| Emeritus artist Ha Mai Ven (Photo: VOV)
Artist Ha Mai Ven is from Nung ethnic group in Cao Loc district, Lang Son province. She was the youngest artist in Lang Son province to be conferred to the Emeritus Artist title by the State President. Nung people’s Sli is compared to Vi chanting and Gheo singing of Kinh majority people. Artist Ha Mai Ven said: “When I was young, I heard Sli melodies sung by villagers. At first, I sang along to the melody, then got addicted to this music genre. Sli is part of my soul”.
Mai Ven can sing a lot of Sli songs that she learned from other villagers. Ven said: “Although Sli singing is not as popular as it was, I still love it and try to preserve it as it’s the traditional melody of Nung people”.
Ha Mai Ven won a gold medal at the Folk Singing contest for ethnic groups in Lang Son province in 1999, which was a breakthrough in her singing career. Since then, Ven has brought Sli to various events and won lots of medals, prizes and certificates of merit for her Sli performance.
Artist Ven also did research and wrote more than 200 Sli songs which are performed at weddings, New Year festivals, and cultural events. Mr. Vi Hong Nhan, Chairman of Lang Son province’s Folk Song Preservation Association, said: “Artist Ha Mai Ven knows a lot about Sli singing. As a member of the province’s Folk Song Preservation Association, Ms. Ven has opened many classes to teach young people to sing Sli and Then. She is passionate about preserving this art”.
For more than 40 years, Ms. Ven now can sing 323 Sli songs and 60 Then songs. She has also done lots of research, collected, and modified more than 200 Sli songs to make them adapt to modern times.
Artist Ha Mai Ven opens classes to teach Sli songs to younger generation.
Emeritus artist Ha Mai Ven established a folk music club with more than 60 members aging 8 to 50 who have great passion for folk music. Ms. Phung Thi Sen is a member of the club: “Ven is a talented person. Her club has received positive responses from many villagers”.
With great passion for Nung folk tunes, artist Ha Mai Ven has worked with other singing clubs in Lang Son province to teach Sli and Then songs to the younger generation in a hope to further and promote these art genres.