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The ethnic minority kids who play gongs

The ethnic minority kids who play gongs

Saturday, October 05, 2013, 09:36 GMT+7

A team of Co Tu ethnic minority kids in central Quang Nam province have followed their predecessors’ footsteps and taken on the long-standing art of playing “cong chieng” (gongs) professionally in performances and festivals.

At the Bhohoong tourist village in Dong Giang district, a team of little boys and girls playing gongs and Co Tu minority’s hallmark traditional dance “da da, tan tung” has been a household name though the team has recently been found.

The kids’ performances are always a draw to both locals and foreigners. They have taken part in a number of local major events, including the 2013 Quang Nam Festival in June.

The team was first formed with only a few members and had to perform together with adult artists. With her insatiable passion for traditional arts, particularly “da da” dances, Bh’ling Thi Xiec came up with the idea of forming a team of kid gong performers.

Xiec taught her own kids how to play the gongs and dance. Seeing that the kids were enthusiastic about playing the instruments and dancing, the village’s patriarch decided to assign Xiec with gathering and teaching the local kids.

According to Xiec, the team has 12 members, the oldest is 12 years old and the youngest, at only 6, is the most photographed one. The team practice on a weekly basis and are equipped with all kits, including the instruments and “tho cam” (Vietnamese brocade) performing outfits.

According to Bh’riu Nhu, a local official, locals really treasure their signature traditional art and wish to preserve and showcase them to tourists. This necessitates imparting the arts to the next generation.

“I’m really proud performing our traditional dances and do relish the attention we have received,” young Briu Ly shared.

“Thanks to the group, Cotu cultural fests have become considerably more appealing and dynamic. We’ll try to develop the model in other localities,” said a local culture expert.

Tuoi Tre


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