Every summer, monks from Khmer pagodas in southern province of Kiên Giang host classes to teach the written Khmer language to local children in 1st to 7th grade.
Local monks are enthusiastic with the classes. — VNA/VNS Photos Hồng Đạt
This helps preserve Khmer language in the region.
There are nearly 1.7 million people in the province, who are of three main ethnic groups: the Kinh ethnic group accounts for more than 85 per cent; Khmer, over 12 per cent, Chinese over 1.7 per cent and others, 0.06 per cent. They tend to mingle in the same residential areas.
A teenager learns how to pronounce Khmer words at the class.
Since 2005, more than 17,000 people have been taught the Khmer script in the classes.
Monk Danh Điệp gives marks to students’ homework at Tà Bết Pagoda, Thạnh Lộc Commune, Châu Thành District, Kiên Giang Province.
There are 76 southern Buddhist Khmer sect pagodas in the province, which host more than 900 monks. Some 210,000 people follow the religion in the province, or more than 12 per cent the whole population. The number accounts for nearly 43 per cent of all religious followers in the province.
Monk Danh Sóc Kha at Tà Bết Pagoda.
Four pagodas in the province have been recognised as national relic sites, while two others are provincial level relic sites.
Such a Khmer language class is free to local children.
Some pagodas preserve the tradition of making ghe ngo (wooden boats), organise boat racing tournaments every year and teach locals to play traditional music instruments, all in an attempt to preserve the traditional culture of Khmer people. — VNS