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    Xoe Dance in the Northwest, Viet Nam

    Vietnam’s northwestern region is endowed with beautiful landscape and a traditional dance called Xoe. Xoe dance of the Thái ethnic group is also a language to express human feelings. Xoe dancing plays a significant role in the lives of the Thai ethnic community in the four northwestern provinces of Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La and Yen Bai. It depicts the daily lives of the country’s Thai ethnic people and shows their wish for a peaceful and prosperous life.Visit Vienam's northwestern region , you will have a great chance enjoy a traditional Thai dance performance of Thái ethnic young girls with unique dance which bearing deep of charming and graceful dances.

    Xoe Dance in the Northwest, Viet Nam
    Xoe is the common name of different dances including “Xòe chá”, “Xòe ồng bổng”, “xòe kiếm”, “xòe đánh máng”, etc. All of those dances are originated from labor and production activities as well as daily living practices of local people. For example, the dance “Xòe ồng bổng” is an ancient dance of Thai ethnic group in Mai Chau with simple movements in which people holding hands and dancing around a big fire to celebrate the fruits of after a hunting day. You will easily find out that the main characteristics of this dance are the performers wear their casual costumes and there is no instrument, just the singing of Thai ethnic people and the cheering sounds when they enjoy simple but strong, fun and liberal movements

    Xoe Dance in the Northwest, Viet Nam
    According to the legend of the Thai people in the northwest, in the 10th century, Lac Truong, the chief of the Muong Lo area (in Yen Bai Province today), led the villagers to Muong So area (in Phong Tho District, Lai Chau Province today) to reclaim land for farming and building their hamlets. It was the place where the Xoe dance of the Thai people in the northwest originated. Initially, the Xoe dance was performed by the boys and girls in the hamlets, who held hands to form a circle and danced together. The musical instruments for the dance included gourd lutes, drums, two-chord fiddles, gongs and cymbals. 

    Lo Thi Doi, a veteran dancer in Vang Pheo village, says the Xoe dance troupe there was established long ago: “The Xoe dance of the White Thai ethnic group is passed down from our ancestors. When I was small, I saw my grandparents dance. Xoe dance is performed during festivals and other happy occasions and is an essential part of local life”.

    Nowadays, it has been named in the government’s intangible heritage list to be submitted to UNESCO in the 2012-2016 period. The dance is hoped to receive UNESCO recognition in 2019. UNESCO recognition is expected to elevate the position of the Thai people’s Xoe dance to national and international levels, thus promoting Vietnamese traditional arts and the world’s cultural diversity. And in Vietnam’s northwestern region, every hamlet now has Xoe dance troupes to serve community activities, art events and tourism. Women, young and old alike, who are engaged in farm work and weaving, sway attractively in their Xoe dance.
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    Item Reviewed: Xoe Dance in the Northwest, Viet Nam Rating: 5 Reviewed By: ThuyHang
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