Performers mark Buddhist version of Motherís Day

VNS, Aug 14, 2007

Ho Chi Minh CITY— Ho Chi Minh City entertainment centres and art troupes are preparing a variety of shows to celebrate the Buddhist holiday, Vu Lan, a traditional event in praise of motherly love held annually in the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

Dozens of professional drama and cal luong (reformed opera) troupes will present special programmes on topics about peopleís gratitude and appreciation of their mothers.

For drama fans, performers from the Sai Gon Drama Theatre and the Phu Nhuan Drama Stage will offer Me Yeu (Dear Mum), Than Tuong Than (Motherís Sacrifices) and Phan Lam Gai (Womanís Life)ó three serious plays about mothers who sacrificed their lives for their childrenís future.

Directed by Doan Ba, Me Yeu has been performed more than 200 times, featuring veteran and young actors, including Hong Nga, Viet Anh and Thanh Thuy.

The playís leading role is a single mother who sacrifices her personal desires for her children. When the children grow up, they forget their motherís sacrifices and behave selfishly.

"Young people can learn valuable lessons about life and people. They also know how great their motherís merit is," said actress Hong Nga, who played the mother in Me Yeu.

As in previous years, the Hung Dao Theatre and the Quoc Thanh Theatre will be the sole venue for cai luong performances during Vu Lan.

The theatre will stage extracts from cai luong operas including Pham Cong Cuc Hoa (The Couple Pham Cong and Cuc Hoa), Me Mai Trong Doi Con (Mother Is in My Mind Forever) and Duyen Kiep (Predestination). Operas based on the life of historical characters are to be interpreted by renowned artists Bach Tuyet, My Hang and Vu Luan.

"Vu Lan is the time for people, especially youth, to look back and remember their motherís love and sacrifices," said Nguyen Minh Huong, an event manager at the Youth Cultural House.

Last season, Huong and her group organised a music and song programme called Vang Trang Me (Mother Is the Brightest Moon) to packed houses.

"This year, our event will include real stories shared by mothers and children who live with difficulties but who have overcome them."

Children will find what they are looking for at shows put on by pop stars like Dam Vinh Hung, Ho Quynh Huong and Siu Black. The artists offer songs based on traditional legends about heroic mothers.

"Weíre not looking to make a profit from these shows, but we hope to encourage young people to love and respect their mother much more," said young singer Khanh Ngoc.

The shows begin tonight and continue until the end of the month. Tickets are available at the venuesí box offices and are priced from VND20,000 to 100,000.