UNESCO recognizes Xoan singing as world heritage

Published:  20:51 Tuesday - December 13, 2011

UNESCO recognizes Xoan singing as world heritage

At the 6th meeting of UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Bali, Indonesia, the dossier of Xoan singing in Phu Tho Province, Vietnam was officially recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of urgent protection by UNESCO.

Vietnam’s Xoan singing has entered the world’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritages in need of Urgent Protection. 

The Cultural Heritage Department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) voted for the recognition on Nov. 23. 

Xoan singing, a vocal art of villages in the ancestral land of Phu Tho, is usually performed in front of the communal house during village festivals in the spring. Based on legends and historical, archaeological and social records, researchers say that Xoan singing first appeared from the time when the Hung Kings established the nation. 

Xoan singing has some similarities with the lullaby. Many of the songs are about love, but it is also a kind of folk music that praises a village genie. 

There are many forms including the duet and group singing accompanied by several kinds of dances.

Photo: VOV 

Xoan festivals are often held in spring in village temples. On the fifth day of the first lunar month, these traditional songs are performed at the Hung Temple festival.

The profile of Xoan singing of Vietnam is highly appreciated by UNESCO because it meets important demands and criteria, such as cultural value, sense of community in creativeness and the handing down from generation to generation. It is the strong vitality of this artistic medium and the pledge of the people and the authorities that will help preserve it in the future.  

So far, Vietnam has 16 heritages recognized by UNESCO.


List of world heritage in Vietnam:

1. The Complex of Monuments of the imperial capital of Hue (1993) 

2. Ha Long Bay (1994 and 2000). 

3. Hoi An Ancient Town (1999) 

4. My Son Sanctuary ( 1999) 

5. Hue Nha Nhac (Royal Court Music) ( 2003) 

6. Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park( 2003)  

7. The Cultural Space of Tay Nguyen Gongs ( 2005) 

8. Ca Tru (Ceremonial singing) ( 2009) 

9. Bac Ninh Quan Ho (Love duets singing) ( 2009) 

10. Nguyen Dynasty Wood-Blocks (2009) 

11. The central section of the Imperial Capital of Thang Long ( 2010) 

12. Dong Van Rocky Plateau (2010) 

13. Giong Festival in Phu Dong and Soc Temple (2010) 

14. 82 Doctorial Steles in Van Mieu-Hanoi(2010) 

15. Ho Dynasty Citadel ( 2011) 

16. Xoan singing in Phu Tho (2011)

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