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An Giang leaders extend greetings on Cham ethnic group’s Roya Haji festival

Vo Anh Kiet, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the People’s Committee of the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, has visited Islamic Cham people in Chau Phong commune, Tan Chau town on the occasion of their traditional Roya Haji festival.

Wishing the Cham community a happy festival, Kiet stressed that thanks to the Party and State’s policies towards ethnic minority groups together with support in capital access, education and health care services and infrastructure development, the livelihoods of the Cham people have improved in the past years.

He expressed his hope that the Cham people will promote solidarity, proactively participate in economic development activities, as well as preserve and promote their traditional cultural value, thus making contribution to building more prosperous An Giang.

On the occasion, he presented gifts to 30 impoverished Cham households in Chau Phong commune.

Earlier, a working delegation led by Men Pho Ly, head of the provincial board on ethnic minority affairs, visited and presented gifts to Cham people in Da Phuoc and Nhon Hoi communes in An Phu district.

An Giang province is now home to 17,000 Islamic Cham people, most of them are in Tan Chau town, and An Phu, Chau Phu, Chau Thanh and Phu Tan districts.

Roya Haji is one of the most important festivals of Muslim followers in An Giang province. During the festival, everyone dress in most beautiful costumes. Men and boys aged 15 and above gather in the mosque, shake hands with people, and ask for forgiveness and lenience for any bad behaviour over the past year. Meanwhile, women stay at home preparing traditional dishes to welcome relatives and guests.

Also, when greeting people on the street, they often say “Am ma” (please forgive) and the others will respond the same. Therefore, the first meaning of this festival is the apology and forgiveness.-VNA/VNP