Khmer New Year celebrated through music and dance

THE First Khmer Music and Dance Festival 2019, which opened on April 2 in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta province of Soc Trang, wrapped up on Tuesday.

The eight-day event was part of the province’s cultural activities to celebrate the Khmer New Year (Chol Chnam Thmay), which falls on April 14, 15 and 16 this year.

The festival attracted 300 veteran and young artists from traditional art troupes and clubs from the regional provinces of Soc Trang, Tra Vinh, Kien Giang, An Giang, Vinh Long, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau.

The artists performed in a wide variety of 125 cultural shows, music presentations and sport activities.

Visitors were invited to dance with young people dressed in traditional clothes from other ethnic groups to learn more about Khmer art and culture.

The festival also highlighted Du Ke, a unique style of musical theatre created by the Khmer in the region.

Du Ke originated in Tra Vinh in 1920 from local farmers who loved to sing. The art is a product of the creativity of the Khmer.

The performances was staged by leading traditional theatres such as Anh Binh Minh Traditional Art Troupe of Tra Vinh province.

“In traditional Khmer clothes, our artists will sing, dance and stage plays based on the religions, traditional customs and culture of the Khmer,” said Nguyen Van Bon, director of the Soc Trang Television & Radio Station, a member of the festival’s organising board.

“Through our festival, 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,” he said.

Soc Trang Province is home to over 397,000 Khmer people, who account for 30 per cent of the province;s population. They live mainly in Chau Thanh, Long Phu, My Xuyen, Cu Lao Dung and My Tu districts.

In recent years, with assistance from the Party, State and the local government, the community has charted a path to progress, abolishing outdated practices, bringing development and prosperity to Khmer villages. Viet Nam news/Asia News Network

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