|Luong Van Chua plays the Thai mouth organ of Yen Chau region. (Photo: VOV)
Born and raised in the land of Yen Chau, Chua said the sounds of drums, gongs, and mouth organs have become an indispensable part of his life since he was little.
"I’ve always tried to find ways to promote Thai ethnic language so that we can make full use of Thai ancient books filled with the wisdom of our ancestors. It would be a crying shame if the Thai language was lost someday," said Chua.
Chua has never stopped learning Thai ancient language, singing Thai songs and playing the mouth organ, even when he was in the army or working as a trade officer of Yen Chau. Now retired, Chua’s passion for Thai culture has not subsided.
Noticing that Thai language and folk songs are on the brink of oblivion, Chua petitioned the local authorities to open Thai language classes in his village. His first class had 22 students.
"Our ethnic group has a long history with our own speaking and handwriting systems. These traditions should be respected and preserved. As Thai people, we should do our best to keep our culture alive instead of merely depending on state support," said Chua.
|Luong Van Chua wishes for nothing more than to contribute his efforts to teach younger generations about his ethnic group’s culture. (Photo: VOV)
In 2018, an 11-strong group in charge of preserving Yen Chau’s Thai ethnic culture was established, headed by Chua. The group now has 19 members including 6 Kho Mu ethnic people. Since its foundation, the group has organized 7 classes teaching Thai language, Thai’s mouth organ playing, and Kho Mu language for nearly 150 students.
"I studied a bit of our Thai language since I was very little. Theses classes are of great benefit to me as they help me read our predecessors’ books on Thai customs, culture, and lifestyle during the olden days," Luong Manh Nhung, one of the students, told VOV.
Luong Van Chua wishes for nothing more than to contribute his efforts to teach younger generations about his ethnic group’s culture.
"Our priority now is teaching Thai language, and then Thai singing and dancing, particularly the Xoe dances, which can only be found in Thai ethnic communities. One of the many challenges we are facing is to call the young people’s attention to preserving Thai culture. We have to encourage them to study Thai language, as well as making and playing the mouth organs," said Chua.