Fri, 15 Aug 2014. Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:47
This is an annual activity of Ha Giang Province for panpipe artists in Dong Van Karst Plateau to meet, exchange, and bring great performances to audiences. It also aims to introduce tourists traditional values and culture of Vietnamese ethnic minority in mountainous areas, contributing to conserving unique cultural features, especially Khen or panpipe art and developing tourism. Panpipe is a Vietnamese traditional musical instrument similar to a wooden sound box having six, twelve, or fourteen bamboo tubes. Khen is very popular among ethnic groups, particularly in Thai, Muong and H’mong people.
This year festival will gather represented artists from 19 communes and towns in Dong Van District and other districts in Ha Giang Province. The festival will feature competitions of playing Khen; performances of ethnic dances; folk games such as climbing tree, walking on the rope, smashing the ball, and cockfighting; traditional music shows; and fashion shows displaying indeginous ethnic costumes. All programs are expected to create a festive atmosphere vibrant and attractive.
Taking part in the festival, tourists will have the opportunity to enjoy special dishes imbued with highland’s flavor such as thang co and men men. Thang co is a dish made from horse meat, including almost all the offal like intestines, livers, and kidneys. The meat and offal are cut into small pieces and mixed with special species, then simmered with water over a fire for a long time. Men men is a dish made from rice and corn. It tastes slightly sweet thanks to the flavor of corn. Two dishes are very popular among H’mong people.
In addition, from August 30th to September 2nd, Dong Van District will also hold a fair themed “bringing Vietnamese products to mountainous areas”. According to the statistics from the Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, in the first six months of 2014, Ha Giang tourism has welcomed over 317,000 visitors, increasing 32% compared to that of the same period in 2013. The total revenue from tourism has reached over 256 billion VND. Khen Mong Festival is expected to create a highlight to attract tourists to Ha Giang in the last 6 months of 2014.
Khen or panpipe is a unique long-standing musical instrument that is indispensible in cultural activities and spiritual life of H’mong people. Especially, khen is also considered as instrument for a boyfriend to send a love song to his girlfriend on special occasions. Nowadays, khen of Hmong ethnic has become a unique tourism product in Ha Giang. It is sold in markets, exhibitions, and fairs.