The South Vietnam, the land rich in culture and tradition, is always an attractive destination for almost tourists, especially those who want to discover and learn about Vietnamese diverse traditional culture. This land is famous for numerous rivers, fertile huge rice fields, meandering narrow canals, lush orchards and colorful floating markets. These striking natural features make the Mekong Delta own a vast diversity of culture – all is very simple, rustic and brings striking features of water regions. In a Mekong Delta tour, it will be a big shortcoming if you don’t spend time enjoying a folk music performance or listening to a folk song of Don Ca Tai Tu (đờn ca tài tử), a unique type of traditional music of the South Vietnam.
A performance of Don Ca Tai Tu
Don Ca Tai Tu is recognized by UNESCO as The World Intangible Cultural Heritage and is one of a few traditional music types which has maintained till today and broaden to a large area. It was born in the South Vietnam in the eand of 19th century and now expand to all 21 Southern provinces, including 12 provinces of the Mekong Delta Rỉver.
Don Ca Tai Tu was a harmonious combination between ceremonial music (nhạc lễ), classical theater and folk song (hát bội) from the central and the south of Vietnam. Its name means literally “music and song of amateurs” and shows that it is a music for scholars and music lovers at all levels of the society.
The attractive thing of Don Ca Tai Tu is its simplicity and rusticity
A Don Ca Tai Tu performance needs a lot of instruments including moon-shaped lute (kim), two-stringed fiddle (co), 16-string zither (tranh), pear-shaped lute (ty ba), percussion (song lang), monochord (bau) and bamboo flute (sao). Singers (also known as “ca nương” or “tài tử”) can be anyone, at all levels of society. Each different singer has a different way to show the song. They bring their own thoughts, feelings and tone of voice into the original songs, creating stories about rustic and simple daily life of local people.
Singers can be anyone at all levels in society
The attractive thing of this music is its simplicity and deep expression of rural life. It does not require an elaborated stage, or even a formal theater but anywhere, any conditions and any circumstances. That partly explains why this traditional music can easily win the heart of far-distanced guests.
Enjoy Don Ca Tai Tu when traveling on canals throughout southwestern region
Don Ca Tai Tu is an indispensable part in spiritual and cultural life of the locals in South Vietnam. It is performed in many traditional festivals of the whole region. For tourists, enjoying this unique music when traveling on canals throughout southwestern region is a memorable experience in your lifetime.