Phu Tho striving to preserve its intangible cultural heritage- Hat Xoan


Phu Tho striving to preserve its intangible cultural heritage- Hat Xoan

Towards the end of 2011, UNESCO recognized Hat Xoan as an intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding. PhuTho province immediately tried to decide on a plan to maintain this national treasure.

The People' Committee of PhuTho Province, Department of Cultures and Tourism, partnered with Department of Education and Training have successfully embedded Hat Xoan into extra curriculum activities in schools. In addition, the Province tried to included Hat Xoan in mainstream music programs in primary schools. According to statistics from Department of Cultures and Tourism, 90% of primary schools in Viet Tri city are teaching Hat Xoan as part of their official curriculum. Students are engaged in at least 4 sessions of Hat Xoan per school year and spend at least 1 session interacting with professional performers.

Ngo Phuong Thao,  7th grade student at Giay Secondary School - PhongChau, said: "I learned Hat Xoan from my music class back in primary school. It was very exciting to explore a genre of traditional folk music that is recognized by the whole World. Also, there were always Hat Xoan performances in singing contests at school."

Following these initial successes, on 22/11/2015, Mr. Ha Ke San, Deputy Chairman of the People's Committee of PhuTho Province, announced that  the provincial officials have urged authorities to reported the progress to UNESCO, in order to remove Hat Xoan from its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. If approved, Hat Xoan will be the first ever to file for its removal from the endangered list. UNESCO will announce their final decision by end of 2017.

Cultural preservation and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage specifically, require combined efforts of federal and local governments; and especially artists and the elders play a crucial role in educating young generations. These steps and actions taken by PhuTho province must be studied and applied in other communities in order to better protect and continue Vietnam's folk cultures.

Hien Anh

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