Xoe Thai is a unique type of traditional dance that is associated with and plays a significant role in the daily life of Thai ethnic communities in the northwest of Vietnam, especially in the provinces of Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La and Yen Bai. It is performed in various community activities, from festivals to funeral rituals.
There are about 30 Xoe dances, which have been developed, protected and handed down through generations intact over hundreds of years, including xoe quat (xoe dance with a fan), xoe khan (xoe dance with a scarf), xoe non (xoe dance with a conical hat) and many others with contents reflecting community activities and expressing the Thai people’s emotion. With gentle and alluring rhythms, dancers usually form a circle around a festive fire and move to the sound of melodic traditional music.
According to Tran Xuan Viet, Deputy Director of provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the art of Xoe Thai dance of the Thai ethnic people contributes to developing tourism and economic growth as well as enhancing the relationship with other ethnic groups in and outside the province.
The practice of traditional Xoe dances is still a major cultural activity in Thai ethnic villages, meeting entertainment demand for all generations. In community cultural activities, Xoe dance plays a key role and is an indispensable spiritual product in the Thai community life, Viet said, adding that the art of Xoe dance has been handed down among generations and community members.
Vice Chairwoman of the Son La Provincial People’s Committee Trang Thi Xuan emphasised that the accreditation is not only the pride of the Thai community but also of ethnic groups in the province.
Son La will focus on making Xoe Thai a highlight at destinations, serving community-based tourism, he said.
The province will strengthen the collection, research and promotion of tangible and intangible cultural values in Thai ethnic culture in general, and Xoe dance in particular, Xuan added.