Exhibition on traditional ‘Then’ singing opens in Tuyen Quang
Update: Sep 30, 2015
An exhibition on the traditional ‘Then’ singing of the Tay, Nung and Thai ethnic minority groups officially opened in the northern mountainous province of Tuyen Quang on September 24.

The event is part of the 5th National Festival celebrating ‘Then’ singing which is currently being held in the province from September 24-26.

On display at the exhibition are thousands of artefacts, paintings, photographs, and products on Tinh instrumental music of ethnic minority groups in 13 provinces including Tuyen Quang, Bac Giang, Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Dak Lak, Dien Bien, Ha Giang, Lai Chau, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Quang Ninh, Son La, and Thai Nguyen.

The event aims to promote the traditional art to people nationwide and is part of efforts to preserve the folk singing.

The festival is expected to offer a chance for ‘Then’ singers across the country to share their experiences in conserving and upholding the values of the unique art form.

Tuyen Quang province is home to 64 ‘Then’ singing clubs with nearly 1,000 local participants.

There are two types of ‘Then’ singing: ‘Then ky yen’ (praying for good things) and ‘Then le hoi’ (Then festival). The first is performed at rituals while the latter form is performed to bring cheer and drive away sorrow and hardship sometimes experienced in life; it is normally used in rituals to pray for good seasons, when moving into a new home, or ‘cap sac’ (coming-of-age).

The style of singing is traditionally accompanied by a handmade gourd lute called ‘Dan Tinh’ - the soul and backbone of the music.