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Quan Ho Bac Ninh folk songs - 10 years to look back
(BNP) – On September 30, 2009, at the 4th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage held in the United Arab Emirates, Quan Ho Bac Ninh folk songs are honored as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In the past 10 years, Bac Ninh has well-implemented contents that Vietnam committed to UNESCO on preserving Quan Ho folk songs, such as teaching, building traditional performance space, propagating to the world; investment in facilities,... aiming to preserve, protect and promote the unique value of Quan ho folk heritage.
Singing Quan Ho has become a daily activity in the life of Bac Ninh – Kinh Bac people.
Over many past years, Bac Ninh has not only obtained significant achievements with many leading socio-economic indicators of the whole country but also capture the first rank in conservation and promotion tangible and intangible values. So far, Bac Ninh has been the only province in the country that has a monthly allowance policy for Quan Ho folk artists.
From 2009 up to now, the province has honored the "the living human treasures", and conferred titles on 71 artisans and 05 meritorious artisans, performed monthly financial support for artisans and remuneration policies for artists of Quan Ho folk songs Theater. Recently, the province has policies to support operating funds for not only original but also new Quan Ho villages in the province; Quan Ho clubs inside and outside the province. Accordingly, from 2019, the original Quan ho villages are supported 30 million VND/time/year; the practice villages of Quan Ho are supported VND 20 million/time/year; while the Quan Ho clubs are sponsored VND 20 million/time (if there are visits of provincial leaders). Those supports are to encourage the villages to continue contributing positively to the preservation and promotion of Quan Ho folk songs.
In terms of protection and promotion of the heritage value, the province has expanded forms of teaching Quan Ho in the community and included this type of folk songs in the formal curriculum of schools. Bac Ninh has also promoted the construction of the performance space of Quan Ho: restoring and embellishing the historical relics of the Quan Ho’s ancestor; putting into use 08 Quan Ho hosting houses and continue to build in many localities. In particular, it has basically completed the Quan Ho folk songs Theater project with unique architecture, where will be the ideal place for tourists to visit and enjoy the quintessence of Quan Ho.
Many cultural activities of Quan Ho have become annual events such as programs of “Arrive in Quan Ho land”, “Singing Quan Ho on boats”, “Singing Quan ho at the hosting house on the full-moon night”, etc, attracting thousands of audiences and tourists.
From only 49 original Quan Ho villages and 34 Quan Ho clubs, there have been 369 new Quan Ho villages, 381 clubs in the province so far with over 10,000 participants, particularly there are thousands of people are capable of transmitting Quan Ho. Specifically, there are 140 Quan Ho clubs in other provinces and Overseas Vietnamese community including many people who are not born in Kinh Bac still participate in activities because of their love to Quan Ho folk songs. Moreover, the province also built a Center for storage, conservation, and exploitation of Quan Ho, researched 30 thematic studies, recorded 107 ancient Quan Ho songs, and published 09 books on Quan Ho folk songs.
Quan Ho spreads and develops throughout the villages, in every hamlet and street corner, becoming a cultural feature of the Kinh Bac land’s festivals, daily activity in local people's life. Quan Ho also expands to all regions of the country, making an attractive cultural symbol, actively contributing to the process of cultural integration with the world. Quan Ho folk songs hold a new vitality in harmonization with modernity nowadays. The love of Quan Ho people is always mentioned as an identity of Bac Ninh - Kinh Bac region, and the most precious thing is that the sense of community about the value of the heritage is getting deeper and deeper.
These achievements are thanks to a lasting vitality stemmed from the intrinsic value of Quan Ho and the efforts of the political system and the people. Especially many individuals, who are artisans, “anh hai”, “chị hai” (male and female Quan Ho singers), day by day devoted to transmitting how to play and perform Quan Ho; are researchers, collectors, artists,... with talent, passion with Quan Ho.
In the process of integration and development, Bac Ninh will continue to perform better in preserving the values of tradition, history, cultural identity, especially the culture of Quan Ho, becoming a livable city, attracting high-quality human resources in various fields of electronic industry, information technology, and other fields,...