|The Khmer celebrate the Chol Chnam Thmay New Year Festival from April 14-16, 2021. (Photo: baosoctrang.org.vn)
The Khmer people live mainly in Soc Trang, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Can Thơ, Kien Giang, and An Giang province. During Chol Chnam Thmay Festival, Buddhist followers attend rituals at pagodas.
Before the Festival, Khmer families prepare Buddhist and ancestral altars. They refurbish houses and Buddhist towers. With support from the authorities, their lives have improved. 30% of Soc Trang province’s population is Khmer. The province’s ethnic policies and development projects have benefited the Khmer community.
Lam Sach, Head of Soc Trang province’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs, said: “The Committee will consult with the provincial People’s Committee and sectors to carry out housing and production land projects for Khmer people. Rural infrastructure projects will be matched local conditions.”
Committees for Ethnic Affairs in localities where the Khmer live have worked with the Association for Solidarity of Patriotic Monks to organize meetings with head monks to inform them of ethnic and religions.
Huynh Van Truong, Secretary of Ngoc Bien commune’s Party Committee in Tra Vinh province, said: “Ngoc Bien commune has both Khmer and Kinh people, living in harmony. During the Kinh New Year Festival and Khmer Chol Chnam Thmay, they visit and congratulate each other. They live and contribute to local economic development together.”
The Chol Chnam Thmay Festival is taking place this year with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread worldwide. Local authorities have asked religious dignitaries, monks, and followers to respect pandemic prevention measures, celebrate the festival at home and avoid large gatherings.