Lan Lan

Festival bangs loud gong sound in Gia Lai Province

Festival bangs loud gong sound in Gia Lai Province

The value of gong culture, a distinctive feature of the Central Highlands region and a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity by UNESCO since 2005, was highlighted at a festival held in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai on November 16.

Gong is a distinctive feature of the Central Highlands region. (Photo: tintaynguyen.com)

The festival was organised as part of the efforts to preserve and promote the Central Highlands gong culture.

More than 500 gong artisans from 16 art troupes in the province attended the event and delivered gong dancing, folk singing and traditional musical performances.

The Central Highlands, which comprises the five provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Lam Dong, Gia Lai and Kon Tum, is home to stunning landscapes and diverse ethnic minorities and cultures.

Gongs are not only musical instruments but also serve cultural functions for about 20 ethnic minorities in the region. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. “Cong” has a nipple and produces a single and uniform sound while “chieng” is flat and offers a wider range of notes. Different sizes are characterised by family names: mother, father, and older sister. Gongs can be played by hand or with a stick.

It is believed that every gong hides a god or goddess who grows more powerful as the gong ages. Every family possesses at least one gong, which indicates the family’s wealth, authority and prestige