A lot of activities are taking place across southern provinces to celebrate the Khmer ethnic group’s Chol Chnam Thmay (New Year) festival, which falls on April 14-16.
In An Giang province, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Vo Thi Anh Xuan led a delegation to visit and present gifts to Khmer monks and people in Tri Ton district on April 10.
She wished Khmer monks and people a warm, cheerful and happy New Year festival.
Visiting Krang Kroch pagoda in Chau Lang commune and Sa Lon pagoda in Luong Phi commune, Xuan expressed her hope that the pagodas continue encouraging Khmer ethnics to, together with local authorities and people, develop the locality further.
Chau Anne, deputy head of the provincial Committee on Ethnic Affairs, said that An Giang is home to 86,590 Khmer ethnics living mostly in Tri Ton and Tinh Bien districts, accounting for 3.9 percent of the province’s population.
Meanwhile, Bac Lieu province held a get-together on this occasion, during which Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Vuong Phuong Nam said that programmes, projects and policies targeting the ethnic minority community have proved effective in the province, with the living conditions of the community, including Khmer ethnics, improved and the poverty rate down over the years.
The province is targeting a reduction of 3-4 percent in the poverty rate a year.
A similar gathering was organised in Bac Lieu’s neighbouring province of Soc Trang province, which is home to over 400,000 Khmer ethnics, accounting for more than 30 percent of the province’s population.
Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Huynh Van Sum asked local authorities to pay more attention to poverty reduction in the Khmer community, improve infrastructure in Khmer-inhabited communes, and increase the quality of vocational training in line with job generation.
On the day, Tra Vinh province also held a gathering for more than 350 Khmer officials, monks and prestigious people in the Khmer ethnic community in the province.
Chol Chnam Thmay is one of the most important festivals for Khmer people in Cambodia. It usually lasts three days from April 14-16 and is celebrated mostly in pagodas. 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 a promising new year.VNA