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​Vietnam’s Bai Choi art recognized as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

​Vietnam’s Bai Choi art recognized as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Sunday, May 06, 2018, 19:10 GMT+7

A ceremony has been organized in the south-central province of Binh Dinh to mark the recognition of central Vietnam’s art of Bai Choi as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The honorary title was officially given to the traditional form of art during a ceremony at the Nguyen Tat Thanh Square in Quy Nhon City on Saturday evening.

The event was attended by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Deputy Premier Vu Duc Dam, and Michael Croft, head of office and UNESCO representative to Vietnam.

Nguyen Ngoc Thien, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and leaders of nine central provinces from Quang Binh to Khanh Hoa, home to the art of Bai Choi, represented the country to receive the recognition.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the event. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the event. Photo: Tuoi Tre

With 12 intangible cultural heritage titles recognized by the UNESCO, Vietnam now ranks eight out of 177 member nations of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, PM Phuc said at the ceremony.

He called on people to join efforts in maintaining and preserving Bai Choi as it is now the common asset of the human race.

Minister Thien also announced a national action program on protecting and promoting the intangible cultural heritage of Bai Choi. 

Nguyen Ngoc Thien, minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism receives the UNESCO status from Michael Croft, head of office and UNESCO representative to Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Nguyen Ngoc Thien (middle), Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism receives the UNESCO status from Michael Croft, head of office and UNESCO representative to Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Under the program, a series of activities will be implemented to promote and popularize the values of the heritage.

Following the ceremony, 400 artisans and singers from nine central provinces joined an art performance highlighting the establishment and development of Bai Choi singing.

The decision to recognize the Vietnamese form of art was made during a meeting of the UNESCO in December 7, 2017.

Bai Choi performances at the ceremony. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Bai Choi performances at the ceremony. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Bai Choi is a diverse art combining music, poetry, acting, painting and literature. It takes two main forms including Bai Choi games and Bai Choi performances.

Bai Choi games involve a card game played in bamboo huts during the Lunar New Year, while in Bai Choi performances, male and female artists perform on a rattan mat.

The art of Bai Choi is an important form of culture and recreation within village communities in Vietnam.

Bai Choi performances at the ceremony. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Bai Choi performances at the ceremony. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A musical performance at the event. Photo: Tuoi Tre
A musical performance at the event. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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Duy Khang / Tuoi Tre News

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