Vietnam to seek UNESCO status for Central Highland's epic poems

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The Central Highland's province of Dak Lak is planning to seek UNESCO world cultural heritage recognition for the epic poetry of ethnic minority groups in the Central Highlands.

The epic poems have been passed on orally through the generations, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Saturday.

Y Wai Byă, head of the Dak Lak's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the department is preparing its application to UNESCO.

According to the department's latest survey, Dak Lak province is the place of origin of at least 189 epic poems by three ethnic communities: the E De, Ja Rai and M'nong.

Epic poems have played an important role in the cultural lives of Central Highland's people for centuries. They usually tell stories of strong and admirable heroes in the mythology of local communities.

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Based on the history and cultural values of these poems, some experts believe that the Central Higland's epic poems, which were not studied by academics until the 19th century, were born around the 16th century and preserved orally.

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