People perform Xoe Thai dance during a ceremony held in Yen Bai to receive UNESCO recognition of the art form as a world cultural heritage on September 24, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy

More than 2,000 Thais performed their unique Xoe dance at a ceremony held Saturday in Yen Bai to receive UNESCO recognition of the art form as a world cultural heritage.

The mass dance performance took place at a stadium in Nghia Lo town in the northern province of Yen Bai. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh was present at the event as UNESCO presented a certificate recognizing Xoe Thai, a traditional folk dance of the community, as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The Xoë Dance is the 14th intangible cultural heritage of Vietnam recognized by UNESCO.

Prime Minister Chinh commended generations of folk artists and Thailand’s ethnic minority community for the tremendous efforts made to preserve their cultural heritage.

“Xoe Thai represents a convergence of cultural beauty, therefore, promoting the art is the shared responsibility of all Vietnamese citizens,” he said.

Pauline Tamesis, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, said Xoe Thai dance holds a special place in people’s hearts.

“Xoe Thai reminds us of what’s important in our lives: the deep relationships we form with family, friends, community and more,” she said.

The dance is practiced mainly by Thais residing in the four northern mountainous provinces of Yen Bai, Lai Chau, Son La and Dien Bien.

The Xoe dance involves people holding hands and performing six traditional acts, including welcoming, clapping, waving scarves and offering wine.

Video ghép bài múa xoè (bản chuẩn)

Members of Thailand’s ethnic minority perform their traditional Xoe dance during a ceremony in Yen Bai province on September 24, 2022. Video by Gia Chinh