Vietnamese Community thriving in Cambodia

The growing Vietnamese community in the Meanchey District of Phnom Penh, Cambodia contributes to economic development of the country.

Traders at the Chbar Ampov market near the Monivong Bridge call the place Saigon Market.

Dinh Quang Thong, 25, is an ethnic Vietnamese born and raised in Cambodia.  His family is from the Vinh Long Province in the Mekong Delta.  They immigrated to Cambodia in 1980 and currently own a coffee shop in the market.

“We want nothing here but joy and traditional atmosphere during Tet holidays,” said Quang’s mother. Vietnamese shops line Chrong Bac Street such as barbershops, restaurants, and medical clinics.

Hairdresser Lam Minh Truong, 35, from An Giang Province has lived in Cambodia for 20 years.

Grocery shop owners Tran Van Cua and Nguyen Thi Cam Loan from Dong Thap Province have a steady income and home.

The community offers language classes as an attempt to preserve and promote cultural identity yet few private schools and churches offer Vietnamese language classes.

Buddhist Monk Thich Thien Phuong resides in the Kim Phuoc Vietnamese Pagoda.  He immigrated there from Hoa Long Pagoda, Tinh Bien District, An Giang Province. He offers gifts to underprivileged people in Tonle Sap Lake during Vu Lan Buddhist Festival on the 17th of the lunar seventh month.

Most of overseas Vietnamese wishes to return home after living abroad for a long time because there's no place like home.

By Thuy Vu – Translated by Kim Khanh

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