New project on preserving Vietnamese folk arts launched hinh anh 1Folk music, such as hat xoan and hat trong quan (folk singing) of the north, and nha nhac cung dinh (royal ceremonial music) of Hue, staged by leading artisans and theatres, will be released on YouTube as part a long-term project on preserving Vietnamese folk arts launched recently by the Việt Nam Folk Arts Association. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - The Vietnam Folk Arts Association has launched a project on protecting and promoting the values of the country’s folk arts an intangible national heritage.

Under the project, traditional music, theatre and literature works, which have high ideological and artistic values, will receive financial support to record, shoot and be released on YouTube. The money will come from the association and its partners, including local authorities and organisations.

Works featuring different forms of folk music, such as hat xoan and hat trong quan (folk singing) of the north, bai choi of the central region and nha nhac cung dinh (royal ceremonial music) of Hue, staged by leading artisans and theatres, will be released on YouTube as a way to bring the arts closer to Vietnamese and foreign audiences. 

According to the association’s chairwoman Le Cam Tu, the association will help folk artists, folk arts clubs and centres to collect, perform, record and film their works for release online to keep the arts alive.

“Many late folk artisans who are Living Human Treasures by UNESCO, did not introduce their performances to younger generations, but their art was at the top level of the industry. If we don’t offer urgent solutions and policies to solve the situation, many forms of Vietnamese folk arts will be gone,” she said.

Tu’s association has funded a long-term project, between 2015 and 2020 on the publication and dissemination of Vietnamese folklore and cultural properties. Thanks to the project, more than 2,500 works among 4,000 pieces of research by 1,000 cultural researchers and performers have been published.

In May, the association and Khanh Hoa province worked together to start a three-year project to preserve and promote bai choi. 

The 6.7 billion VND (300,000 USD) project has attracted six districts in the province. Local authorities have worked to intergrate performances of bai choi with other cultural activities, festivals and concerts in order to create opportunities for the artists to expand their art. 

State-owned and private theatres and entertainment centres have also been encouraged to produce DVDs of all types of bai choi performances. Many books on the history of the art have also been published and offered in libraries, museums and schools. 

Bai choi originated almost 400 years ago in Hue under the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty Lords (1558-1777). The art was created to entertain farmers during post-harvest time. 

Bai (game cards) choi (bamboo huts) is a half game and half theatre performance. Nine bamboo huts on stills are erected on a spacious land plot in two rows. Each row is made up of four huts for the players. The bigger hut is in the middle, with a wooden stand for the controller of the game. 

The art was recognised as an intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2017. 

“The Internet and YouTube can help keep our folk arts alive and introduce them to more and more people worldwide,” said Meritorious Artist Ca Le Hong of the HCM City Theatre Artists’ Association./.