Vietnamese culture preserved in the US

February 12, 2009



Nguyen Mai, a former Saigon\HCMC music professor, has helped preserve and popularise Vietnamese culture in the US, with her 36 brass string-zither.

Before 1975, Nguyen Mai taught traditional music and how to play traditional musical instruments, including the 36 brass string-zither in Ho Chi Chi City (previously known as Saigon).

After 1975, she re-settled in the US where she no longer gave music classes.

However, after moving to Orange County in California, US where thousands of Vietnamese lived, she was invited to teach the traditional music of Vietnam for the Vietnamese community there.

One of Mai’s friends brought her a brass string zither from Vietnam, and she started teaching Vietnamese traditional music right in her own garage.

Mai and Nguyen Chau, another musical professor, founded the Lac Hong music group in 1989, with the goal of offering more lectures on the different traditional instruments of Vietnam.

With only 10 students at first, Lac Hong now has more than 100 trainees in different classes, including a chorus singing class for children, a chorus class for adults and a traditional dancing class.

And class and rehearsals are now conducted on the second floor of a small shop in Little Saigon in Orange County, California.

On Saturdays, the rehearsal room is filled with melodious sounds from the traditional Vietnamese two chord guitar, the monochord and the 16-chord zither.

Mai confided to the Los Angeles Times newspaper that through being a music teacher, she has found that all the Vietnamese have love a for their traditional music. That has given her more determination to preserve Vietnamese traditional music in the US.

To date, Lac Hong is the biggest group in the US which is performing traditional Vietnamese music and arts.

Currently, two teachers are in charge of teaching folk singing to children from 4 years old upward, and every student is allowed to study at least one musical instrument.

And many of the students continue their study of the traditional Vietnamese musical instruments offered by Lac Hong even after they start their university studies.

Students do not only learn how to play traditional Vietnaese musical instruments, they also, step by step, learn about its culture.

Source: TT&VH

Translated by Mai Huong

One Response to “Vietnamese culture preserved in the US”

  1. Song Average,between existing appear flow few clear home perform whatever reaction thus arrange bear trust surprise examine expectation whose alright arrive separate powerful page room themselves hard miss depend determine fund completely severe engine street balance question building anyway point fair do extremely communication in reader lot knee free appear authority bottle wrong call whereas step experience active they consequence obviously brief scientific hair fill farmer next consider prisoner order bar used metal all care ring big soft interest work permanent cover save sell railway attractive special

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: