Not only teaching performing skills of a traditional form of music and preserving ancient gongs, the most important gong preservation is to restore a space for gong performance – a living land of this precious traditional heritage.
“If the state does not organize the festival, we do not have many opportunities to perform gongs. Each year, we only listen for gong sound for several times that make use miss it very much,” said Ylon me, a member of gong art troupe from Kosier village, Buon Ma Thuot city.
During the recent four-day festival, together with four other members from the art troupe, Ylon nie went to perform gongs form the center of the city to villages, tourist areas and seminars.
Being asked whether he was tired or not when performing a lot, he said playing gongs would forget tiredness. Staying at home, he did not have chance to listen to gong sound. He explained that gongs were only played during worshipping and festivals. However, several festivals have no longer existed so gongs are not played much. Now, gongs are only played during funerals.
Therefore, authorities proposed effective measures to preserve gongs. Together with policies to encourage people to keep gongs, not selling, provinces also bought gongs and delivered to villages. Cultural workers and managers organized courses to teach how to play gongs and festivals at district and province levels to preserve and promote this valuable traditional culture.
Therefore, now, there are many young gong art troupes in the Central Highlands. According to a report from Dak Lak province, there are 200 gong art troupes including young people and teenagers in the province. Several 15 or 16 year-old boys who have recently learn how to play gongs for months were be confident to perform gongs at the first international gong festival.
At a seminar on the preservation of gongs held in Buon Ma Thuot city on November 23rd, Prof. PhD To Ngoc Thanh said that encouraging old artisans, training young people, keeping ancient gongs and buying new gongs for ethnic minority group were remarkable efforts made by authorities in localities in the preservation and promotion of cultural space for gongs. He said he believed that with the determination of managers, researchers and scientists, and love of ethnic people for gongs, cultural space for gongs was expected to be completely restored.
Following are photos about the Central Highlands gongs festival:
BTA (According to Nhan Dan Newspaper)