The Cotu preserve their traditional culture

Lan Anh |

(QNO) - The Cotu people are preserving their traditional culture through their daily activities and festivals. They organize folklore classes for locals.

Bling Thi Xiec and her dance class. Photo: Lan Anh
Bling Thi Xiec and her dance class. Photo: Lan Anh

That was a class of a traditional dance called Tung tung da da of the Cotu. Every afternoon during summer vacation, villager Bling Thi Xiec teaches dance techniques to local children in Bho Hoong 1 commune, Dong Giang district, Quang Nam province.  Xiec told:“We were taught this dance by our grandmothers and mothers when we were small. Now we pass down it to the kids so that they will understand their national origins. The kids are very quick to learn. Some 4-year-old kids can dance well”.

Villages are happy to learn how to dance. Young and old alike gather in Xiec’s house, talking and watching their children dance with pride. Mothers encourage their children, telling them “you dance so beautifully” or “Diu’s tiny feet sway brilliantly”. A Lang Dlel of Bho Hoong hamlet recalls her childhood: “We know how to dance, but we can’t teach it to the young people. So we are very happy that Xiec teaches them. We come to every class to encourage the young learners. All Cotu people in Bho Hoong hamlet know how to dance and our culture is being preserved”. Bling Hanh of Zuoih commune, Nam Giang district, has organized classes of gong playing for the last 2 years. First he taught the older villagers and then the childreb. Hanh told us: “Every adult person in our district knows how to play the gongs, but the children do not. I started teaching them in 2010 so that the younger generation can inherit our national culture. Our classes are held during the summer when the kids are on vacation. It’s more difficult to teach the kids than the adults. It takes them a whole month of instruction before they can play the gong”.

Bling Hanh and young Cotu dancers. Photo: Lan Anh
Bling Hanh and young Cotu dancers. Photo: Lan Anh

Hanh’s efforts have paid off. More and more children are signing up for his class.  Zo Zam Mou, a 4th –year student of Ho Chi Minh city’s University of Culture, was recently awarded the title “Young Artisan” for what he has done for the Cotu culture. He told: “Uncle Hanh and I encourage the kids to learn music. Though many learners are in difficult circumstance, they are serious about learning. Some live 20 km away, but they are on time and enthusiastic. I myself love the Cotu culture, so I will establish an art troupe of 34 young members”.

Young Cotu dancer Zo Zam Mou.l Photo: Lan Anh.
Young Cotu dancer Zo Zam Mou.l Photo: Lan Anh.

Thanks to the dedication of individuals like Bling Hanh and Zo Zam Mou, the Cotu culture remains as vital as the old forests that cling to the Truong Son mountain range.

Lan Anh