The Cham ethnic group living in the southern province of An Giang is renowned for its rich and distinctive cultural values which need preserving. To introduce those cultural traits to more people, the Cham people’s house-warming celebration and house column building ritual have been re-enacted at the Vietnam National Villages for Ethnic Culture and Tourism in Dong Mo, Son Tay district, Hanoi.

For the Cham Islam people in An Giang, house column building is seen as an important ritual when building a new house. When the day comes, the house owner invites neighbouring young men and dignitaries to help them build the columns. While the columns are being pulled up, they pray together.

Mah Go Liep, a Cham ethnic living in An Giang province said: "House-warming celebrations are important to the community as building a house was a big deal." He added: "When one builds a house, he always wants to settle in and have a happy life in it."

After performing the House Column Building Ritual, the house owner will host a big house-warming celebration. First, a stove, three jars of rice, salt and water are placed around the house column, implying their wishes for a prosperous life ahead. A ritual to pray for family members’ health and unity also takes place.

When performing the rituals, the house owner invites guests to join a party with traditional cakes.

"We used to watch the rituals on TV but this is my first time to attend one. I find it very interesting," said Do Thi Nghia, a visitor from Ha Dong district, Hanoi.

According to Pham The Trieu, Deputy Director of An Giang’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Cham people’s culture is introduced to visitors to help them understand more about the ethnic group and boost local tourism.

The house-warming celebration is among numerous intriguing festivals of Cham people. Representatives of Cham people are going to move in to the Vietnam National Villages for Ethnic Culture and Tourism as the 11th ethnic group permanently residing in the village to familiarize visitors with typical Cham cultural values-VNA​