Da Nang moves to pervade unique value of Bai choi singing

NDO – ‘Bai choi’ singing - a popular folklore style of singing in the central and south central regions of Vietnam was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2017. The acknowledgement motivated localities in the regions and Da Nang city in particular to make plans and programmes to safeguard and pervade the folk art form’s unique value in the community.


Over the past three months, secondary students at Huynh Ba Chanh, Le Loi, Nguyen Binh Khiem and Tran Dai Nghia schools are eager to attend bimonthly classes on Bai choi singing, during which they receive instruction from artists and artisans from Dda Nang city’s Association of Stage Artists.

The participating students to the classes not only learn the basic knowledge on the history, origin and value of Bai choi but also practice typical melodies of the art form, including Xang xe, Xuan nu, and Nam xuan.

Ngo Quoc An, a sixth grader from Le Loi Secondary School, is one of four male students attending the class. He said that he has been a part of the the class since its opening, and every day he spent at the class is full of excitement.

As a member of his class’s art club, An recalled that the first time he enjoyed a Bai choi performance when he was on Rong (Dragon) bridge during a sightseeing trip with his parents. He was attracted by the performance, during which the performers recited poplar folk verses and proverbs.

When he learnt about Bai choi at the class, he developed further interest in the charm and uniqueness of the art form.

Sharing a similar atmosphere of excitement, Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, a musical teacher and head teacher of the Bai choi class at Le Loi School, said that her class receives enthusiastic support and appreciation of students and parents alike.

“Spending time at the class not only generates a fresh source of energy among teachers, artists and student but also helps us appreciate the value of Bai choi singing,” Thuy stated.

She expressed her hope that the value of Bai choi will be further promoted among the public, and such classes will attract more students in Da Nang and other provinces.

The classes at Huynh Ba Chanh and Le Loi schools take place under the instruction of Meritorious Artist, Director Trinh Cong Son, who is also head of the Bai choi folk singing club under the Da Nang city’s Association of State Artists,and his wife – artisan Tran Thi My Le.

Son said that he has seen a lot of passion and effort from students attending the classes, which have cultivated happiness for him and his wife. As Bai choi was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, he stressed the need to fuel love for the art form among young generation.

Da Nang city’s cultural sector has exerted great effort to preserve and promote the cultural value of Bai choi singing, and bring the art form into the life of the city dwellers.

Accordingly, Bai choi singing clubs in the city have been established and rearranged to ensure their effective and regular operation. Training courses and classes on Bai choi are also launched in many districts and schools. Resultantly, many Bai choi singing performances have been staged at local festivals and students’ music and art fests in the city.

Huynh Van Hung, Director of the Da Nang city Department of Culture and Sports, revealed that a plan on preserving and promoting the value of Bai choi heritage has been promoted, aiming to foster cultural and artistic activities in districts, raise the responsibility and awareness of artists, stage artisans, relevant sectors in safeguarding and upholding the art form.

Accordingly, the department calls for the writing of new lyrics for Bai choi songs while providing support on props and costumes for members of outstanding Bai choi clubs, and organising a Bai choi folk singing festival for students.

A Bai choi art programme has been also staged at Da Nang Street Festival on the eastern bank of Han River and at Da Nang museum to introduce the unique art form to locals and visitors.