Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 9.COM 10.46

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Viet Nam has nominated Ví and Giặm folk songs of Nghệ Tĩnh (No. 01008) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

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.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List:

R.1:   Passed down from generation to generation among communities in Nghệ Tĩnh, the Ví and Giặm songs occupy an important position in their cultural and spiritual life, reflecting their cultural identity and expressing their way of thinking and feeling;

R.2:   Inscription of the element on the Representative List could contribute to promoting awareness of the intangible cultural heritage through an increased attention to folk songs; it could encourage tolerance and empathy between different ethnic groups and communities as well as dialogue among performers of different music styles;

R.3:   A series of safeguarding measures including raising awareness, education and promotion are proposed with the financial support of the State and local authorities, and aim to ensure the viability of the practice, indicating the will and commitment both of the authorities and of the communities to safeguard it;

R.4:   With the support of local authorities, numerous community members, practitioners, specialized institutions and experts participated in the preparation of the nomination file, and the communities provided their free, prior and informed consent;

R.5:   With the participation of relevant communities, the element was included in 2012 by the Viet Nam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage maintained by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

  1. Inscribes Ví and Giặm folk songs of Nghệ Tĩnh on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Recalls the importance of using vocabulary appropriate to the spirit of the Convention and avoiding expressions such as ‘authentic’.