Coming from the Masters: In conjunction with our project partners from VICAS and the Cham Cultural Centre, we helped set up classes for traditional Cham musical instruments (ginang and paranung drums, and saranai flute) in Binh Nghia and Bau Truc villages (one class in each village). Inaugurated in mid-October 2018, the classes run every weekend with up to 15 local schoolaged children in each class, led by Cham master musicians. 

Heritage Verité: A series of workshops are delivered in November 2018 by VICAS and independent community film-making experts for children in Binh Nghia village. Once participants familiarised with basic film-making techniques they will be asked to film community interactions with their music heritage in an everyday context, in all its unscripted actions, dialogues and happenings. Woven together by the children using innovative editing suites, the footage provides a vividly detailed picture of how traditional Cham music lives on in the very places where it originated and in the process, empowering a marginalised group normally without the opportunity to have its voice heard. 

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 Bau Truc village towards engendering sustainable tourism activities in the locality. The ultimate goal is to improve villagers’ livelihoods through direct participation and application of their musical heritage. 

Community/Policy Dialogue: The culmination of these activities will be a full day’s community/policy dialogue in Phan Rang city (Ninh Thuan) in January 2019. Members of various Cham villages will engage delegates from the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism on ways to strengthen support for heritage-related activities in the community. The event will also feature performances from students of Binh Nghia and Bau Truc Cham music classes, as well as a screening of the final film from the Heritage Verité workshops. 

Master musician Lai Lau, Binh Nghia village, Ninh Thuan   ©

Le Xuan Phong