Stable living conditions brings more joy to largest festival of Cham ethnic people
The Cham ethnic minority people, followers of Balamon religion, in central Binh Thuan province are holding their traditional Kate festival in Phan Thiet city. Source: binhthuan.gov.vn
The Cham ethnic people live mainly in the south central provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan. Their traditional culture centers in festivals, architecture, costumes, pottery craft, and brocade weaving. Falling on the first days of the seventh month of the Cham calendar, Kate is one of the most important festivals of the Cham people in Ninh Thuan.
The annual festival, which took place between October 15 and 18 this year, is a community event for Cham people to honor their ancestors and unite with their families.
The Kate Festival often takes place at temples and worship towers.
There are about 130,000 Cham people living in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces. Ten of 12 Cham communes in Ninh Thuan province have reached new rural criteria.
Binh Thuan province has partially finished its universal primary education and illiteracy programs for Cham people with 98% of school age children in attendance.
The Cham people in Phuoc Huu commune (Ninh Thuan province) have enjoyed a happier festival since the localinfrastructure has been improved. Many village lanes have been expanded while the village gate, markets, school, and cultural house were rebuilt spaciously, VOV reported.
La Van Diem of Huu Duc hamlet says the local authorities tried to finish the construction of public works before the Kate Festival: “We just harvested the summer-autumn rice crop. We have prepared everything to celebrate the Kate Festival to bring a merry mood to everyone.”
Nearly 100 people in Bau Truc pottery village participated in a community dance for the Kate celebration. Dang Thi Lang said they were very happy to perform at the festival and at the new Cultural Center: “People in Bau Truc village are very happy that we have a nice, new community house. We will perform our traditional art when we welcome tourists here.”
Truong Van Tan in Phuoc Dan town, shares his happiness about the improved living condition, “The Party and State have paid due attention to the Cham people. Bau Truc pottery and My Nghiep craft weaving villages are developing very well. Social welfare, infrastructure development, and social security are ensured.”
The Cham people in Phuoc Huu commune (Ninh Thuan province) have enjoyed a happier festival since the localinfrastructure has been improved. Source: ninhthuan.gov.vn
The cheerful atmosphere at the Kate Festival is in every Cham village in Binh Thuan. Thong Dạt, a 60-year-old man in Ham Phu commune, said he feels joyful that the life of Cham people has been improved materially and culturally despite severe impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and prolonged droughts.
With respect for their ancestors, Cham families prepared offerings to invite them to the Kate celebration. “Cham people, young or old, cheerfully celebrate the traditional festival. In spite of economic difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we well organized a Kate festival to show devotion to our ancestors,” Dat said.
During the Kate festival, all markets are more crowded than usual. Lam Thi Minh Nhan, a trader in Phan Hiep market said she sells very well during the Kate season. People buy materials to cook traditional dishes. “The Kate festival has many kinds of traditional cakes made from glutinous rice powder, eggs, and ginger,” Nhan said.