Honouring Bai Choi singing heritage

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(QNO) - The ceremony of receiving the UNESCO’s recognition certificate for the art of Bai Choi in Central Vietnam as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity was organized in Hoi An city (Quang Nam province) by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam in coordination with the People’s Committees of Quang Nam province and of Hoi An city on May 7.

Bai Choi art performance
Bai Choi art performance

Special folk art

Michael Croft - Chief Representative of the UNESCO Office in Vietnam said Bai Choi art was internationally acknowledged because it reminded us of the important, eternal elements of life: family, friends, singing and laughter. It is the reason why Bai Choi singing dominates in the heart of people in central Vietnam. The UNESCO’s recognition is expected to further encourage the local cultural activities and promote their development in the future.

Composer Dang Hoanh Loan, who completed the dossier on this art to submit to UNESCO said Bai Choi attaches to the local lives and habits. So, its melody, lyrics and unique performances make Bai Choi- a folk game become an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Bai Choi singer and tourists
Bai Choi singer and tourists

Bai Choi art conservation and promotion

According to Vice Chairman of the Quang Nam provincial People's Committee Le Van Thanh, in recent years, Quang Nam has been facilitating the research, protection and promotion of intangible cultural heritages by some special policies on developing the number of artists, expanding the spaces of performances and  preserving this art in the local life.

Over the years, Bai Choi art has been performed wildly in the province. According to Mr. Vo Phung, Director of Hoi An city Center for Culture and Sports, the training of Bai Choi singers has been paid attention to since the 2000s. 1996 remarked the birth of the Hoi An Traditional Art Theater, where Bai Choi artists perform to serve local people, domestic and foreign visitors. In September, 1998, the Bai Choi game first appeared in the festival “Retracing Hoi An ancient town night in the early 20th century”. So far, Bai Choi art has been considered as an important part in the local cultural and spiritual lives, a product of Hoi An tourism.