Vietnamese promote their culture when shining in global contests: experts

By Ngoc Dinh   March 27, 2019 | 12:26 am PT
Vietnamese promote their culture when shining in global contests: experts
A screenshot of Tran Minh Nhu's audition at American Idol.
Talented Vietnamese contestants are making a splash in international competitions even as their country rapidly integrates culturally.

Tran Minh Nhu, aka Myra Tran, has become the most recent Vietnamese sensation in global talent shows. Earlier this month she blew away the judges in American Idol, earning massive praise from the likes of Lionel Richie and Katy Perry. Perry said her talent had the power to connect people. "I’ve never heard of a Vietnamese singer that’s as good as her."

Nhu’s performance garnered 1.5 million views on the program’s official Facebook page, the highest number for any contestant appearing in the first episode of the show.

She is one of the Vietnamese artists who have recently stepped out of their country and shone on the international stage.

They help promote Vietnam’s image when they take part in shows on famous TV channels since television is an effective communication channel, music researcher Nguyen Quang Long said.

In February LifeDance impressed the Asia’s Got Talent judges with its dance titled Vu Nong Dan (Farmers’ Dance), which featured the traditional music and sounds of a Vietnamese village.

Dressed in brown garb and conical hats, the dancers evoked typical images of Vietnam.

Passing the audition with all three judges approving, they also earned plaudits from international viewers for their inclusion of traditional Vietnam elements in a modern dance performance. Indonesian judge Anggun hailed their unique mixture of western and eastern cultures.

"As a Vietnamese, I am happy to know that the artists contributed to putting Vietnam on the world map of art," Ho Hoai Anh, a musician, producer and judge in several Vietnamese talent shows, told VnExpress International.

Giang Quoc Nghiep and Giang Quoc Co perform their gravity defying act. Photo by VnExpress/Hai An

Giang Quoc Nghiep and Giang Quoc Co perform their gravity defying act. Photo by VnExpress/Hai An

Artists who perform in foreign shows can become an inspiration for their fellows, he said. "For example, I think artists like Quoc Co – Quoc Nghiep could make other circus performers have more faith in their job."

He was referring to the brothers who entered the finals of Britain’s Got Talent last June with their incredible performance which involved one standing on his head on the other’s head with the latter walking down to the judges’ podium with the other still on his head.

The performance of Vietnamese artists in foreign shows signals that Vietnamese culture is gradually integrating with global culture, Nguyen Quang Long told loca media.

"[Vietnamese] artists presenting our culture through their performances at global talent shows is a way to promote Vietnam. This is a good sign for Vietnamese culture and art."

But Anh said it remains a challenge for them to compete with the huge number of talented candidates around the world.

"I think success in global shows will help the artists noticed by domestic audiences, who are usually attracted by foreign achievements. There is still a long way for them to go to actually succeed at the global level."

Lack of basic music education is another challenge along the path to winning the hearts of international audiences, Anh pointed out.

Concurring, Long said: "In future it won’t be impossible for Vietnamese talent to become phenomena on the international stage."

Anh said: "Everything needs a start."

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