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Chau van singing to be recognised as heritage

A dossier gathering scientific research on chau van, a traditional singing style of Vietnamese people in the northern province of Nam Dinh, will be recognised as a national intangible heritage.

Once approved by the Prime Minister, it will be submitted to UNESCO to be recognised as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Humanity.

Chau van is a kind of spiritual singing accompanying the hau dong (mediumship) ritual of the Mother Goddesses religion. It's popular throughout the country, but Nam Dinh Province is considered its birthplace.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Culture, Nam Dinh Province owns 287 vestiges relating to the Mother Goddesses religion, with 470 people participating in the rituals: 246 mediums, 245 cung van (chau van singers) and 162 musical instrumentalists.

The folk performance art was created during the Tran dynasty (1225-1400) and became popular at festivals and rituals. It was performed at temples and pagodas as people believed that it was a useful way to connect to the Mother Goddesses and other gods.

Mediums dance to the melody of chau van singing to honour the gods. (Source: VNS)

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