|The 7th Southern Khmer Festival of Culture, Sport and Tourism is being held in Bạc Liêu Province from November 17-19. — VNS Photo Ngọc Diệp|
MEKONG DELTA — The seventh Culture, Sports and Tourism Festival of the Khmer in 12 southern provinces kicked off in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bạc Liêu last night.
The traditional festival, with the theme "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 many Khmer groups from Cần Thơ and HCM Cities, as well as the provinces of Tây Ninh, Bình Phước, Vĩnh Long, Trà Vinh, An Giang, Hậu Giang, Kiên Giang, Sóc Trăng, Bạc Liêu and Cà Mau.
Speaking at the opening ceremony last night, the chairman of the Bạc Liêu Province’s People’s Committee, Dương Thành Trung, said the festival was a good opportunity for the province to promote a spirit of solidarity as well as 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 Trương Hòa Bình said the Khmer community had made great contributions to the nation’s independence and freedom in the past, and to the sustainable development of the country in recent years.
He praised the great efforts of the provincial authorities for their support of the Khmer people’s spirit and culture.
“Besides paying attention to reviving and preserving traditional culture, localities should promote the new cultural values, especially in the border areas,” he added.
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 or upgraded nine Ghe Ngo (traditional Khmer boats) and 17 traditional Khmer pentatonic musical instruments.
The organisers expect to welcome about 5,000 visitors to the festival.
Every three years, the event features the 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 Hậu Giang Province. — VNS