Laos Celebrates Khaen Music As UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage | Lao Tribune

Laos Celebrates Khaen Music As UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage

The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism organized a Procession marching along main roads of Vientiane celebrating the Khaen music of the Lao PDR as the world intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture.

Taking part in the celebration were Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdara, representatives of relevant government organizations and Vientiane residents.

The official Khaen procession started at King Fangum Park, headed to Presidential Palace

And Patuxay before having a stop at Park of Unknown Soldiers.

A wreath was left there. The parade continued its way along Kaysone Phomvihane Avenue.

Vientiane residents standing on roadsides welcomed the parade with pride.

The procession then continued its way to Kaysone Phomvihane Memorial where a wreath was placed and Khaen music played. The parade then headed to National Cultural Hall. The history of Khaen was read and a series of Khaen shows performed at the hall in the evening of the same day.

Khaen music was inscribed as the world intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO on Dec

,2017 by UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The khaen music of the Lao people is played with a mouth organ that resembles panpipes but made with bamboo tubes of varying lengths, each with a metal reed, according to UNESCO.

The player blows into the instrument through an air chamber and the sound produced depends on the size of the tube.

Khaen music is popular in all regions of the Lao PDR due to its harmonic richness. It is usually part of village festivals and it is customary for people listening to it to become active participants in the songs and dances, rather than merely spectators.

Khaen music is an integral part of Lao life that promotes family and social cohesion. Thanks to the use of bamboo, the practice is also linked to natural agriculture and healthy lifestyles. Families play an important role in transmitting the art and khaen player associations exist in many local communities where young people can learn the art.

To maintain the practice in spite of lifestyle changes�including urbanization�several local

communities, associations and groups have begun various initiatives to consolidate and promote it through formal and non-formal education.

In 2005, the Association of Khaen Arts was established and various festivals are organized to promote and enhance the art.

Source: Lao News Agency