Revitalizing the beauty of ethnic minority culture, a momentum for tourism in Binh Thuan

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has just agreed to let Binh Thuan province host the 2023 National Tourism Year. This event is considered as a milestone, creating a new impetus for Binh Thuan tourism, especially contributing to the preservation of ethnic culture in minority areas.
Revitalizing the beauty of ethnic minority culture, a momentum for tourism in Binh Thuan

Kate festival of Cham ethnic people in Binh Thuan. (Source: Law Plus Newspaper)

Restoration of many gorgeous festivals

There are few places like Binh Thuan, tourist destinations with unique landscapes and cultures are present in every locality in the province, especially concentrated in areas with many ethnic minorities.

Typically, among these is the Kate festival of the Cham people, one of the typical cultural festivals of Binh Thuan that attracts tourists. The Ramuvan festival of the Cham ethnic Ba Ni religion, makes visitors who once set foot especially interested and look forward to coming back to visit and experience the culture associated with the life of the ethnic communities in the Coastal Central South.

It is known that the Cham ethnic people in Binh Thuan have about 40,000 people, which is the ethnic minority community with the largest population, concentrated and mixed in districts of Tuy Phong, Bac Binh, Ham Thuan Bac, Tanh Linh, Ham Thuan Nam, and Ham Tan.

In order to contribute to preserving and promoting cultural values, promoting tourism development, and improving the lives of people, especially in ethnic minority areas, in recent years, Binh Thuan has restored and refreshed many local festivals.

In 1999, the Nghinh Ong festival of the Cantonese people in Phan Thiet at Quan De Temple, Duc Nghia Ward, Phan Thiet City organized the restoration after nearly 70 years of non-implementation, and the event received unanimous response from the Cantonese people in the locality and neighboring provinces. Since then, the festival has been held every two years.

In particular, the Kate Festival of the Cham people at the monument of Po Sah Inu Tower was restored in 2005 after nearly 50 years of no celebration. Since then, every year, the Relic Management Board of Binh Thuan Provincial Museum has maintained a regular celebration, in order to meet the needs of the cultural and spiritual activities of the Cham people in the province and the need of visitors who love to discover and learn about them.

After nearly 2 decades of restoration, the Kate Festival at Po Sah Inu tower has met the spiritual and emotional needs of the Cham people and has become the soul of spiritual and cultural activities, all of which contain the values ​​of folk beliefs and religions.

With various values identified, recently, Decision No. 776/QD-BVHTTDL was issued by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to put the traditional Kate Festival of the Cham people in Binh Thuan province onto the List of National Intangible Cultural Heritages.

Investment Promotion

With the advantage of natural resources and unique cultural values ​​of ethnic peoples, Binh Thuan is a favorite destination for tourists. However, in order to position the brand and establish many destinations with its own attractiveness of the land with many unique landscapes, Mr. Nguyen Van Hung, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, noted: “Binh Dinh province, on the basis of local advantages, is to locate and refresh tourism products. It is necessary to clarify the products to be the strengths and brands of the locality; otherwise they would be mixed with neighboring localities. On that view, it is the foundation for promotion and the call on investment to develop the pro-tourism strengths in the area.

The Minister Nguyen Van Hung also says that in the immediate future, it is necessary to set up an Organizing Committee for the National Tourism Year 2023 to plan a specific and methodical implementation plan, because there is still a lot of work to be done and this is just the first step, one of the first steps.

Revitalizing the beauty of ethnic minority culture, a momentum for tourism in Binh Thuan

Binh Thuan has invested hundreds of billions of dong to improve the economic and social life in the mountainous ethnic minority areas. (Source: Binh Thuan Province Newspaper)

It is reported that over the years, with many resources, Binh Thuan province has focused on investing in essential infrastructure systems, especially in remote and isolated areas, where most of the inhabitants are ethnic minorities. Thereby, it represents a contribution to production, socio-economic development, improving the economic life of households, including many Cham people, and their living standards have been improved and changed positively.

It is typical to quote Program 135, which has been carried out for many years. Binh Thuan province has invested hundreds of billions of dong to build irrigation works, roads, schools, medical stations, trade markets, canal systems, concentrated domestic water supply works and so on, for the mountainous ethnic areas.

In addition, the preservation and development of the cultures of the ethnic groups has always been thoroughly directed by the province’s leaders. Up to now, the cultural sector has established Cham folk art repertoire groups, singing clubs of the Nung ethnic people; gathered young people to participate in classes to learn how to use ethnic musical instruments such as Goblet drum, Dholak (Paranung) drums, blowing Saranai flute, singing folk songs, Cham dances; study the customary rituals of the Cham, Raglai, Coho and Choro people to serve economic and social development and improve the cultural life at the grassroots level.

The preservation and promotion of traditional folk festivals are concerned; many major traditional festivals of ethnic minorities have been restored and celebrated annually, attracting a large number of people to attend. The folklore festivals of ethnic minorities are held in accordance with rituals and local formalities in alignment with the purpose and meaning of the festival.

By 2025, the Binh Thuan tourism industry strives to welcome 8.9 million visitors, of whom international visitors account for 10-12%; revenue from tourism activities is expected to reach VND 23,300 billion; to hit the average growth of 18-20%/year in the period 2021-2025; Tourism contributes 10-11% to the province's Gross Regional Domestic Product.
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