International gong festival begins

Published:  00:00 Friday - November 13, 2009

International gong festival begins

Sixty groups of gong players from five Asian countries and 24 provinces and cities in Vietnam are attending the first International Gong Festiva, which opened on November 12 in the Central Highland province of Gia Lai.

The four-day festival has been organised by the provincial People’s Committee and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Taking part are nearly 1,000 players representing 11 ethnic minority groups from the provinces of KonTum, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Lam dong, Nghe An and Hoa Binh and many foreign players from Laos, Cambodia , Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines.

Other highlights of the festival will include religious ceremonies accompanied by gong performances, a buffalo festival, seminars on preserving gong music and exhibitions on ethnic minority cultures.

The Jrai, Ybrom, Ede and Bahnar will hold rituals pray for rain and a happy New Year.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Pham The Dung, chairman of the Gia Lai provincial People’s Committee said that the festival aims to honour the gong culture of the Central Highlands.

In her speech, the head of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Mass Mobilisation, Ha Thi Khiet, said that gong culture brought Southeast Asian Nations together.

The festival aims to preserve the region’s unique gong culture, which has been recognised by UNESCO as mankind’s oral and intangible heritage.

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