08/04/2015 09:37 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Congratulations to Khmer people on traditional New Year

Can Tho, April 7 (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minster Vu Van Ninh and other State officials congratulated the Khmer ethnic community in southern Vietnam on their traditional Chol Chnam Thmay New Year festival during a gathering in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on April 7.

The function brought together 600 people representing 1.3 million Khmer ethnics across 17 southern provinces and cities.

Chol Chnam Thmay, taking place from April 14-16 this year, is one of the most important festivals of the year for the Khmer people. It lasts three days (four days in leap years) and is traditionally held in a pagoda.

The festival is a demonstration of Khmer people’s aspirations, like many other ethnic groups, to move on from the previous year’s misfortunes and look forward to the promise of a new year.

Hailing the Khmer community’s socio-economic development efforts and solidarity, Deputy PM Ninh called on them to uphold their achievements, maintain their cultural identity and raise awareness to prevent hostile forces’ sabotage schemes to ensure political security and social order.

He asked dignitaries of the Theravada Buddhism, followed by almost all Khmer people, to enhance the practical activities of the Solidarity Association of Patriotic Buddhist Monks.

Meanwhile, the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region, State agencies, and local authorities need to effectively implement the Party and State’s policies on ethnic minority, religious, and social welfare issues, he added, highlighting the provision of assistance for low-income Khmer families to help them enjoy a merry Chol Chnam Thmay.

Deputy Standing Chairman of the Steering Committee Nguyen Phong Quang reported the poverty rate among regional Khmer households was reduced to 17.98 percent in 2014 from 21.35 percent in the previous year. Traditional customs and cultural identities have also been conserved and upheld.

At the gathering, the Steering Committee presented 100 million VND (more than 4,700 USD) in house-building aid to Khmer families with members suffering from Agent Orange aftereffects.