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“Quan ho” folk singing contest opens

Almost 200 artists, both amateurs and professional, are competing at the 22nd “Quan ho” (love duets) folk singing contest in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

The two-day event, which opened on Feb. 1, drew the largest number of participants.

The contest aims to preserve and revive the valuable, ancient art of “Quan ho” (love duet) singing that was recognised by UNESCO as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage in 2009.

Quan ho singing is an art form originating in Bac Ninh province, which combines various elements, including music, lyrics, costumes and a unique style of singing that reflects the close relationship between the singers. The rich and diverse tunes and fine lyrics of the songs portray the zest for life and distinctive cultural features of people in the region formerly called Kinh Bac.

The contest preceded the popular Lim Festival which is held every spring at the Lim Pagoda in Bac Ninh province, which is dedicated to “Quan ho” creator, Hieu Trung Hau.

The festival is expected to set a national record for the greatest number of people wearing traditional Quan ho costumes and singing “Quan ho” at a time, according to Deputy General Secretary of the Association of Bac Ninh Quan Ho Singing Fans Vu Hong Duong.

About 3,000 people from provincial Quan Ho clubs are expected to participate in making the national record. (Source: VNA)


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