Authorities in a province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta have proposed that cockfighting be turned into an artistic performance to spur local tourism, while some officials are worried that the activity might lead to illegal betting and other related crimes.
The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism as well as the Department of Police have agreed to seek approval from the People’s Committee in Vinh Long Province to transform rooster fights, usually illegal in Vietnam, into a form of art and tourist attraction.
The performances have been recommended to be a regular activity at the Vinh Sang Resort, located in An Binh Commune, Long Ho District.
According to Le Truong Giang, deputy director of the resort, cockfights are expected to be performed at the venue during the upcoming New Year holiday once the proposition is approved by local authorities.
2017 marks the Year of the Rooster in the lunar calendar, thus cockfighting will be a perfect activity for the celebration, Giang elaborated.
He added that such fighting will be staged as a form of folk entertainment, which has been enjoyed by the people over many generations.
The Vinh Long Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has proposed that cockfighting be organized over 23 days throughout 2017 to celebrate the New Year and other public holidays in the country.
Accordingly, cockfights should run from December 30 to January 2, 2017 to mark the New Year holiday while the eight days from January 28 to February 5, 2017 will be preserved for the cockfights meant to be festivities for the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.
Cockfighting should also be held to commemorate the death anniversary of the Hung Kings, which is on the 10th day of the third month in the lunar calendar, Reunification Day (April 30), Labor Day (May 1), and National Day (September 2), according to the proposal.
A total of six competitions, each lasting 30 minutes, will be organized between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm on every of the holidays.
Giang stated that the roosters will be bred by the resort itself, adding that there would be no winner or loser as well as admission fees for the performances.
The roosters will wear iron heels like in other illegal cockfighting rings.
“The matches will be supervised by police officers to prevent illicit betting,” he continued.
Lu Quang Ngoi, vice-chairman of the Vinh Long People’s Committee, said in a document that cockfighting is a folk game created long ago to entertain the community after hours of hard work.
However, the form of entertainment can easily entail negative and unlawful activities.
Ngoi has tasked leaders of the Vinh Long tourism and police departments, along with authorities in Long Ho District, with working out a way to organize and manage cockfights.
According to Tran Minh Triet, chief of the office of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, cockfighting will be strictly monitored by police officers and undercover cops to prevent any betting.
“If the activity is well organized and managed, it could be carried out in other tourist resorts in the country, contributing to the preservation of the folk game,” Triet stated.
Some local residents have also expressed their support for the proposal as long as cockfighting remains strictly a form of art and entertainment.