Bạc Liêu to host festival to promote tài tử music

August 12, 2022 - 08:50
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bạc Liêu said it will host the Dạ Cổ Hoài Lang Festival in November to promote tài tử music and tourism in the province.
SOUTHERN MUSIC: Bạc Liêu Province will host the Dạ Cổ Hoài Lang Festival in November to promote folk music. VNA/VNS Photo by Thanh Sử

BẠC LIÊU — The culture authority of the Mekong Delta province of Bạc Liêu has said it will host a music festival in November to promote folk music and tourism in the province.

The festival is named after the vọng cổ (nostalgic tune) song Dạ Cổ Hoài Lang (Night Drumbeats for the Absent Husband), which was composed by Cao Văn Lầu, guru of cải lương (reformed opera) in 1919.

Dạ Cổ Hoài Lang tells of the love, anguish and pride of a young woman who awaits her husband’s return from the battlefield as she listens to the sounds of war drums.

It was known as the first vọng cổ song, which quickly became popular across southern Việt Nam.

Vọng cổ songs are sung by southern farmers after working in the fields. The songs, which feature the feelings, dreams and hopes of people, are often used in cải lương (reformed opera).

Dạ Cổ Hoài Lang has been performed by generations of singers. Its title is also used in a cải lương play, drama and movie, in which the song is used to highlight nostalgia.

Phạm Văn Thiều, chairman of the province’s People’s Committee, emphasised that the festival will be Bạc Liêu’s most important event in 2022.

He added that the event will promote the province’s tourism, its people and land to more and more visitors in Việt Nam and from other countries.

The highlight of the event will be a tài tử (southern folk) music competition which is expected to attract hundreds of professional and amateur artists from Mekong Delta provinces and other southern provinces and cities.

The festival will feature cultural and tourism promotion activities such as an art camp and a photo and painting exhibition reflecting the socio-economic achievements of the province since its re-establishment 25 years ago.

The event will also include a conference on investment promotion and a fair to introduce and promote trade for the province’s OCOP (one commune one product) produce.

The Dạ Cổ Hoài Lang Festival will take place from November 27-29 at the Musician Cao Văn Lầu Memorial Site.

MEKONG DELTA CULTURE: A statue of a two-stringed guitar at the Hùng Vương Square in Bạc Liêu City, Bạc Liêu Province. VNA/VNS Photo by Chanh Đa

In addition, Bạc Liêu has introduced its tourism logo featuring images of đàn kìm (two-stringed guitar) and three pieces of nón lá (conical hat).

While đàn kìm aims to honour tài tử music, which was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2013, and the guru of cải lương Cao Văn Lầu, the three conical hats represent the three largest ethic groups in the province -- the Vietnamese, Khmer and Hoa.

Its tourism motto is “Bạc Liêu - Hội Tụ Bản Sắc Văn Hóa Phương Nam” (Bạc Liêu - Southern Cultural Convergence) to highlight its cultural diversity. — VNS