Viet Nam News
SÓC TRĂNG — The traditional Oóc Om Bóc Festival that gives thanks for the year’s harvests will be held in the Cửu Long (Mekong) River Delta province of Sóc Trăng this month.
The festival, one of the Khmer’s three largest, is celebrated every year by Khmers who live in the region’s provinces of Sóc Trăng, Trà Vinh, Vĩnh Long, Kiên Giang, An Giang, Bạc Liêu and Cà Mau.
This year’s festival will open with a Ngo (Khmer boat) race of 58 troupes, including 11 troupes of female racers from Sóc Trăng, Bạc Liêu and Cà Mau.
The race will be bigger than ever before, with more than 400 racers, all of them Khmer.
Hundreds of cultural performances and traditional games will be staged, involving many professional and amateur artisans and sports people in the region.
The artists will perform in a wide variety of cultural shows, music presentations and sport activities.
Visitors will be invited to dance with youngsters in traditional clothes from other ethnic groups to learn more about Khmer art and culture.
The festival will include a trade fair expected to attract 200 foreign and domestic companies and enterprises in the region.
The fair will include 500 stalls displaying local products in agriculture, handicrafts and processing food.
The Dù Kê Theatre Festival 2017 will also be featured.
The event aims to introduce and preserve Dù Kê, a unique style of musical theatre created by Khmer people in the region.
Dù Kê originated in Trà Vinh in 1920 from local farmers who loved to sing. The art is the product of the creativity of the Khmer.
“In traditional Khmer clothes, our artists will sing, dance and stage plays based on the religions, traditional customs and culture of the Khmer,” said actress Thạch Thị Hà of the Ánh Bình Minh Traditional Art Troupe of Trà Vinh Province.
“Through our outdoor shows, we hope young people can learn about traditional art and discover their country’s culture as well as learn useful lessons about love, life and people,” she said.
Authorities in Sóc Trăng and Trà Vinh, where the largest population of Khmer people live, said that local living conditions had improved and gifts had been presented to outstanding Khmer families and students.
“We have worked to prepare for the annual Oóc Om Bóc this year to serve locals and visitors. Through our festival, we want to show our deep gratitude and respect to our forefathers and gods, and our government authorities who have helped us live and work well," said Ngô Hùng, deputy chairman of the Sóc Trăng Province’s People’s Committee.
The six-day festival begins on October 28. — VNS