Google Doodle celebrates Vietnamese folk opera

The Hanoitimes - Google has changed its logo to the image of cai luong folk opera performance.


Google Doodle today [September 28] celebrates cai luong, a style of modern folk opera in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, in observance of Vietnam Stage Day, an annual celebration of Vietnam’s rich theatrical history.

 Google’s logo is the image of cai luong folk opera performance.

A blend of traditional and contemporary influences, the cai luong combines singing with spoken drama to create a vibrant expression of Vietnamese culture and identity.

Literally translated as “reformed theater,” the form evolved from the royal singing called hat boi at the turn of the 20th century. On the background music played by an orchestra containing traditional Vietnamese instruments like the dan tranh or “six-string zither”, cai luong brings to life a wide range of stories, from ancient legends of monarchs and warriors to explorations of modern Vietnamese social themes. 

While the subject material may vary, one common element is the signature melancholic song structure called vong co, or “nostalgia for the past.”

One of the most iconic folk opera productions is Tieng Trong Me Linh, or “The Drum Sound of Me Linh”. The historical play tells the  story of Trung Trac and Trung Nhi, two sisters who  led the fight for Vietnamese independence from the Chinese Han Dynasty in the 1st century. A classic of the artform, “Tieng Trong Me Linh” has been staged by many of Vietnam’s top folk opera performers since it firstly debuted in 1977.

Over a century after its birth, cai luong is still enjoyed today as one of the uniquely Vietnamese art-forms and a vital link to the country’s history.