Authorities seek UNESCO recognition for Dong Ho painting
Update: Jun 29, 2018
Authorities in northern Bac Ninh Province are planning to compile a dossier on the Vietnamese folk art of Dong Ho painting in a bid to secure UNESCO recognition.  

Artisan Nguyen Dang Che finishes a Dong Ho painting called Ca Chep Trong Trang (Moonlight Carp)

The proposal of the People’s Committee of Bac Ninh to compile the dossier to gain UNESCO recognition as an intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding has been ratified by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has been tasked to collaborate with related organisations to finish the dossier before it is submitted to the provincial People’s Committee for approval.

The effort to secure UNESCO recognition of Dong Ho painting as an intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding is expected to have a significant impact in the preservation and promotion of Vietnamese traditional values as well as in improving communities’ awareness in the protection of such values.

Viet Nam currently has 12 cultural elements inscribed in the UNESCO-recognised list of intangible cultural heritages, including Nha Nhac (Vietnamese Royal Music), Space of gong culture, Quan Ho Bac Ninh folk songs, and ca tru singing, as well as the Giong Festival, Worship of Hung Kings, the art of Don Ca Tai Tu music and folk songs, and the Vi and Giam folk songs of Nghe Tinh. Tugging rituals and games, practices related to Vietnamese belief in Mother Goddesses, Xoan singing, and the art of Bai Choi singing have also been recognised by the UNESCO.

Dong Ho painting originated in Dong Ho Village in the Thuan Thanh District of the northern province of Bac Ninh. For centuries, the paintings were used as precious decorations to celebrate the Tet festival. People bought the paintings to hang on their walls for a year, which are then replaced with new ones for the next New Year.

Dong Ho painting was inscribed in the list of national intangible cultural heritages by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in December 2012.