Family of ‘Xam’ artists uphold traditional folk art

Late artist Ha Thi Cau is remembered as an advocate for the Vietnamese folk singing genre ‘Xam’. Now that she has passed away, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren continue to uphold the art form to fulfil her wish of nurturing and promoting ‘Xam’.



Lai Thuy Duong, great-granddaughter of late ‘Xam’ artist Ha Thi Cau, is only four years old. She doesn’t know how to read or write but can sing ‘Xam’ songs quite well. She and her grandmother Nguyen Thi Man, the daughter of Ha Thi Cau, sang together on an online platform not that long ago.

Man used to think she wouldn’t pursue a singing career, as her mother had done, but her mother’s singing gradually convinced her to do so. She has now become an advocate of ‘Xam’ singing. Apart from practicing, she has also inspired her own children and grandchildren to uphold the traditional art form.

Man’s family has established the Ha Thi Cau ‘Xam’ singing club, which organises three classes a week to pass down ‘Xam’ songs written and performed by Ha Thi Cau to family members and local children. According to Man, this is not just a hobby but also a mission for the family.

Once on the brink of oblivion, ‘Xam’ singing has been gradually returning to popularity thanks to the relentless efforts of its many artists. Audiences can now see people of all ages performing ‘Xam’ songs, from little kids like four-year-old Lai Thuy Duong to older artists like Nguyen Thi Man. Expectations are high that the art form will become broadly popular yet again./.