“The art of Xoe Thai” was honored by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It’s a pride and inspiration of the Thai and other ethnic groups to further promote Xoe Thai in the contemporary life.

At a ceremony to to honor Xoe Thai dance on September 19 in Son La province, performances by Thai people refreshed the folk art and cultural values of the Thai people in the northwestern region.

Luong Pham Mai Phuong, a Thai woman in Son La province, said, “I’m proud to join the Xoe Festival and celebrate UNESCO’s recognition of Xoe Thai as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. I’ll try to preserve the traditional art and promote it to many more people.”

Xoe Thai is a folk dance genre with movements representing human activities, which is performed at religious events and festivals. The Thai say that “Without Xoe, flowers can’t bloom, people aren’t happy, a boy and a girl can’t become a couple, and rice and corn can’t grow.”

Luong Chua of Yen Chau district, said Thai of all ages love Xoe dancing, which makes their daily life and festivals happier and more joyful. 

“Xoe is a good tradition of the Thai. In the old times it was born from community solidarity and bonding. The Xoe circle represents cohesion. There are 6 original Xoe dances. We’re proud that the UNESCO recognized Xoe Thai as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.” 

Son La province has preserved many old Xoe dances such as Xoe inviting liquor, Xoe advancing and withdrawing, Xoe with scarves, Xoe clapping hands, and Xoe with rings.

Xoe dances have been taught to all the staff of administrative agencies in Son La province to perform at community events and cultural exchanges.

Tran Xuan Viet, Deputy Director of the Son La provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, said preserving and promoting the culture of ethnic groups is an urgent and long-term task.

“We’ll encourage art troupes to replicate their models and promote Xoe Thai dance at cultural exchanges and in daily activities. The community will further promote the art,” Viet said. 

UNESCO’s recognition of Xoe Thai is the pride of ethnic groups in the northwestern region and gives them a duty to promote it in the contemporary life. Son La province will open Xoe Thai classes and honor Xoe artists.