Hoa Binh Province Gong Festival witnessed a special performance of 1,400 artisans and actors. Following the conclusion of the performance, the event was recognized and by the Vietnam Guinness Book of Records Center.
With its spiritual sounds, gong troupes made everyone, even the first visitor to the province, dazed and thrilled.
According to the deputy head of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Do Van Hanh, gongs are preserved as a heirloom for every generation in various ethnic Muong villages. Every melodious cadence of the gong is played by ethnic Muong descendants with their pride, patriotism and inheritance of traditional culture.
A complete orchestra of the Muong people consists of 12 gongs with three groups: the Dam, Bong and Tlé. Besides their musical significance, a gong orchestra symbolizes the 12 months of the year.
Muong ethnic people consider the sound of gong as the voice of the people. Gongs are therefore an indispensable element in the ceremonial events of Muong families. The ethnic minority wants to use the sounds of gong as a language to communicate with the earth, land, spirits, and ancestors and pray for their happiness and prosperity.
On the sidelines of the first Hoa Binh Province Gong Festival, there were many other activities such as tourism promotion conference, socioeconomic achievement exhibition, food culture camp, workshop on the preservation and promotion of Muong minority’s gong culture in Hoa Binh province, Muong fashion performance, fireworks, and gong parade with the participation of artisans from Hanoi, Phu Tho, Son La, Thanh Hoa, Gia Lai, and Dak Lak.
Although organized for the first time, the festival left a deep impression on the local people and tourists. The occasion glorified and promoted the cultural heritage of the gong – recognized a special cultural heritage of humankind. At the same time, the event created a chance for artisans to exchange views and increase the gong’s cultural value in every locality. It also aimed to introduce to the world the Vietnamese people and image as well as tourism potential of the country’s mountainous areas. Hoa Binh Province is now seeking an approval from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to recognize the Muong ethnic gongs as a national masterpiece of cultural heritage.