|Members of the Đông Thạnh Amateur Singing Club perform during a show. VNS File Photo|Viet Nam News
They come from all walks of life: farmers, food vendors, professional singers, and more. Their goal: preserving the traditional art of cải lương (renovated theatre) in Việt Nam.
The 18 members of the Đông Thạnh Amateur Singing Club live in Đông Thạnh Commune in Bình Minh Town in the Mekong Delta province of Vĩnh Long.
Most of the proceeds from the club’s shows at festivals and parties are contributed to a fund which provides money to poor families to build or repair houses.
Several poor residents in the commune say the club has also donated either rice or money to pay for their relatives’ medical treatments.
Thanh Văn Tặng, deputy chairman of the club, says earnings from performances have been used to build 15 new houses and purchase wooden house pillars for 45 poor families.
Established in 1994, the club hosts performances not only in Đông Thạnh Commune and other districts in Vĩnh Long Province, but also in other provinces.
For its contributions to amateur singing and preservation of traditional music, the club was honored at the first National Amateur Singing Festival held in Bạc Liêu Province in 2014.
Nguyễn Minh Giang, deputy chairman of Đông Thạnh Commune’s People’s Committee, said the club had been instrumental in promoting cultural activities and helping poor families build new homes. VNS