Young members of  Gong team in T'Nung 1 village in Ya Ma commune practice ahead of the 2018 Gong Festival (Photo: VNA)
 
Gia Lai (VNA) – The preparation for the 2018 Gong Cultural Festival slated for November 9 - 11 in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai has been basically completed.

Phan Xuan Vu, Director of the Gia Lai Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism, said the provincial culture, sport and tourism sector has prepared well for the event. To maintain and promote the value of the gong culture, the provincial education sector has implemented a training programme and extracurricular activities on the use of gongs in all local boarding schools in recent years.

Besides, Gia Lai has organised gong festivals from the grassroots to provincial levels to select outstanding artisans for this year’s festival.

According to Vu, to preserve gong culture, it is necessary to conserve all long-lasting cultural values of ethnic minority groups in the Central Highlands region.

Themed gong and folk festival of Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), the festival is expected to welcome between 25,000 and 30,000 visitors along with 300 invited guests from ministries, sectors and UNESCO Vietnam, foreign embassies and consulate generals in Vietnam. More than 1,200 artisans and amateur artists from five Central Highlands provinces - will participate in the festival.

Numerous activities will be jointly held by the five Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Lam Dong, namely a street festival featuring gong performances, re-enactment of some traditional rituals and festivals of 11 ethnic groups of the region.

The art of wood sculpture and brocade weaving will also be introduced during the festival, along with seminars on the conservation of gong cultural values and exhibitions on ethnic costumes and gong culture.

As part of the event, Gia Lai province will organise the wild sunflower – Chu Dang Ya volcano festival from November 10 - 13 with various cultural activities. Tourists will have a chance to enjoy the yellow colour of the wild flower – a symbol of the strength of ethnic people in the Central Highlands.

Besides, the province will launch the national gate at the Le Thanh international border gate, in Duc Co district, on November 9, while holding a street coffee programme from November 8 - 11 on main streets in Pleiku city, a cuisine programme featuring typical foods of the Central Highlands and regions across the country from November 9 - 11.

The event is to honour the Cultural Space of Gong of Tay Nguyen in line with an action plan of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to preserve and promote the gong cultural heritage in the province.

The Cultural Space of Gong of Tay Nguyen was recognised by the UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of the humanity in 2005. It is closely linked to the daily life of local people. Their belief systems form a mystical world where the gongs produce a privileged language between men, divinities and the supernatural world.-VNA