The southern provinces of Bac Lieu, Soc Trang and Tra Vinh on April 10 held get-togethers for Khmer people ahead of their traditional Chol Chnam Thmay (New Year) festival, which falls annually in mid-April.

In Soc Trang, home to about 400,000 Khmer people, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Vo Minh Chien wished all Khmer monks, heroic mothers and people a happy New Year.

He praised the Khmer ethnic minority community’s contributions to the province’s socio-economic development and political security maintenance.

The Khmer people said they are pleased with the Party and State’s investment in Khmer-inhabited areas that has helped improve their living standards and reduce poverty among them.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Southwestern Region Steering Committee and provincial authorities met with nearly 300 representatives of Khmer monks and people in Bac Lieu province.

In 2013, thanks to the Party and State’s policies, more than 800 Khmer households escaped from poverty.

In Tra Vinh province, more than 600 Khmer officials, monks and people also gathered to celebrate the festival.

In 2013 and the first quarter of this year, the province invested over 314 billion VND (14.7 million USD) in building homes for 26,442 poor Khmer households.

On this occasion, authorities of the three provinces also visited and presented gifts to local Khmer people.

The Chol Chnam Thmay festival is one of the most important festivals of the year for Khmer people. It is usually held at pagodas during which people wish and pray for a lucky new year.-VNA