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VietNamNews

Songs for everyday things

Update: July, 05/2015 - 12:00

Musicians who perform on the streets are singing about things that affect people in their every day lives.

Videos of such songs are filmed at ice tea stalls and shown on YouTube.

Songs they sing are about many issues, including young women giving up their babies to brave ethnic people protecting their forests.

Sing it loud: Xam Tra Da (Iced Tea Busking) is a creative way of discussing news using a unique Vietnamese traditional art form.
Sing it loud: Xam Tra Da (Iced Tea Busking) is a creative way of discussing news using a unique Vietnamese traditional art form. - Photo daidoanket.vn

HA NOI  (VNS) — Vietnamese traditional musical language, xam or busking, has been used for the very first time to communicate social issues in a music video entitled Xam Tra Da (Iced Tea Busking).

The special video was released on June 21, which coincided with the 90th anniversary of Viet Nam's Revolutionary Press Day.

The nearly nine-minute-long video has been produced by Xam Ha Thanh, a group of buskers in Ha Noi. It is also the first product that will launch the upcoming musical project entitled Tinh Hoa Nhac Viet (Vietnamese Musical Quintessence).

"Xam, the music of blind street performers from the old days, has always been a means to express feelings and emotions. Buskers have been able to compose or extemporise songs about current affairs that the communities where they are living are concerned about," musician Nguyen Quang Long, who is also the initiator of the project, said.

"We want to continue to promote the strength of busking and contribute to raising the voice of the masses on contemporary social affairs."

Xam Tra Da is a potpourri of four main songs – Tam Tri An, Dan Lang Tu Lo Giu Rung, Bo Con Bo Vo and May Bay Roi – all of which have been cleverly connected in a story told by special reporters who are also buskers. The contents of the songs refer to social events trending on television, newspapers and the Internet.

The video begins with the scene of a young man (played by singer Nguyen Shan) riding a motorbike along familiar streets around Sword Lake. He stops at an iced tea stall.

There he meets two friends (played by singers Quang Long and Khuong Cuong) and has a chat about hot current issues, including the behaviour of the youth when the free water park opened early this summer, the bravery of Bahnar ethnic people in the central Gia Lai Province in protecting their forests, the rising numbers of young mothers who are abandoning their newborns and also airline safety.

Explaining the title of the music video, Long said the iced tea stall has become a distinctive image of Ha Noi and also a popular rendezvous point for Hanoians during their free time.

The topics discussed at the stalls are also as current as broadcasted in any official channel. This was the inspiration for the video being named Iced Tea Busking.

"Xam Tra Da is being broadcast mainly via YouTube, a public channel where people can freely share information with each other. We producers plan to cover news about traffic, currently a hot issue, in the next episode of Xam Tra Da, which is expected to be finished in the next two months," Long said.

"We hope to create a fresh and lively image of modern xam, so that it is closer to life and somehow meets the present demands for entertainment. Everyone can see several interesting features hidden in our traditional arts." — VNS

GLOSSARY

Vietnamese traditional musical language, xam or busking, has been used for the very first time to communicate social issues in a music video entitled Xam Tra Da (Iced Tea Busking).

Busking happens when musicians perform their music out on the streets in the hope that passing people will pay them money.

Social issues are things that affect people, especially in the way they live with one another.

"Buskers have been able to compose or extemporise songs about current affairs that the communities where they are living are concerned about," musician Nguyen Quang Long, who is also the initiator of the project, said.

To compose a song means to create one.

To extemporise a song means to make one up without first preparing to do so.

Current affairs are important things that are happening at the moment, such as what you hear in the news.

Somebody who starts something, like a project, is an initiator.

"We want to continue to promote the strength of busking and contribute to raising the voice of the masses on contemporary social affairs."

Contemporary social affairs are things that affect people, especially in the way they live with one another, at the moment. Events in history and events in the future are not part of current affairs.

Xam Tra Da is a potpourri of four main songs – Tam Tri An, Dan Lang Tu Lo Giu Rung, Bo Con Bo Vo and May Bay Roi – all of which have been cleverly connected in a story told by special reporters who are also buskers.

A potpourri means a mixture of things.

Explaining the title of the music video, Long said the iced tea stall has become a distinctive image of Ha Noi and also a popular rendezvous point for Hanoians during their free time.

The ice tea stall is a distinctive image of Ha Noi because it is iconic. When people see it, they think of Ha Noi.

A rendezvous point is a place where people meet.

This was the inspiration for the video being named Iced Tea Busking.

Things that are inspiring make you want to be creative and go out and make something positive.

"We producers plan to cover news about traffic, currently a hot issue, in the next episode of Xam Tra Da, which is expected to be finished in the next two months," Long said.

If a production is made in a series, each of the shows that make it up is an episode.

WORKSHEET

Find words that mean the following in the Word Search:

1. A public channel where videos are screened.

2. A refreshing drink that can be served iced or hot.

3. The vehicle on which Nguyen Shan rides around Sword Lake in the video.

4. The season when a free water park opened.

5 Ethnic people who live in the central Gia Lai Province

 

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© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2015

































1. YouTube; 2. tea; 3. motorbike; 4. summer; 5. Bahnar.

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