The Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival of the Khmer kicked off in the Mekong Delta province this week. The festival aims to have “all people unite to build a cultural life”.
Vietnam is home to approximately 1.4 million Khmer descendants.
Deputy Prime Minister Trương Hòa Bình said the Khmer community had made great contributions to the nation’s independence and freedom in the past, and to the sustainable development of the country in recent years.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Committee Chairman Dương Thành Trung said the festival was a good opportunity for the province to promote a spirit of unity as well as arts and cultural exchanges that help preserve ethnic Khmer’s traditional culture.
The traditional festival is held once every 3 years. Over 2,000 participants this year include artists, actors, musicians, spectators and many Khmer groups from Cần Thơ and HCM Cities, as well as the provinces of Tây Ninh, Bình Phước, Vĩnh Long, Trà Vinh, An Giang, Hậu Giang, Kiên Giang, Sóc Trăng, Bạc Liêu and Cà Mau.
He praised the significant efforts of the provincial authorities for their support of the Khmer people’s spirit and culture. “Besides paying attention to reviving and preserving traditional culture, localities should promote the new cultural values, especially in the border areas,” he added.
The three-day festival features traditional ethnic Khmer activities, including folk games, art and musical performances, costume shows, and cuisine and sports competitions.
The province has built or upgraded nine Ghe Ngo (traditional Khmer boats) and 17 traditional Khmer pentatonic musical instruments.
Every three years, the event features the sports, culture and tourism traditions of the Khmer community and offers visitors an opportunity to take part in various activities. The organisers expect to welcome about 5,000 additional visitors to the festival.