|A housewarming ceremony of the Cham H'roi in Van Canh district, Binh Dinh province (photo: VOV)
Ethnic groups in Binh Dinh account for 2% of the provincial population. They live scatted across the province. The Cham of Van Canh district conduct many ceremonies each year: the praying for rain ceremony, the worship of the village tutelary, and the housewarming ceremony.
The ceremonies and festivals foster community unity. The housewarming ceremony is an important family event at which the house’s owners and guests wear traditional brocade clothes. While gongs are beaten, and the village chief, who is also a shaman, on behalf of the house’s owners, presents offerings to the deities to pray for good weather, bumper crops, and business success.
|People drink liquor after the housewarming worship. (photo: VOV)
The house owner must install a Neu bamboo tree in front of the new house to ward off evil spirits. The Neu bamboo tree should be as tall as possible and the top should look like the wings of the Ktang bird, a symbol of peace. Dinh Van Lich is holding a ceremony to move into a new house in Canh Thành hamlet, Vân Canh district.
“My wife and I worked hard to build a house. Today we move into our new house. The offerings include a chicken and a pig, enough for all the villagers. All participants will perform a Xoang dance during the housewarming ceremony. It’s our tradition,” said Lịch.
The Ba Na in Vĩnh Thạnh district holds a ritual to welcome the Rice God before the terraced rice harvest season. Each family and village holds a ceremony to welcome the Rice God back to the village and report to the deities that after a year of hard work, the harvest season has come. Offerings are usually pigs, chickens, wine, young sticky rice, and steamed rice. The villagers beat gongs, dance, and sing.
|Bana girls dance Xoang at a festival. (photo: VOV)
Vo Thi Hong Lien, Director of the Center for Culture, Information, and Sports of Vinh Thanh district, said: "To celebrate a bumper crop, people invite the Rice God to the village for a festival. The traditions of the Ba Na ethnic people in Vinh Thanh need to be preserved and promoted. Community-based tourism should be linked to the culture and traditions of each region.”
Binh Dinh province’s culture and sports sector regularly organizes events to promote ethnic cultures. Most recent was the Culture and Sports Festival of Ethnic Groups 2022, which was attended by 600 artists, actresses, and athletes from many districts, who competed in games, performed folk arts, demonstrated folk crafts, and introduced their food specialties.
Ta Xuan Chanh, Director of Binh Dinh province’s Department of Culture and Sports said: “To promote tourism and the unique cultures of our ethnic groups, we will focus on some localities with rich cultural and historical traditions. We’ll introduce their culture, arts, and crafts to tourists.”
The Cham, Bana, H’rê, and other ethnic groups in Binh Dinh have diverse cultures which they have upheld and preserved in their daily life.