A get-together was held in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh on April 8 to celebrate the traditional Chol Chnam Thmay New Year festival, one of the most important festivals of the year for the Khmer people.
The event brought together over 400 Khmer officials and outstanding people aswell as representatives of 142 local Khmer pagodas.
Addressing the event, Vice Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Ngo Chi Cuong hailed the local authorities’ efforts in implementing policies, programmes and projects to support local Khmer people, contributing to improving their living standards, especially those in disadvantaged areas.
He reported that poor households in Tra Vinh in 2016 numbered 30,000, a year-on-year decrease of over 2 percent. Of which, the poverty rate among Khmer families dropped 2.66 percent. Per-capita income of the locality is about VND 33.4 million (USD 1,473 ) per year.
Khmer households in Tra Vinh were called to make more efforts in production and study, in order to improve their families’ economy and contribute to the local development.
Regarding the implementation of ethnic policies in the locality, head of the provincial Department of Ethnic Affairs Kien Ninh said the province invested VND 42 billion (USD 1.85 million ) in constructing 75 infrastructure facilities and supporting Khmer households’ production in 2016.
Attention has been also paid to strengthening the political system in ethnic minority communities. Tra Vinh boasts 6,750 Party members being Khmer people, accounting for over 16 percent of its total Party members.
The local authorities have also given priority to implementing education and health care-related programmes. In 2016-2017, the province has over 65,000 high school pupils from Khmer families, marking up over 32 percent of its total. Khmer people’s language and culture have been included in the training programme of Tra Vinh University.
This year, the local authorities will receive an assistance worth over VND 47 billion (USD 2.1 million) to implement a number of polices and programmes for local Khmer communities, towards promoting the province’s economic development.
The province will spend VND 700 million organising the traditional Chol Chnam Thmay festival for Khmer people and presenting gifts to policy beneficiaries and Khmer pagodas on the occasion.
Chol Chnam Thmay is a demonstration of Khmer people’s aspirations, like many other thnic groups, to move on from the previous year’s misfortunes and look forward to the promise of a new year.