The cultural space of gongs in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam was introduced in the 2014 Paris Tropical Carnival, which took place at Leon Blum square, Paris on July 5.
A gong team of the Ba Na ethnic minority group from the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum brought to the event the deep and strong sounds of gongs and vigorous dances of Ba Na girls, giving the audience a glimpse into the ancient hunting-gathering traditions and the cultural environment of ethnic groups in the region, which is the cradle for gongs.
The cultural space of gongs was recognised as a Masterpiece of the Oral and an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005. Tran Thi Binh, Deputy Director of the Kon Tum’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism said the set of gongs played at the event was made 300 years ago, and the artists themselves are local farmers who practice gong whenever they have free time, in order to perform at their village’s festivals.
The gong artists helped brought the image of a modern Viet Nam with rich traditions and culture, said Duong Chi Dung, the Vietnamese Ambassador to France.
Organised in July every year in the French capital since 2002, the Carnival aims to honour the cultural diversity of immigrant communities in the country.
This year’s event attracted 4,000 performers from nearly 40 art troupes across the world. Participants and local people joined together in a procession along a 4.5-km stretch of road in Paris.