Promoting Lang Son’s cultural heritage values amidst integration
(LSO) – Through upheavals of the history, Lang Son province has still preserved its cultural heritage, which is a great resource for local tourism development, and a firm foundation for its integration and development efforts.
Lang Son is blesses with many beautiful sites like To Thi Mount, Tam Thanh Pagoda, Bac Son Valley and Mau Son Mount. The locality is home to many ethnic groups, including Tay and Nung people who make up 80 percent of the local population, Kinh, Dao and Hoa. These factors have created special cultural values for the northern mountainous province.
During the cause of integration, the cultural heritage values have been serving as potential and major resources for local socio-economic development. Therefore, to preserve, enrich and promote the cultural heritage in combination with local potential and strength, the provincial Party Committee and People’s Committee have urged departments and agencies to pay more attention to the preservation work in tandem with socio-economic development.
An art performance of a local folk song club in the first Then singing and Tinh gourd lute festival for clubs in Lang Son in 2019.
It is noteworthy that on August 31, 2016, the standing board of the Party Committee issued Resolution No. 25-NQ/TU on preserving and promoting cultural heritage values of Lang Son during the 2016-2020 period and the subsequent years.
In implementing the resolution, the local culture, sport and tourism sector has conducted research, collected and systematized relevant documents, and proposed conservation solutions.
Statistics show that since 2010, the sector has listed 1,117 relic sites and places of religions and belief, selected 335 relic sites to submit them to the Chairperson of the People’s Committee for approval, and compiled scientific dossiers on 19 relic sites, increasing the total of the sites recognised from 107 to 126 (including one special national relic site, 27 national and 98 provincial).
Over the past decade, the province has carried out 161 times of upgrade and restoration of local relic sites, with accumulative costs amounting to over 190 billion VND.
Hoang Minh Thao, head of Lang Son city’s culture-information bureau, said the city is home to 109 relic sites, including 13 national and seven provincial.
Since 2010, the municipal People’s Committee restored more than 60 relic sites with a funding of more than 50 billion VND, she added.
Besides tangible culture heritages, attention has also been paid to preserving intangible ones and bringing into full play their value. From 2011 to 2018, the
province’s culture, sports and tourism sector made 3,273 accounting cards of intangible cultural heritages in 226 communes, wards and towns in the locality; collected and taken more than 3,000 photos featuring social practices of ethnic groups, folk knowledge, festivals, and culinary culture.
As many as 11 projects related to research, collection and conservation of intangible cultural heritages were implemented with a total budget of 2.2 billion VND.
The sector also organises over 30 training courses every year to teach folk songs, attracting about 2,000 participants.
With tireless efforts, Lang Son has had eight heritages recognised as the national intangible cultural ones. On August 27, 2019, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued Decision No. 2966/QD-BVHTTDL recognising the Sli singing of the Nung ethnic people as a national intangible cultural heritage.
Notably, the locality has three artisans recognised as People’s Artist and 18 others, elite artists in the field of intangible culture. This shows efforts by all sectors and the people in conserving and promoting the value of cultural heritages.
In order to preserve and promote the value of cultural heritages in the integration period, provincial authorities have also paid heed to enhancing cultural diplomacy with regional countries and Guang Xi province of China with diverse forms, such as organising exchanges to learn of traditonal culture and history of the ethnic minority community; events to share experiences in tourism, management, training and art performance; and cultural-sport activities.
These activities have helped improve the cultural and spiritual life for local people, and build Lang Son as a land with diverse and unique cultural identity.
Thanks to these efforts, the number of tourists to Lang Son is increasing. In the last five years (2014 – 2018), Lang Son welcomed an average of over 2 million visitors per year, with an annual growth rate of 5.3 percent in the period.
The locality has welcomed over 2.4 million visitors so far this year, up 11.2 percent year-on-year.
Director of the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Phuc Ha said the sector will coordinate with relevant agencies in preserving and promoting cultural heritages of local ethnic groups, while restoring forms of intangible culture and calling for the participation of all sectors and people in the work.