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When kindergarteners, students and teachers gather at the upstairs hall in Village Chance, then there’s something to celebrate. Indeed, September the 6th marks the new school year 2019/20 – a typical Vietnamese opening event with drums, songs and dances!

The school program opened with an amazing drumming spectacle performed by the talented drum trio from grade five at Village Chance School.

Here are a few impressions of Friday’s event:

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Drummers

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Kindergarten kids dancing

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Student Singing

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Dancing and singing performance

After school principle Luong made his speech and wished all a good start into the new school year, he sealed this wish with beating the drum.

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School principle Luong beats the drum

The ritual significance of drumming can be traced back to the pre-historic when bronze drums were prized trading commodities throughout the Asian world of that time. Since the Ly dynasty (1009-1225), Vietnamese have incorporated drumming within rituals, both at a village level and court level, governing the daily life of Vietnamese citizens. Rituals were practiced for honoring ancestors, for good harvests, for welcoming in each Lunar New Year, for important anniversaries, and were also a fundamental part of state governance. As an effective mediator of meaning, it represented the transition to a new state or era.

(Today, the performance of traditional drumming, through its association with past rituals and myths, is now used emblematically in Vietnamese events as a symbolic marker for a growing Vietnamese national identity.)

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Text: Nelli