Historical Space of Gong Culture: In December 2018 cultural heritage experts from VICAS and elsewhere will lead a series of workshops on building a community museum inside the village’s nha rong (a communal house where gatherings and ceremonies take place). A community fund will be set up with Project support to help cover costs related to sourcing objects and curating the museum. The objective of this initiative is to support the community towards more regular participation and increased visibility of gong-related cultural practices.

Community Dialogue: Following a capacity-building session to enable Mo H’ra villagers to better make use and benefit from their gong musical heritage, the group will engaege  delegates from the provincial and communal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism (with the meeting facilitated by VICAS experts) to strengthen the support for heritage-related community activities.

Heritage Trail: An initiative implemented by VIRI – a Vietnam-based NGO with expertise in community-based, cultural tourism – this activity develops and delivers locally-appropriate soft skills training and provides basic facilities in Mo H’ra village towards engendering sustainable tourism activities in the locality. The ultimate goal is to improve villagers’ livelihoods through direct participation in and application of their musical heritage.

Photo Voice Club for children and training of key persons in community festival organisation: In partnership with VICAS, the Photo Voice Club for children at the Kong Long Klong Primary School in Gia Lai province was organised. This club activity offered local children an opportunity to learn to use the camera, to observe the practice of heritage music and other cultural heritage in their village, and to express their understanding, appreciation, and interest in the community heritage through their photography. The club attracted 21 children, of which 9 are girls. After learning the techniques and methods with a photography instructor and participating in other club activities, the children were given cameras to work on their own photography projects. Their photos were selected and presented at the community festival in February 2020.

At the same time, 19 key persons from the Kong Long Klong commune were given training on how to organise local festival. This was part of the preparation for the Kong Long Klong community festival in February 2020. 

Community heritage festival in Gia Lai: In Feb 2020, VICAS together with the communities and authorities of Kông Lơng Khơng commune of K’bang district organised a community heritage festival. K’bang is the home district of Mơ H’ra, where VICAS have worked with the communities on multiple activities focusing on heritage space building, training in community heritage management and festival organisation, and where VIRI has supported local community with heritage tourism development. Prior to this festival, in the second half of 2019, 19 key persons (7 female, 12 male) from the Kong Long Klong commune were given training on how to organise local festival. The festival was originally planned to take place at the communal building that house the community heritage exhibition. The preparation process lasted several months, and the final location was decided to be at the district sport field to accommodate a large number of attendants. 

The festival took place for a full day on 1 Feb. Around 20 government officials from Kong Long Khong commune and K’bang district authorities, and close to 2,000 people from local communities. Festival programme featured the community gong performance ritual and an exhibition put together by the children Photo Voice club documenting community cultural heritage. Other activities are fun and game, food and drink and local souvenirs. 

The community museum project. Photo: Cao Trung Vinh
The community museum project. Photo: Cao Trung Vinh
The community museum project. Photo: Nguyen Duc Tang
Outside the traditional nhà rông and community museum. Photo: Nguyen Duc Tang