Making news

Khmer ethnic people in Soc Trang enjoy merrier Sene Dolta festival

Many communes in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, which are home to a large number of Khmer ethnic people, are enjoying a warmer, merrier Sene Dolta festival this year as they have met new-style rural area status with povery rate declining, according a local official for ethnic minority affairs.

Sene Dolta is one of the most important religious festivals for Khmer ethnic people, along with Chol Chnam Thmay (New Year) and Ooc Oom Bok to thank the Moon for a good harvest.

During the event, people gather to pay homage to their ancestors and enjoy traditional singing and dancing after a year of hard work.

Sene Dolta is celebrated from the 30th of the eighth lunar month to the second of the ninth lunar month each year, falling on September 28 – 30 this year.

My Xuyen district, where Khmer people account for over 33 percent of the district’s population, have all the 10 communes earn new-style rural area status ahead the festival this year.

Thanks to concerted efforts of the local authority and people for many years, My Xuyen’s communes have got a facelift with higher living standards and improved economic lives of farmers, said Vice Chairman of the district’s People’s Commitee Dao Dac Hung.

The poverty rate was brought from 26 percent in 2011 to about 4 percent this year and the annual per capita income reached 42.5 million VND (1,827 USD), a 3.5-fold increase from eight years ago, he added.

Son Soc, a farmer from Thanh Quoi commune, said few days before the festival, his entire family gathered to decorate the house and make “banh tet” (cylindical sticky rice dumpling with pork), an indispensable traditional dish of Sene Dolta.

On September 28, a grand ceremony was held at Moni Sras Keo pagoda in Thanh Tri district and broadcast live by the local television, featuring various Khmer cultural and arts performances.

On the occasion, provincial authorities have visited and presented gifts to 92 Khmer pagodas in the province and met and expressed greetings to key figures of the community and those rendering service to the nation.

Soc Trang province is home to over 397,000 Khmer people who account for 30 percent of the province’s population. They live mainly in Chau Thanh, Long Phu, My Xuyen, Cu Lao Dung and My Tu districts.