The National Academy of Music in Hanoi has revealed that traditional Then singing will be submitted to UNESCO in a bid to be recognised as a piece of intangible cultural world heritage.
The Academy released the information at a workshop on June 11 and stated that the singing style will be entered for consideration under the official name ‘Then Tay-Nung-Thai Vietnam’.
Delegates at the workshop agreed that Hat Then is a traditional genre which plays an important and innovative role in the cultural and spiritual life of the Tay, Nung and Thai ethnic groups in Vietnam .
They said that the art form has impacted local and national identity through its influence on literature, language, poetry, music, dance, rituals and spiritual practices.
Hat Then is a unique combination of music and song and is traditionally accompanied by a handmade gourd lute, called Dan Tinh or Tinh Tau.
The style of singing is closely linked with the spiritual life of some ethnic people, who perform it during rituals to pray for things such as good health, a bumper crop and a long life.
Hat Then is practised in many northern provinces, including Ha Giang, Quang Ninh, Son La and Yen Bai, and the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.
In December 201, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism added Then singing to an official list of the nation’s intangible cultural heritage.