Khmer traditional costume performance (Source www.sggp.org.vn)

Bac Lieu (VNA) -
The seventh Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival of the Khmer in 12 southern provinces kicked off in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu on November 17.

The traditional festival themed "Preserve and Promote the Khmer Ethnic Culture to Meet Demand for Sustainable Development of the Country" will close on November 19.

Participants include 2,000 artists, actors, musicians, spectators and Khmer groups from the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City as well as the provinces of Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, An Giang, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chairman of the Bac Lieu People’s Committee Duong Thanh Trung said the festival creates a good opportunity for the province to promote solidarity, arts and cultural exchanges that help preserve ethnic Khmer’s traditional culture.

The festival aims to have "all people unite to build a cultural life" and new countryside, he said.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said the Khmer community had made great contributions to the nation’s independence and freedom in the past and sustainable development in recent years.

He praised the provincial authorities for supporting the Khmer people’s spirit and culture.

“Besides paying attention to reviving and preserving traditional culture, localities should promote new cultural values, especially in the border areas,” he noted.

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 and upgraded nine Ghe Ngo (traditional Khmer boats) and 17 traditional Khmer pentatonic musical instruments.

Every three years, the event features sports, culture and tourism traditions of the Khmer community and offers visitors an opportunity to take part in various activities.

In 2014, the sixth Khmer festival was hosted by Hau Giang province.-VNA