Vietnam receives UNESCO papers for traditional music

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UNESCO officially handed over papers recognizing two Vietnamese musical traditions as world heritage items Friday.

Ca tru a complex form of sung poetry using lyrics written in traditional Vietnamese poetic forms and quan ho Bac Ninh folk singing from the northern province of Bac Ninh, had been recognized last year as pieces of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Ca tru is in urgent need of protection, said UNESCO Vietnam office chief Katherine Muller Marin as she presented the official certificates.

She said Vietnamese authorities should now ask themselves what's next because the certificates only matter so long as the songs continue to inspire new generations.

Also at the ceremony, Hoang Tuan Anh, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced a national action program to protect quan ho and ca tru.

The program is expected to raise the public's understanding of the music and create chances for artists in the field to perform more often throughout Vietnam, and overseas.

During the period, special benefits will be given to talented artists in the field, and those devoted to protecting and promoting the singing. They will be honored with People's Artist or Excellent Artist titles, Anh said.

The ministry has also planned more cultural programs to promote the two art forms and also to include teaching of the songs at art schools, junior high and high schools.

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