The imprints of Cham culture are clearly seen, not only in architectural and sculptural works such as towers and religious statues, but also in customs, festivals, religious beliefs, language, music, and performing arts.
At a small house in Cham Lac Tri village in Tuy Phong district, monk Thuong Xuan Huu teaches the ancient Cham language to local children. The house is filled with old books.
Monk Xuan Huu learned the Cham language from older villagers. Through his hobby of reading, Huu developed a great love of Cham culture. Recently, he got involved in collecting tangible and intangible Cham culture connected with Cham customs, wedding ceremonies, and rituals. Despite of his age, he continues to collect ancient prayers written on dzo (poonah) paper and leaves, and ancient Cham books on religion, literature, and folk songs.
“I collect and preserve valuable books about Cham culture. I hope other religious followers will continue my effort to preserve the cultural values of the Cham people,” said Monk Xuan Huu.
|Monk Thuong Xuan Huu (second from left) and Uc Viet Vong (fourth from left) are in Hanoi in December, 2020, for the second National Congress of Vietnamese Ethnic Minorities. (Photo: VOV)
Uc Viet Vong was born in Phan Thanh commune, Bac Binh district, which is considered the cradle of Cham culture in Binh Thuan province.
Working at the Center for Cham Culture Display gives Viet Vong the opportunity to collect artifacts related to Cham culture. He spends a lot of time recording Cham cultural values at festivals like Rija Yaup, Rija Prong, and Rija Harei, and collecting folk songs. He also encourages local people to donate ancient documents and objects to the Display Center.
“The Party and State have always paid attention to preserving Cham cultural values. I hope that more Cham cultural values, especially the traditional crafts of pottery making and brocade weaving, will be preserved,” said Viet Vong.
|Uc Viet Vong (left). (Photo: VOV)
More than 300 objects and 200 photos, representing Cham culture in different periods are now preserved at the Center for Cham Culture Display.
Monk Thuong Xuan Huu and Uc Viet Vong were both honored at the 10th National Patriotic Emulation Congress in December, 2020.