Xoan singing, which is in a list of 23 cultural heritages that needs urgent protection and preservation under the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, is a folk cultural product of Phu Tho province.
The last point of time that Xoan accompany still sang in communal houses of the villages in spring was in 1945. Fortunately, we still had an opportunity to meet singers and instrumentalist who used to sing in the Xoan accompany in the old days when we conducted to investigate, study on Xoan singing in the late August.
It can be said that Xoan singing is still engraved in the memory of folk artists who up to now canperform it in the communal house whenever having the festival. Previously, the Xoan singing belonged to four villages, An Thai, Thet, Phu Duc and Kim Đai of Hac Tri district, Phu Tho province. After the innovation, An Thai village belongs to Phuong Lau, Viet Tri city, and Thet, Phu Duc and Kim Dai villages belong to Kim Duc, Phù Ninh district, Phu Tho province. According to folk artists, of those four villages, the singing style of Xoan accompany of An Thái village is similar to that of Thet village and Phu Duc village similar to Kim Dai. However, it is the difference of order of repertoire, words and thenumber of dancer, etc, that also creates the own style of each village.
In 1998, together with the establishment of the club of Xoan singing in Kim Duc communes and An Thai village, Phuong Lau commune brought about new vitality for Xoan singing. The generation of elderly folk artists in the old days always tried their best to hand down offspring compositions in the old style of singing in the activity of Club. On the last August 18th, People’s Committee of Kim Duc commune opened a festival of Xoan singing competition to rise up the passion and pride of villagers to the special art of the locality. When we coming, villagers of each Xoan village were actively practicing and perfecting compositions to be able to found Xoan accompany of each village according to the policy of the Department of Culture and Information of Phu Tho province. The concern of authority and enthusiastic contribution of the villagers are good news of art of Xoan singing in today’s life.
Nowadays, most tourists join tours in Vietnam because they want to learn more about the traditions and cultures of the country in general and each ethnic minority in particular. Therefore, preserving traditional cultural heritages as Xoan singing helps Vietnam promote its image to the world and attract more tourists in Vietnam tourism in the near future.