Lang Son Then festival gets underway
Update: Nov 06, 2012
A national festival featuring Then singing and Tinh lute music got underway in the northern province of Lang Son on November 4.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the festival, themed "the origin of Then singing", Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Huynh Vinh Ai said that the festival, the fourth of its kind to be held in the country so far, is part of the ministry's campaign to gain UNESCO recognition of the art as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The festival aims to honour the culture of Then singing and Tinh lute music and promote the region's cultural heritages, to boost economic development and improve the material and spiritual lives of local people, he said.

It also offers Then singers and musicians from northern localities the chance to meet and learn from each other, he added.

According to Deputy Director of the Lang Son provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Phuc Ha, this year's festival will see nearly 800 artists from Lang Son and its neighbouring provinces taking part.

Traditional Then singing is common to the Tay, Nung and Thai ethnic minority groups in northern Vietnam and is most popular in Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Lang Son, Tuyen Quang and Dien Bien provinces. It is a unique combination of music and song accompanied by the handmade Tinh guitar, which has only two strings.