Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Soc Trang 28 (VNA) – A delegation from the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region visited a number of Khmer pagodas and outstanding Khmer households in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang on September 28 on the occasion of their festival Sene Dolta.

The delegation, headed by Nguyen Trung Hieu, deputy head of the committee, extended greetings and presented gifts to Khmer Buddhist dignitaries and followers at Som Rong, Khleang, Mahatup pagodas in Soc Trang cities, and Prek On Dok pagoda and the Pali school in My Xuyen district .

Hieu hailed the Khmer community for their solidarity and contributions to the locality’s socio-economic development, poverty reduction and political security and social order safeguard, especially in ethnic minority areas.

Most Venerable Tang No, vice president of the provincial Patriotic Clergy Solidarity Association highlighted great achievements made by local authorities, saying that thanks to policies of the Party and State, material and spiritual life of Khmer people was improved remarkably.

Over 90 percent of Khmer families in Soc Trang have accessed electricity and hygienic water, Most Venerable Tang No said, adding infrastructure facilities for education and health care have also been constructed and upgraded.

The same day, the Committee for Ethnic Affairs of Vinh Long province held a get-together of prestigious individuals in the local Khmer community to celebrate the Sene Dolta festival.

Speaking at the event, Venerable Thach Chanh Nhenh, head of Ky Son pagoda in Tam Binh district, asked the provincial authorities to pay more attention to investing in infrastructure construction in Khmer communes, improving the quality of education and training, and human resources, and developing staff from ethnic minority groups.

Head of the provincial Committee for Ethnic Affairs Thach Duong affirmed the local authorities will boost education and popularisation to encourage local people to promote democracy in grassroots, promote the role of community-based supervision while paying heed to solving the locals’ urgent matters and encouraging them to expand household economic models.

The Sene Dolta Festival is one of the largest annual Khmer festivals, along with Chol Chnam Thmay (New Year) and Ooc Oom Bok, a festival to thank the Moon for good harvests.

It is held from the 30th day of the eighth lunar month to the second day of the ninth lunar month each year, which falls on September 30-October 2 this year, during which Khmer people pay tribute to their ancestors and take part in community celebration activities with traditional songs and dance after a hard working year.

The majority of Vietnam’s Khmer population lives in the southwestern region, who worship at more than 450 Khmer pagodas.-VNA