by Phuong Mai
Awakening interest in lullabies
At a time when music genres like pop and hip hop music are holding sway over the nation's youth, promoting traditional forms of music is a tough task.
But there are some forms of music that never tail to tug at the heart, irrespective of age.
The evidence is hundreds of people in the capital of city of Ha Noi, especially the youth, gathering at the Dong Xuan Market at 8 pm every Saturday to listen to traditional Vietnamese lullabies.
The Viet Nam Music Art Development Centre began organising the show a month ago to promote lullabies and encourage more and more people to sing them.
Lullabies sung by ethnic minorities like the Muong people those that come under different styles of traditional music like quan ho and ca tru are also presented in the performances.
Singer Xuan Quynh said her strong point is ru un, a traditional lullaby of the Muong people, which is performed with the Muong traditional musical instrument ong oi.
She can sing the song in both the Muong and Vietnamese languages, Quynh said.
Twenty-year-old Nguyen Van Anh from Hai Phong was walking around the night market one day when she heard the sweet melodies.
She has since become "addicted" to the music and visits the market every week to hear the lullabies.
"I have also recorded them in my cell phone to listen later," Anh said.
Composer Thao Giang, the centre's deputy manager, said they were surprised that the show attracted so many people, especially young people.
He said the centre would hold a seminar on lullabies in September and invite experts like singer To Vu, composers Lu Nhat Vu and Le Giang and music teacher Pham Minh Khang to speak at the event.
Think Viet Nam, think Pho
Philip Kotler, considered the "Father of Marketing", said during a visit to Viet Nam that the country could use its cuisine as its most special characteristic when introducing itself to the world.
The Viet Nam Record Book Centre (Vietkings) has apparently taken this advice to heart.
It has launched a "Journey to Promote Vietnamese cuisine and Specialities" through a search for national records in cuisine.
The dishes will be submitted to the Asia Book of Records and Guinness Book of World Records in order to introduce them to the world.
Le Tran Truong An, general director of Vietkings, said given the uniqueness of several Vietnamese dishes and the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine, it was one of the most important factors attracting foreign tourists to Viet Nam.
Vietkings has sent a list of 15 dishes that are unique to Viet Nam to the Asia Book of Records.
The list includes pho (beef or chicken noodle soup) and goi cuon (salad roll with shrimp and pork) which were ranked among the world's most delicious food by the CNN, com tam (broken rice), bun bo Hue (Hue beef noodle soup), and more.
An said becoming an Asian record would garner additional popularity for Vietnamese cuisine through the regional organisation's website, books and television programmes.
The centre would continue the programme and introduce more Vietnamese dishes to Asia and the world, An added. — VNS