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Minorities: keeping the culture gonging (May 11, 2005)

The Central highlands province of Dak Nong plans to spend VND500mil – 1bil purchasing as many as 300 sets of gongs for local ethnic minority groups to help preserve their traditional cultural heritage.

The province has also taken measures to restore and promote the culture of gongs among local ethnic minority groups. Efforts have included gong courses for young ethnic people, providing financial support for hamlets and villages to set up gong orchestras, and regularly organising gong culture contests.

In recent years, Dak Nong has seen a lack of interest in gongs, with numbers falling from 2,000 to just a few hundred sets. Due to poverty, many local ethnic households have sold gongs for as little as VND5-10mil or bartered gongs for rice. Many hamlets now have no gongs left.

Reprinted from VietNamNet


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