Muong gong players celebrate
have they gong: A troupe of gong players of Muong
ethnicity attend the spring festival in Ngoc Lac District
of the central province of Thanh Hoa. — VNA/VNS Photo
BINH — Boong, bing, boong.
sound in the mountains as the Muong ethnic minority in the
northern mountainous province of Hoa Binh celebrate the spring
Muong organise troupes of performers who sing folk songs and
beat their gongs. The troupes travel from village to village,
visiting families to wish them a happy new year.
troupe has between eight and 20 members. The lead singer typically
walks at the head of the group, while two or three others
carrying large gongs walk behind him. Four or five other performers
follow, carrying smaller gongs. Bringing up the rear are two
men carrying bags of rice and cakes.
in front of a stilt house, as family members and neighbours
gather around, the singer begins to sing a song to praise
the spring arrives,
troupe visits your house.
see the large columns,
cattle crowded in your yard...
he sings the praises of the family’s gardens and wishes for
a prosperous new year, good weather, and happiness for every
family members often sing in response to the troupe. Sitting
around a large wine jar, the family members and the troupe
drink ruou can (wine drunk through a bamboo straw).
They continue to sing folk songs in response to one another.
the family thanks the troupe and presents the performers gifts
of rice and cakes. The artists thank the family and walk to
visit another family.
village has different songs, so each troupe’s style and repertoire
is different. — VNS