‘Then’ practice recognized as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Human
16:37 | 13/12/2019

VGP  – Viet Nam's Then singing has been added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, announced the Cultural Heritage Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on December 13.

 The Vietnamese delegation at the 14th annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

The decision was made during the 14th meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Columbia on December 12 (local time).

Then is a practice singing in the spiritual life of the Tay, Nung and Thai ethnic minorities in Viet Nam, reflecting concepts about human beings, nature and the universe.

Then ceremonies describe a journey in which the Master controls ghost soldiers travelling from earth to heaven to present items of worship and prayers for peace, good crops, health, etc.

During the practice, the Then Master sings and plays a tính lute, wearing ceremonial dress. 

Then is always transmitted orally while the rituals are conducted, reflecting its succession across the generations.

The two ethic minority groups often live in villages in highland mountainous provinces in northern Viet Nam such as Bac Giang, Bac Kan,Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Lang Son, Quang Ninh ,Thai Nguyen, Tuyen Quang, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Lao Cai.

UNESCO’s recognition to the practice of Then has reaffirmed the cultural diversity of ethnic groups in Viet Nam, and encouraged dialogues between individuals, community and nations towards tolerance, love and humanity.

The 14th annual meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is taking take place from December 9 to 14 in the Colombian capital of Bogotá.

By Vien Nhu

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