitors learn about Vietnamese music and theatre,” said Nguyen Ba Hung, a member of the group that began the programme.

“Through our free performances, we hope to bring traditional music closer to the people,” he said.

All artists in the programme work for free and they have to sometimes turn down invitations from music organisers and producers so they can perform on schedule.
“I feel no barrier between my music and the audiences,” zitherist Phuong Linh said.-VNA