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Vietnam’s Nghe Tinh Vi-Giam folk singing was officially recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity at the 9th session of its Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Paris on November 27.

This type of folk singing is popular in nearly 260 villages in the central provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh. The two provinces have 51 singing clubs with over 800 vocalists, many of whom are actively preserving the folk music.

Vi - Giam folk singing - World Culture Heritage in Vietnam
The Vietnam delegation at the session (source: VOV)

Vi-Giam folk music, estimated to have 15 tunes of Vi and 8 airs of Giam, is a repartee sung while working. It reflects the work, cultural life and feelings of the residents in the central coastal provinces.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Dang Thi Bich Lien said the recognition of Vi-Dam as a cultural masterpiece of humanity is of great significance to Vietnam since the folk genre plays an important role in bringing the local community together.

The country committed to implementing an action programme to preserve Vi-Giam singing, carrying out policies to honour artisans, and intensifying communication campaigns to educate young generations on this type of art.
Vi - Giam folk singing - World Culture Heritage in Vietnam
A Vi - Giam singing performance (Source: Nghe An news paper)
Talking to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Paris, Permanent Vice Chairman of Ha Tinh provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thien and Vice Chairwoman of Nghe An provincial People’s Committee Dinh Thi Le Thanh expressed their pride of their localities’ folk singing becoming part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage treasure.

They also acknowledged the responsibility for and the necessity of building specific measures to preserve the heritage value, thus helping promote the cultural identity and boost sustainable development of the two provinces.
 
Vi - Giam folk singing - World Culture Heritage in Vietnam
Vi Giam singing
Vi-Dam became the ninth Vietnamese cultural practice wining UNESCO’s intangible heritage status. The other eight practices recognised by UNESCO are Hue's royal court music, Gong space culture in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), the northern province of Bac Ninh's love duet singing, the Giong festival, Ca Tru ceremonial singing, Xoan singing, Don Ca Tai Tu music and the worship of Hung Kings.

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