A “cultural death” threatens Vietnam’s tourism

VietNamNet Bridge – The tourism industry has developed robustly in recent years and it has tried to take advantage of Vietnamese landscape and cultural identity to serve tourists. However, unorganized and unfriendly exploitation has unintentionally killed “cultural beauties”.

Lach people have developed tourism based on their unique culture. However, their culture is being commercialized and Lac people are losing their cultural cream. This is similar to other ethnic groups in Vietnam.

Lach is a small group of Koho people who have lived in Lang Biang plateau, Da Lat city, for hundreds of years. “Lach” means “sparse forest”. The original name of Da Lat city (Da Lach) is sourced from this world. Da Lach means the land of Lach people.

A group of journalist paid a visit to the village of Lach people in Da Lat to learn about their “tourism business”.

Journalists were welcomed warmly at a small yard, covered by iron roof, with a pile of wood in the middle, surrounded by plastic chairs, in the sound of music. The rainy weather did not affect the meeting because Lach people are very experienced at welcoming visitors.

The program began when a man – an MC stepped out and spoke in local language. The MC translated his speech in Vietnamese. The meeting was very funny and jubilant thanks to the talent of the MC, who is very professional. Visitors also sang and danced with him. However, the meeting is similar as a show in Hanoi and the MC looked like an actor who plays the role of an ethnic man. This is the first line of an announcement about the death of “culture”.

Why do tourists visit Lach people’s village? They do not go there to watch a modern show with a professional MC, but to discover the life and culture of Lach people.

The culture of Lach people may not die in form when Lach people sing their folk songs or perform their traditional dances on a modern stage. However, the soul of these folk songs and traditional dances has been dead.

The culture of Lach people is losing in oblivion, though their life has been improved a lot, thanks to tourism services. Nowadays, tourists will no longer have a chance to enjoy original sounds of gongs, Kombuat, ceng korla – traditional musical instruments of Lach people, but only Lach people’s music from CDs.

The threat of a “cultural death” is obvious at the village of Lach people. This threat is also present at many other villages of ethnic groups in Vietnam, along with the development of tourism – the non-smoke industry.

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