The diversity of Central Highlands’ cultures is expressed through the treasure of speaking literatures, gong culture and tradition festivals. Through these features, we will know more about the Central Highlands - a culture based on the development of farming.
Space of Gong culture
The space of gong culture is an outstanding cultural feature of Central Highlands in Vietnam. It spreads in five provinces: KonTum, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai and Lam Dong. The attraction of gong culture is not only the good performances but also the variety of techniques. It has been considered as the symbol of cultural diversity for values it brings about such as value of ethinic groups, multi-dimensional reflection value, material value, and historical value.
On November 15th, 2015, UNESCO recognized the space of gong culture as the masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of mankind. This event is significantly important for local people in the Central Highlands in Vietnam, making them proud of the diverse and unique culture of the country.
Space of gong culture is a masterpiece of intangible culture in Vietnam
Gong is also a symbol of culture in Vietnam, and is mainly used in many festivals in Central Highlands. It is considered as a means of communication between local people and the Gods or nature. When babies were born, the sound of gongs gave them the first expressions of the culture. As they grow up, they use gongs in their weddings and construction. In the end, gongs are used to see off the dead. Gongs have brought sacred things to people's lives, making people feel like they are living in a noble and fanciful place. Whenever tourists hear the sound of gongs, they will remember the characters of indigeous people, their lifestyles and the ways they do for a living. Moreover, the sound of gongs is a way of expressing romance which is the origin of excellent epics in Vietnam.
Central Highlands’ Epics
Besides the gong culture, Central Highlands is also well known for its Epics in Vietnam. Central Highlands’ Epics are developed based on local cultures, folk arts and myths. The myth illustrates ancient people’s perception of the world and life, and is related to the custom.
Central Highlands in Vietnam is a home to many epic’s authors, so it’s often called “Epic area” by scientists. Since the first epic “Khan Dam San” of Ede group was published in 1927, there have been more than 20 epics up to now. Central Highlands’ epic is the spiritual value, so it is often performed in many community activities.
Mtao Mxay is a character in Khan Dam San Epic
One of the most outstanding features of Central Highlands’ culture is traditional festivals. There are many festivals in Central Highlands in Vietnam such as water offerings which are also known as drinking water drops at the end or beginning of a year, eating new meals which means closing the warehouse in the harvest season, weddings and longevity ceremonies. Each funny and interesting festival is a way for local people to show their traditional lifestyles and agricultural features.
A wedding ceremony in Central Highlands
It can be said that the traditional festival of the Central Highlands is one of important and traditional festivals in Vietnam and the only thing in which all the quintessence of tangible and intangible cultures are shown. When participating in each festival, people will hear the sound of gongs, enjoy the wine yeasts and try unique clothes which only exist in Central Highlands in Vietnam.
The cultural features of Central Highlands are the symbol of ethnic minorities in Vietnam. So, preserving and developing the culture are necessary and proper.
Tags: cultures in Vietnam, central highlands in Vietnam, gong culture, traditional festivals in Vietnam, epics in Vietnam, ethnic minorities in Vietnam, Tay Nguyen Vietnam, cultural preservation