Eco-Forum Global Focuses on Improving the State of the World

July 21, 2013
By Lu HuiEditor: Yang Zixin
And as an international business and environmental event, the annual Eco-Forum Global focuses on improving the state of the world and protecting the world’s cultural heritages. Appropriately, a performance of a Chinese intangible heritage has opened the event.

The Dong people are one of China’s various ethnic groups, and best known for their singing traditions. The gallaox literally means "the grand song", and is usually performed by a large group of people, ranging from dozens to hundreds. The singing features a variety of complex harmonies.

A highly regarded National Intangible Heritage, the gallaox is a popular form of expression and entertainment among the older generation. But, this time around, the chorus is mostly comprised of college students. They hope to attract a more modern audience to this traditional performance.

Lu Huijiang, School of Art, Guizhou Univ., said, "The Dong is a very distinctive and interesting ethnic culture in Guizhou province. And the gallaox is an intangible cultural heritage. We really do hope people can visit the traditional Dong villages and see for themselves the unique culture here. So this repertoire is about our hospitality."

There are also more versatile singers among the chorus, who still regard traditional singing as part of their lives even today.

Wu Liangmin, Farmer, said, "We’re all ordinary farmers. We deal with crops, ploughs and cattle everyday. We like singing, so we often gather together and sing the gallaox when we’re not busy."

The traditional repertoire includes a range of genres, such as ballads, children’s songs...and songs that test a performer’s virtuosity by mimicking the sounds of animals.

"The songs are about the beauty of nature. You walk up a mountain, you see the trees and hear the rivers and the birds sing, that’s what we want to present."

With the gallaox already listed among China’s National Intangible Heritages, now the Dong people are trying to bring their unique culture to a wider stage.


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