Viet Nam News
ĐIỆN BIÊN — Authorities in the northern mountainous province of Điện Biên will implement a plan to promote the recognition of xòe Thai dance as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
The provincial People’s Committee recently sent a document to the Government, the National Commission for UNESCO Việt Nam, the National Cultural Heritage Council and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) to show their determination to follow an assignment by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on seeking the title of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity for xòe dance of the province’s Thai ethnic people.
In the document, the authority stated that after consulting cultural experts about the artistic value of xòe Thai dance, the People’s Committee pledged to embark on the construction of a national profile for the dance.
Xòe Thai art is a unique type of traditional dance that is associated with and plays a significant role in Thai communities in the northwest of Việt Nam, especially in the provinces of Lai Châu, Điện Biên, Sơn La and Yên Bái.
It depicts the daily lives of Thai ethnic people in Việt Nam and shows their wish for a peaceful and prosperous life.
Comprising about 30 different dances in total, xòe Thái is usually performed during community cultural festivals, funerals and cultural exchanges.
The dance has been developed, protected and handed down through generations intact over hundreds of years in many different forms including xòe quạt (xòe dance with a fan), xòe khăn (xòe dance with a scarf), xòe nón (xòe dance with a conical hat) and many others with contents reflecting community activities and expressing the Thai people’s emotion and ancestral spirits.
With gentle and alluring rhythms, dancers usually form a circle around a festive flame and move to the sound of melodic traditional music.
The elegant dance has been named on the Government’s intangible heritage list to be submitted to UNESCO in the 2012-16 period. The provinces hoped the dance will receive UNESCO recognition this year.
The UNESCO title is expected to elevate the position of the dance to national and international levels, thus promoting Vietnamese traditional arts and cultural diversity. — VNS