Vietnamese theatre and human rights activist Pham Thi Hong participated at the recently held Asian Theatre Summit at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy to present her country report titled ‘Theatre-based communication: Vietnam’s story’ featuring the present situation of the traditional theatre forms in her country and how the art form is used as a tool for community development activities in Vietnam.
Executive director of Vietnamese NGO Center for Education and Community Development, Pham told New Age that she had been organising programmes to promote traditional theatre forms of her country among the youths and using theatre with community development programmes to raise awareness in the community and calling for behaviour changes in environment, health, education and addressing other rural development topics.
‘I’ve been providing technical support to organise community-based theatre activities in Vietnam and other countries also. I believe theatre is a very effective communication tool to grow awareness,’ said, Pham, adding that she provided such technical support in remote areas of Bangladesh on several occasions as part of her collaborations with several local government agencies and NGOs including Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation.
‘But’, she said, ‘This is for the first time I participated in a theatre programme in Bangladesh.’
She said Asian Art Summit organised in Bangladesh gave her the opportunity to interact with theatre activists and researchers from several Asian countries. ‘The summit gave me an opportunity to know more about the theatre activists and theatre forms of other Asian countries,’ she said.
Pham Thi Hong said she is a playwright and also a member of Vietnam Association of Stage Actress.
‘I’ve written several short plays and two full-fledged plays titled “A Crystal Mask” and “Two Ways of Farewell”. I got the inspiration of writing plays from my father who is a national award-winning playwright named Hoang Luyen,’ Pham said.
Vietnam, she said, has a rich tradition of performing arts including Cheo, Tuong, Cai Luong, Bai Choi and Quan Ho.
Some of these art forms such as Quan Ho Bac Ninh, Ca Tru and Don Ca Tai Tu has been inscribed on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage for Humanity by UNESCO, she said.
She said the government in Vietnam is very supportive for protection and promotion of the traditional art forms.
Still, she said, both traditional art forms and artistes are facing many challenges to survive as young people have less interest in traditional art forms in this globalised era where Internet has become the most popular source of entertainment.
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