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UNESCO’s Representative in Viet Nam handed over the inscription certificate of Xoan Singing to Viet Nam

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Phu Tho - Viet Nam, 3 February 2018 - On behalf of UNESCO's Director General, the Head of Ha Noi Office, Michael Croft delivered the inscription certificate for Xoan singing as an element of the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, at Lai Len Shrine, Viet Tri city, Phu Tho Province.


The formal inscription ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Mr. Vu Duc Dam; Chairwoman of the National Assembly Committee for Social Affairs, Nguyen Thuy Anh; Deputy Foreign Minister, Chairman of Vietnam's National UNESCO Committee Le Hoai Trung; Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MoCST), Dang Thi Bich Lien; representatives from provincial government and local communities including the four guilds of Xoan singers in Phu Tho Province.

Speaking after handing over the certificate, UNESCO's Head of office in Ha Noi, Michael Croft, highlighted the national effort by Viet Nam in the revitalization of Xoan singing which resulted in the transfer of the element from the UNESCO's Urgent Safeguarding List for Intangible Culture Heritage to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and created a precedent for UNESCO. "It is a wonderful story worthy of its own song," said Mr. Croft.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam underlined the strong link between Xoan singing and the worship of Hung Kings as the two intangible cultural heritage elements in Phu Tho province, the Vietnamese "fatherland". He stressed, however, that preservation and promotion of these heritage elements are not only the responsibility of local authorities and local people but also need continual support from the Government, national and international researchers and organizations.

Having received the UNESCO certificate of inscription, the Chairman of Phu Tho Provincial People's Committee Bui Minh Chau announced key activities outlined in the National Action program to protect and promote of Xoan singing from 2018 to 2023 which demonstrate the commitment by national and provincial authorities is coupled with solutions and investment in revitalizing the heritage.

The ceremony which was live broadcasted in local television, offered an exciting occasion for local Xoan singers to present their excellent performances. Noticeably, this ceremony attracted many young students and children to perform on the stage, which has been considered a major difference compared to the similar occasion in 2012 when the heritage was inscribed in the Urgent Safeguarding List where only elderly people mastered the performance. .

As a musical practice rooted in the ancestor worship of the Vietnamese people Xoan singing was traditional performed during the first two months of the lunar calendar in holy places such as temples, sanctuaries and communal houses.

The traditional artistic expression was inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2011 and transferred to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2017. A wide range of measures were employed in protecting and reviving the element during such period: training in the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, new instruction in Xoan singing, the restoration of performance spaces, the collection of folklore materials in local communities and the active introduction of the element in schools.

For further information, please kindly contact Ms Tran Thi Thu Thuy, Culture Programme Officer through email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone: 0904949129 and visit our Facebook page @UNESCOOfficeinVietnam




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