Experience Local Culture By Playing Bai Choi Hoi An

If the North is famous for Quan Ho folk songs and the South has Don Ca Tai Tu, then the Central region is famous for Bai Choi Hoi An, Quang Nam. When traveling to Hoi An, visitors not only get to visit the old town, stroll around the night market or take a boat trip on the Hoai River, release lanterns,… but also experience a very unique form of art, which is the Bai Choi. cabin. Bai Choi Hoi An performing art is not only a folk game but also a type of performing art with profound cultural values. Bai Choi Hoi An will be an activity that brings you many special emotions, you can play the role of the player to experience this fascinating form of folk performing art. Let’s learn how to play Bai Choi together through the article below.

Origin & Meaning of Bai Choi Hoi An

Officially recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage representing all humanity. Bai Choi is not only a traditional form of entertainment but also a valuable contribution, making an important contribution to maintaining and developing Vietnam’s cultural heritage.

bài chòi Hội An

Figure 1. Bai Choi Hoi An

Origin of Bai Choi Hoi An

In the late 16th and 17th centuries, a period when the lives and crops of the Central region faced many difficulties with the serious destruction of livestock. To protect the crops, in that situation, they built small huts on the edge of the forest and took turns keeping watch. During difficult hut watch hours, to dispel boredom, people created games: singing and chanting chants and verses. This unique form is called Bai Choi. Since then, Bai Choi Hoi An art gradually developed into a unique art form in Hoi An.

Initially, Bai Choi was just a living tradition in the memories of the elderly people in the Central region. However, in 1999, the Hoi An community revived this sport, turning Bai Choi into an official form of entertainment that shines every full moon night festival in the old town.

To put it simply, Bai Choi is a card game in the hut. This is a type of musical theater, whose predecessor is a popular art form and folk game in the Central region. Among them, the most prominent is still Quang Nam’s Pao Choi.

Meaning of Bai Choi Hoi An

This type of art has great cultural value

Today Bai Choi has developed into a type of opera. Although it is said to be a drama, it is also attractive and attracts the attention of many people. Because in Bai Choi Hoi An it contains the national soul, the feelings of the people of Quang. The lyrics of the song are not simply about singing Bai Choi well, but rather aim to praise the country and the simple people of Quang Nam. Thereby educating the young generation must preserve the traditions and identity of the homeland.  Bai Choi left a deep impression. Along with Bai Choi, Hang Khoan developed into a form of theater. Bai Choi’s appearance has contributed to building the brand, bringing the image of Hoi An tourism closer to international friends.

Bai Choi Hoi An is an intangible cultural heritage

Bai Choi has become one of the “specialties” that attracts domestic and foreign tourists to enjoy and attend. Currently, Bai Choi has become an indispensable part of the cultural beauty and beliefs of the people of Hoi An in particular and the people of the Central region in general.

At 17:10 local time (15:10 Vietnam time) on December 7, 2017, at the 12th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the 2003 Convention on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO took place in Jeju, Korea, the Bai Choi Art heritage of Central Vietnam was officially registered by UNESCO on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Where is Bai Choi Hoi An held? When?

Bài chòi Hội An

Figure 2. Organizing a Bai Choi game in Hoi An next to the Hoai River

Traditionally, Bai Choi in Hoi An previously only appeared during holidays or Lunar New Year, making it unique and attracting attention. But due to many different reasons, it is gradually fading, especially the development of the times that makes people forget old values.
Up to now, it has been restored by the people of Hoi An ancient town and has become the most unique and attractive event every day that not only attracts people but also tourists to Hoi An ancient town. The Bai Choi program in Hoi An will be held at 7:00 p.m. every day. The “stage” does not need to be grand or flashy but just simple, close to the audience on a large, empty field next to the banks of the Hoai River.

Instructions for playing Bai Choi Hoi An

How to organize playing Bai Choi in Quang

  • People chanting Bai Choi Hoi An: Bai Choi Hoi An folk song is sung by Mr. Hieu and Ms. Hieu. The most important person singing Bai Choi must be a very focused person to know the name of the card drawn, what to sing, and to come up with ideas for the song. They must also be good at singing, acting witty, charming, and flexible in improvisation. Mr. Hieu and Ms. Hieu are the ones who “keep the soul” of Bai Choi Hoi An

Anh Hiệu, Chị Hiệu hô bài chòi

Figure 3. The person who “keeps the soul” of Bai Choi Hoi An

  • Subjects playing Bai Choi in Hoi An ancient town:
    • Foreign tourists: there will be a team of tour guides fluent in foreign languages ​​to explain the content, meaning and how to play.
    • Domestic tourists and local people.
  • Organizing a game of Bai Choi Hoi An:
    • To play Bai Choi, people will build a hut in the middle, also known as the main hut, surrounded by 10 small huts.
    • Players will sit on huts. Mr. Hieu and Ms. Hieu stood in the hut. However, in Hoi An ancient town, only about 4-5 huts will be built.
    • In some other localities in the Central region, people only spread mats, set up bamboo trees, hang cards, and set up chairs to play Bai Choi, but do not build huts.
  • How to play Bai Choi Hoi An:
    • Starting the Bai Choi game is the bustling sound of drums. Mr. Hieu and Ms. Hieu will shout out invitations to open shops to attract everyone’s attention.
    • After singing the opening song, Mr. Hieu and Ms. Hieu will sing to introduce the names of the cards. Players will choose 3 different cards and hold them in their hands.
    • Next, Mr. Hieu and Ms. Hieu stepped out in front of the hut, shook the card tube, pulled out each card and chanted the song named after the card. Whichever hut has that card, the player will knock on the hut 3 times or shout “here”. Each time, the player will be given a pennant.
    • The game continues until there is a hut that receives 3 buntings. The player will shout “come” and then bang a long bell. At that time, the rolling drum and tom drum in the main hut will be played loudly to signal a winner. The winner will receive a Hoi lantern. An.
  • Characteristics of the deck of cards to play Bai Choi Hoi An: The deck of cards to play Bai Choi is considered an improved Tam Chrysanthemum set. The deck of cards includes 33 cards such as the most venomous, the poor second, the pumpkin, the willow leaves… drawn on paper and then glued to bamboo cards. Each bamboo card is 3 different cards. The Bai Choi playing card deck has 3 pho (pho book, pho van, pho van), each pho has 10 cards and 3 odd cards (black nine card, black ong rham, black purple stem). The cards are made quite large so players can clearly see the pattern and name of each card.

Thẻ bài bài chòi Hội An

Figure 4. Hoi An Bai Choi Cards/Deck

Lyrics of Bai Choi Hoi An

Bai Choi includes two types: games and singing. The lyrics in Bai Choi Hoi An have 4 basic melodies: Xang Xe, Ho Quang, Xuan Nu, Co Ban. The lyrics blend between Southern folk melodies and the speaking and singing style of the Tuong genre. Through the creativity and skillful handling of the artists, other songs have been created such as drill songs, rowing songs, Quang rhymes or lullabies, etc. Therefore, the lyrics of Bai Choi songs have special phrases. It features a strong local accent, captivating many tourists. Even though he has not been trained in any art school, the sincere farmer of Quang still has an artistic quality in him. Bai Choi is where they show that through charming, witty acting and each meaningful folk song response.

Below are words about Bai Choi Hoi An that you can refer to. In the lyrics, there are many landmarks and tourist attractions in Quang Nam.
The Bai Choi lyrics below are written in Vietnamese, don’t worry if you are a foreign tourist because there will be tour guides who will guide and translate for you.

Ấm nồng từ một khúc quê

Ta đứng hát giữa mây trời xứ xở

Đất mẹ đi qua tháng ngày gian lao cực khổ

Con sông quê bao năm trăn trở ngọn nguồn

Một thời khói lửa đạn bom

Một tấc giang sơn, một dòng máu đỏ

Quảng Nam ơi từ trong gian khó

Có niềm tin son sắc vô bờ

Gió chiều thổi mát triền đê

Ai lên Đại Lộc, ai về Quế Sơn

Thương sao hết những đồng lúa trổ

Khi mùa vàng đang đổ sai bông

Điện Bàn ơi những ước mong

Bốn mươi năm xây dựng vẫn thủy chung với đời

Thăng Bình, Tiên Phước reo vui

Hội An phố cổ đẹp lời thơ xưa

Qua Núi Thành nhớ biển chiều Tam Hải

Ghé Long Sơn em hát khúc ca xuân

Ai về Hiệp Đức Nam Giang

Trăng mờ phố núi Phước Sơn đợi người

Quên sao được bao ngày khói lửa

Những tháng năm gian khó quê mình

Giặt về đốt mái nhà tranh

Xóm thôn dậy cảnh điêu linh ngút trời

Trọng Núi Thành đường đi sáng suốt

Giặc khiếp kinh chùn bước xâm lăng

Từ ngày ấy đã bốn mươi năm trổ nụ

Ngày quê hương sạch bóng quân thù

Thu Bồn sóng quyện câu thơ

Điệu Hòa Vang dìu dặt đôi bờ Vu Gia

Sông Trường Giang hát tình ca

Bàn tay xây dựng để quê ta đổi đời

Thương người nắng dội sương rơi

Quê mẹ thơm thảo một đời gió mưa

Đàn con ư ơ, đàn con ngon dệt ước mơ

Hát lên câu hát viết bài thơ xây đời

Vẫn sang trong tình yêu của đất

Gọi mùa lên quê Quảng yêu thương

Bàn tay nối những con đường

Nối bờ vui khúc nhạc vươn tâm tình

Em về Trung Phước, Đại Bường

Anh qua Giao Thủy tìm hướng gió lành

Bốn mươi năm ư ơ, bốn mươi năm dệt một màu xanh

Quảng Nam ơi, Quảng Nam một khúc tâm tình

Tâm tình với quê

The lyrics, sometimes low and high, flowed into the audience’s ears as smoothly as silk. The songs performed every night are not repeated but are constantly changed and created from folk songs such as drill songs, rowing songs, Quang rhymes, lullabies… Therefore, Bai Choi always fresh, always improving in the process of serving customers.

Reward for the winner

The winner after the game ends will receive a reward that is a Hoi An lantern or a souvenir of the old town.

But the biggest reward that visitors receive is probably moments of relaxation and special emotions about this type of folk opera art.

giải thưởng bài chòi Hội An

Figure 5. The winning visitors were given small gifts from the Organizing Committee

Some notes when playing Bai Choi Hoi An

  • Bai Choi activities often attract a large number of visitors, coming from many places, so it is impossible to control them all. The atmosphere is quite crowded and hot. You should go early to choose a nice, airy seat.
  • The time of a Bai Choi game is not fixed. Depending on when the player hits 3 pieces first, it can be 15 minutes or longer, or even up to 1 hour.
  • When playing cards, don’t worry about winning or losing. But take the time to reflect on the lyrics in Bai Choi to understand clearly the cultural beauty of the people of Quang.
  • According to our experience, you should choose playing time in the evening and should dress neatly and comfortably to easily move and participate in games.
  • Because the activity attracts many participants and the weather in the Central region is quite hot, you can bring food and drinks to use.

Welcome to the ancient and charming city of Hoi An, where culture and cuisine blend to create unforgettable experiences. Before you join in the exciting fun with Hoi An’s signature Bai Choi game, take some time to enjoy traditional specialties at Anabas Restaurantone of the restaurants Famous Hoi An specialty and most popular in the old town. Famous Hoi An specialties such as Cao Lau, Quang noodles, spring rolls, banh xeo, chicken rice,… each dish contains the restaurant chef’s enthusiasm and love for Hoi An cuisine. . After being full with the special dishes at ANABAS RESTAURNT, take the time to participate in the unique experience of playing Bai Choi Hoi An. This is an interesting traditional folk game, imbued with the cultural identity of the people of the Central region.

Why is Bai Choi Hoi An attractive to tourists when coming to Hoi An?

  • Bai Choi Hoi An is organized on a very large scale. Before each turn there will be detailed instructions. Even foreigners will have English-speaking staff to explain the rules and how to play in detail.
  • Bai Choi has many similarities with the Southern lottery game, which also involves drawing numbers and shouting out selected numbers. The biggest difference is that the songs of lotto are often fun and humorous, while the song’s melody is folk and traditional.
  • The words sung when playing Bai Choi are not repeated. Mr. Hieu and Ms. Hieu will be creative and improvise to sing meaningful songs. Therefore, Bai Choi always has a strong appeal. You can spend the whole evening watching Bai Choi and listening to it over and over without getting bored.

Preserving and promoting the traditional culture of Bai Choi Hoi An

Bai Choi Hoi An, a unique form of folk art of Quang Nam in general and Hoi An in particular, bears the cultural imprint of the ancient town, containing many great spiritual values, expressed through the following aspects:

Preserve local cultural identity

  • Expressing the spirit of community solidarity: Bai Choi is often held during festivals, attracting a large number of people to participate, creating a joyful and bustling atmosphere, demonstrating the spirit of village community cohesion. .
  • Preserving folk traditions: Music, lyrics, and Bai Choi Hoi An songs reflect the daily life, labor, production, and good cultural values ​​of local people, contributing to preserving and promote traditional cultural identity.

Show national pride

  • Evoking love for the homeland: Bai Choi uses local language, with folk songs, proverbs, and poems, reflecting the cultural life, people, and beauty of the homeland, evoking love for the homeland and the land. water in every person.
  • Expressing a spirit of optimism: Bai Choi music is vibrant and bustling, expressing the optimistic spirit and love of life of working people, overcoming all difficulties and challenges in life.

Contribute to tourism development

  • Unique features attract tourists: Bai Choi Hoi An has become a unique cultural highlight, attracting domestic and foreign tourists to visit, experience, and contribute to promoting the image of local tourism.
  • Improve economic life: Bai Choi performance activities create jobs for local people, contribute to improving economic life, and promote the development of cultural tourism.

Educational value

  • Moral lesson: Bai Choi lyrics are often educational, promoting good moral values ​​such as filial piety, honesty, solidarity,…
  • Intellectual training: Bai Choi game requires quickness, logical thinking and flexible behavior, helping to train the player’s intelligence and patience.

Bai Choi Hoi An is a unique form of folk art, imbued with cultural value, contributing to preserving local cultural identity, evoking love for the homeland and developing tourism. Preserving and promoting the value of Bai Choi Hoi An needs proper attention so that future generations can continue and preserve this valuable cultural heritage.

In addition, Bai Choi Hoi An was also recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on December 7, 2017, further affirming the special value and importance of this art form. in the cultural and spiritual life of local people.

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Cập nhật lần cuối: 23/06/2024 00:45