Participants at the get-together (Source: VNA)
Soc Trang (VNA) - Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue congratulated the Khmer ethnic community in southern Vietnam on their traditional Chol Chnam Thmay New Year festival during a get-together in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang on April 7.

The function brought together nearly 900 people, including monks, Vietnamese heroic mothers, officers, soldiers and local people from the Khmer group in the Southwest region.

In his speech, Deputy PM Hue, who is also head of the Steering Committee for the Southwest region, hailed great efforts made by regional authorities and people to obtain significant achievements of socio-economic development.

He asked relevant ministries, sectors and regional localities to effectively perform the Party and State’s policies on ethnic and religious issues while stressing assistance for disadvantaged Khmer families to help them enjoy a merry Chol Chnam Thmay.

Deputy head of the Steering Committee Son Minh Thang reported that the poverty rate among regional Khmer households was reduced to 20 percent at the end of 2016.

Special attention has been paid to education and training-related works, especially building and upgrading boarding and day-boarding schools for students from ethnic groups, contributing to improving the education quality in the region.

In addition, all the communes in the region had medical stations, with 70-80 percent of them being recognised to meet the nation’s standards of health care.

Traditional customs and cultural identities have also been conserved and upheld, Thang added.

Chol Chnam Thmay, taking place from April 14-16, is one of the most important festivals of the year for the Khmer people.
        
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 the promise of a new year.-VNA