UNESCO recognizes songs from Vietnam's Nghe Tinh region

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A performance of Vi and Giam folk songs of Nghe Tinh. Photo credit: Nghe An Online A performance of Vi and Giam folk songs of Nghe Tinh. Photo credit: Nghe An Online

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Ví and Giặm folk songs from Nghệ Tĩnh have been declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The announcement came during the ninth session of the organization’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage at UNESCO headquarters in Paris between November 24 and 28.
Ví and Giặm songs are performed by communities in the north-central province of Nghe Tinh, which has been divided into Nghe An and Ha Tinh.
The songs were once sung acapella by famers working their fields, boatmen rowing down rivers, or craftsmen making conical hats.
Ví and Giặm lyrics use the specific dialect and linguistic idioms of the Nghệ Tĩnh region.
Songs focus on key values and virtues including respect for parents, loyalty, care and devotion, and the importance of honesty and a good heart.
Singing provides people with a chance to ease hardship while working, to relieve sorrow in their lives and to express romantic love.
Today Ví and Giặm are commonly performed at community cultural events and are by artists in theatres.
Ví and Giặm are transmitted, preserved and promoted by master practitioners and local performers at folk song festivals.
According to the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Ví and Giặm satisfies five criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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