To Dao Tru listening to Soong Co Singing


Vinh Phuc has more then 1,200,000 inhabitants with 7 fraternity nationalities including Viet, San Diu, Cao Lan, Tay, Hoa, Ngai and Dao. San Diu ethnic is living along the foot of Tam Dao Mountain from Ngoc Thanh Commune of Phuc yen Town through Tam Duong then Lap Thach Districts. This ethnic has over 34,000 heads. Speaking to San Diu, we can not but speak of Soong Co singing - a special singing on the orally folk cultural treasure, which has been preserved for hundreds of years since this ethnic moved and settled in Vinh Phuc. 

According to the old in Cuu Yen hamlet - a hamlet has 100% of San Diu people - Hop Chau Commune, Tam Dao District, Soong Co is tightly connected with San Diu people since long years back. It is like the Thai people in the Northwest. Thai people cannot but have Xoe dancing; San Diu people also cannot but have Soong Co singing. In the spirit of plain and honest San Diu farmers: Soong Co is not only a now presto now largo and melodious tune but also contains ten thousands of the folk poetic inspiration. The inspiration reflect the couple love, natural and landscape love; to the praise of faithful marred couple, high merit of forefather and parents, at the same time to teach their children to line in virtue and avoid inhumane actions. It is required that singing Soong Co, the singers must learn by heart the song (word is ready). The singer shall use a sentence of the song as a riddle to sing, and then the opposite singers shall reply correctly by using the words available in the song. In brief, Soong Co is two opposite sides singing in turn by using words ready in a song. So the singers have to learn by heart many songs.

San Diu people learn to sing Soong Co mostly by passing down orally. In the daytime, they go to forest to work. In the nighttime, the young girls and boys gather in the old people’s house to learn singing. In the old days, the singing season started from December 27 lunar day when crop harvested. In the forest, trees start to bud, birds make noisy singing. This is a time for San Diu girls and boys from Yen Duong, Bo Ly, Dao Tru invite each other to sing. They go to Dai Dinh, then to Ho Son, Minh Quang, Hop Chau Communes in turn. In each commune, they stay over night and next day they invite the people in that commune to go further to next commune. At the nightfall, it is inviting singing: water and betel. In midnight, it is questionnaire singing: to know about address, family, profession and expectation. Next are farewell singing, departure singing, and singing appointment. In the early morning, they see off to the gate while singing another appointment. The tour can lasts 7 or 8 consecutive days and nights. When January (lunar day) comes, the singer team is more ebullient. The tone of singing covers the valley, flies through the fields in the mountains then touches the stone and mixes into the howling of the wind and the noise of the streams in the forests. In the endless Tam Dao jungle, the tranquil and mysterious seem to be replaced by the warm and romance. There are many young couples become married couples from such Soong Co singing. In their wedding day, people of two family sides sing Soong Co again. San Diu people call this singing is a wishing singing. They wish bride and bridegroom happy forever, two families happy.   

In order to preserve Soong Co for further generations, a certain singer teams are set up in the communes of Tam Dao District with the participating of the old, women and youth. In springtime, if we go to this mountainous commune, we will be in a exciting space full of sentiment coming out from Soong Co tone sang by the plain and honest San Diu farmers. 



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