Located in a vast preserved landscape full of nature and biodiversity, the Pu Luong Nature Reserve in northern Vietnam is home to a diverse range of ethnic minorities. The Thai ethnic group, for example, accounts for 90% of the local inhabitants. This group has a deep-rooted history in the area, which provides an interesting insight into its mountain way of life and culture.
Last April, a cultural exchange and a folk games festival were organized in Pu Luong, highlighting the Thai ethnic culture to visitors as part of the development, restoration, and conservation of the folk game service in community-based tourism.
With support from the neighboring communes, the one-day event attracted around 800 participants from 11 villages within the communes, including teachers, students, visitors, and local tour groups. Activities at the event included performances of traditional Thai songs and dances, including solo performances such as Khen Ra and gong playing.
In addition, 11 teams were formed from the 11 local villages to compete in traditional folk games as part of the festivities. Visitors to Pu Luong and the event had the opportunity to participate and experience the local culture first-hand.
The event also featured an exhibition with stalls of local and traditional products such as fabrics, bags, brocade-woven towels, home appliances, traditional labor tools made from bamboo and rattan, and agricultural produce such as vegetables and fruit.
The festival was organized by the People’s Committee of Co Lung Commune, with support from GRET through the Empowering Minority Women For The Sustainable Management Of Nature Reserves Project. GRET has been present in the community with the aim of improving ethnic minorities’ living conditions and economic empowerment, especially for women. It is also working to ensure sustainable forest management in the core and buffer zones of the Pu Luong Nature Reserve. GRET and its local partners, including Ba Thuoc District People’s Committee and the Pu Luong Nature Reserve Management Board, with funding support from the Audemars Piguet Foundation and the RAJA Foundation, are conducting the project.
Watch the video for highlights from this special event.