“A huge knowledge treasure” about Xu Lang’s cultural heritages
(LSO) – That is the “nickname” that people working in the cultural field love giving to Dr. Hoang Van Pao, born in 1957, Chairman of the Provincial Cultural Heritage Association, Xu Lang’s folk culture researcher.
Arriving at Hoang Thanh village, Hoang Dong commune, Lang Son city on a late winter afternoon, we had the opportunity to visit the family of Dr. Hoang Van Pao – who devoted his life to researching Lang Son’s cultural heritages. Entering his working place, we were overwhelmed by the archives of his books, most of which were his devoted research. Dr. Hoang Van Pao shared that he is a Tay person, born and brought up in Ban Chu village, Hung Dao commune, Binh Gia district. From his young age, he was very fond of and often learned about the homeland’s traditional customs, folk songs, costumes and so on. Then, cultural heritage has become a source of inspiration, urging him to learn and research.
After graduating from high school, in 1977, he studied at the Faculty of History, Hanoi General University. From 1981 to his retirement (2016), he worked at Department of Culture – Information (now the Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism) and in Van Lang district with many different positions. In which, in the 2005 – 2008 period, he held the position of the Secretary of the District Party Committee, Chairman of Van Lang District People’s Committee, in the 2008 – 2016 period, he was the Director of the Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism. From 2016 to now, he is the Chairman of Lang Son Cultural Heritage Association.
During his work, Dr. Hoang Van Pao made many great contributions to the conservation and promotion of the provincial cultural heritage capital. He has produced more than 20 studies on cultural heritages with high scientific value. Typically, he participated and directed the compilation of the book: Lang Son Chorography (1999), Tay people’s Lau Then in Van Quan (1999), Ban Chu long tong Festival, Hung Dao commune, Binh Gia district (2002), folk games and performances of Xu Lang’s Tay people (2008); the role of Then and Then singing in Tay people’s cultural and spiritual life in Lang Son province (2012); Binh Gia – tradition and culture (2013) and so on.
Dr. Hoang Van Pao researched documents serving the study of Lang Son cultural heritages
From 2016 up to now, as the Chairman of Lang Son Cultural Heritage Association, he has led the association to work orderly, admit more and more members and gain many important achievements. Specifically, the association has helped the City Division of Culture and Information to successfully organize a scientific workshop on restoring the Pac Moong communal house, Quang Lac commune; develop plans and organize conferences to train the management, protection and promotion of monuments value in the province and so forth.
Dr. Hoang Van Pao added that to have today’s achievements, he has well combined the leadership and the passion of researching Xu Lang’s cultural heritages. Besides, he also actively goes to grassroots, down to each village, understand reality, eat and work with the people, artisans, then he has authentic experiences to serve the scientific research. In particular, he always researches and absorbs famous scientists’ theories and research directions. To do this, he has to read a lot of books, many times each day he reads from 5 to 10 books.
Talking about the contributions as a researcher, Dr. Hoang Van Pao to the province’s cultural industry, Mr. Nguyen Phuc Ha, Director of the Provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism affirmed that Dr. Hoang Van Pao has made a great contribution to the field of cultural heritages in particular and the culture and tourism sector in general. He is a senior, having in-depth knowledge, dedicated to his work and close to grassroots. His studies have helped clarify the value of many historical relics, types of tangible and intangible heritages in the province, thereby helping us to have a foundation to well perform conservation and promotion.
With his contributions in the research, conservation and promotion of cultural heritage values, Dr. Hoang Van Pao has received many certificates of merit and commemorative medals from the province and the central government such as Third Class Labor Medal ( 2016), a commemorative medal for the cultural heritage cause from the President of the Vietnam Cultural Heritage Association (2018), Certificate of Merit from the Chairman of the Provincial People’s Committee (2019) and so on.