Ha Noi: Viet Nam’s ethnic day returns to show cultural diversity
Update: Apr 06, 2018
About 30 ethnic minority groups from across Viet Nam will show off their distinctive culture at Viet Nam’s Ethnic Culture Day which is slated for April 19-22 in Ha Noi, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.  

A ritual at the Xang Khan festival of the Thai ethnic minority people

Some 270 people from the ethnic minority groups will stage traditional festivals and worship rituals at the Culture and Tourism Villages of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups in Son Tay district, 45km west of Ha Noi’s centre.

A highlight of these activities will be a cultural night on April 19 to honour the country’s rich cultural diversity, while the event will also host different festivals for ethnic communities from three regions – Khmer Krom from the southern part of Viet Nam and others from the northwest and the Central Highlands.

The cultural day of the Khmer people will recreate the Chol Chnam Thmay, the Khmer New Year festival and feature “Du Ke”, a style of musical theatre created by the Khmer people in Viet Nam in the early 1920s. 

Du Ke originated from workers in the Mekong Delta. In the early days, it was performed on land, under a simple roof. Actors were peasants turning into kings, queens and ogresses. The singing drama uses poetry based on Indian epics, for example, Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Some accounts say Du ke originated in Tra Vinh province in 1921 by someone called Son Kuu, while others credit a person called Ly Kon in Soc Trang. But in general, it is the product of the creativity of the Khmer people on either bank of the Ba Sac River.

On the cultural day of ethnic minority people from the northwest, the Thai ethnic group in Nghe An will recreate their Xang Khan festival that aims to remind people to do good things for themselves, their families and the community. There will be a series of cooking demonstrations of traditional dishes by Tay (Thai Nguyen), Dao (Hanoi), Mong (Ha Giang), Muong (Hoa Binh), Kho Mu (Dien Bien) and Thai (Son La) people.

The Gia Rai ethnic people from the Central Highlands will perform their traditional rain-making ritual which is practiced in April-May every year to pray for rain and bumper crops while traditional music of the region will also be played during the event.

Viet Nam’s Ethnic Culture Day 2018 will be the 10th edition, so workshops and exhibitions will be held to celebrate the anniversary.