Ví and Giặm folk songs of Nghệ Tĩnh


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Inscribed in 2014 (9.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© 2013 Institut de la Culture et des Arts du Viêt Nam [2013]

Ví and Giặm songs are sung by a wide range of communities in Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh Provinces of north-central Viet Nam. Specific songs are sung without instrumental accompaniment while people cultivate rice in the fields, row boats, make conical hats or lull children to sleep. Ví and Giặm lyrics use the specific dialect and linguistic idioms of the Nghệ Tĩnh region and practitioners sing with the particular singing voice of Nghệ Tĩnh people. Many of the songs focus on key values and virtues including respect for parents, loyalty, care and devotion, the importance of honesty and a good heart in the maintenance of village customs and traditions. Singing provides people with a chance to ease hardship while working, to relieve sorrow in their lives, to express feelings of sentiment between men and women, and to exchange feelings of love between unmarried boys and girls. Today Ví and Giặm are commonly performed at community cultural events and are sung by artists in theatres. Ví and Giặm are transmitted, preserved and promoted by master practitioners; and local performances and folk singing festivals provide opportunities for Ví and Giặm groups in villages and schools to transmit and practise the songs.