Soong hao rhythms bridge Tay ethnic couples closer

When talking about love duets, many people think of Quan Ho, a sweet folk music originating in Bac Ninh province. However, let’s go on a tour a few hundred miles to the North to listen to another type of love-duet by Nung ethnic people in Bac Giang province. Their folk singing is locally called Soong hao.


Soong hao songs are performed with no background music, simply the pure voices of the Nung men and women. They are often sung during gatherings, the Lunar New Year festival and the full-moon day every month. Once in the mood, they can sing from early dawn till sunset. From these sessions, many people have found their partners.

Nung ethnic people have always considered Soong hao singing an indispensable part of their culture. In order to uphold the art form as a way to promote Nung ethnic culture, Son Dong district’s government holds a Soong hao singing contest in spring every year.

Given fast-paced social development, preserving traditional values, especially those of ethnic groups, is challenging. With frequent Soong hao singing contests and clubs, local authorities and the people of Son Dong district, Bac Giang province are showing their determination to preserve the traditional culture of the Nung ethnic people./.