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Vietnamese Khmer festivities begin in Mekong Delta (April 24, 2003)

KIEN GIANG — The ethnic Khmer people of the Mekong Delta kicked off a festival in Rach Gia on Monday night, attracting thousands of performers, artisans and sports people from across the southern region.

The live televised opening ceremony, attended by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung, showcased folk performances, demonstrations of traditional costumes and cuisine, and traditional games.

The event will be accompanied by a seminar that will aim to restore, preserve and develop Khmer culture, and will display images and objects from everyday life.

Deputy Minister of the Culture and Information (MoCI) Vy Trong Toan, said the festival would foster cultural exchanges among ethnic Khmer people.

Toan said the more than 10,000 participants will not only learn about the arts and culture of other ethnic groups, but will introduce the history and development of their culture to people in Viet Nam and around the world. The rich culture of the Khmer people has been forged through local changes to the entire society, economy, security and defence.

The MoCI will select the most beautiful performances for inclusion in the Khmer Culture Day, which will take place in Ha Noi this December as part of the celebrations for the 22nd SEA Games.

Two Cambodian delegations will also participate in the festival, which ends this Thursday. — VNS

Reprinted with permission from Vietnam News Agency


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