Throughout the Central Highlands of Viet Nam, Gong ensembles are part of various ceremonies and closely linked to the communities’ daily life and the cycle of the seasons. The instruments, measuring 25 to 80 centimetres, are played by men as well as women.
The main goal of this project is to safeguard the space of gong culture in one province of the Central Highlands of Viet Nam, Dak Nong Province. This project has been designed to develop a network of gong practitioners and enthusiasts and to support preservation and promotion of the Central Highland’s gong performance tradition in the actual cultural context where it was born and has been maintained in social life until today. The project will directly benefit the artisans, artists, the devoted people and caretakers who have greatly contributed to the safeguarding of the gong heritage, but will also benefit the broader Vietnamese people. By mobilizing all potential sectors from society, the project seeks to provide the foundations for transmitting the skills of playing and especially of tuning gongs to young generations, and to promote awareness of the significance of intangible cultural heritage not only at the local level, but also at the national level. It will include a systematic inventory of the practitioners of gong tuning and performance and establish a policy of recognition and valorization of older master artists.
The project’s goals are to:
- safeguard gong culture in the present social situation in which modernization and globalization are rapidly occurring, and young people’s aesthetic taste has increasingly been deflected from traditional heritage;
- assist ICH custodians and practitioners in their efforts to safeguard and transmit this heritage to future generations and to target young audiences and potential performers;
- raise the awareness of young people in the local community of the important role they should have locally and nationally in Vietnamese society at large by ensuring the conservation and transmission of the know–how of gong tuning and performing ;
- identify best practices in implementing the 2003 Convention on the Safeguarding of the ICH , in respect of community involvement.