Prime Minister Phuc made the statement while addressing the opening ceremony of the Gong Culture Festival 2018 in Pleiku city, Gia Lai province, on November 30. He expressed his delight at the presence of artisans of different ages from the old to the young in gong troupes, which represents the continuity and inheritance in gong practices. He reaffirmed Vietnam’s commitment to retaining the ‘Masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of the humanity’ awarded to the Cultural Space of Gong of Central Highlands by UNESCO in 2005. He asked the authorities and people in the Central Highlands to make further efforts to safeguard and promote the unique heritage, while strengthening connectivity in fostering regional socio-economic development and tourism. The opening ceremony featured a colourful staging of gong performances by more than 1,000 artisans from five Central Highlands provinces, including Lam Dong, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Kon Tum. The two-day event will entertain visitors with assorted activities including a street festival, reproduction of the Central Highlanders’ traditional rituals, photo exhibitions of the practice of gongs, and performances of Vietnamese musical instruments. Visitors can also engage in community-based tours to explore the daily lives of local people and the beautiful landscape in Gia Lai and taste signature dishes of the Central Highlands region at a cuisine festival.