Vietnam’s Cham people observe Ramadan festival

(VOVWORLD) - Nearly 60,000 Islamic Cham in the southern region began their holy month of Ramadan last Wednesday. This is an important annual festival for the Islamic Cham and for all Muslims.
Vietnam’s Cham people observe Ramadan festival  - ảnh 1

A prayer service of the women of Chau Phong Cham village. (Photo: Ha Ni Pha/VOV)

The holy month of Ramadan is a time to review the rights and wrongs of the past year, purify oneself, and perform charitable acts. For the entire month, one is not allowed to perform slaughter, cause disunity, or quarrel. No entertainment is permitted during this period.

Mohamad Rohim in charge of the Nourul Ehsan mosque in hamlet 4, in Dong Nai province, said: “This year’s Ramadan festival begins on May 16th.. The locals have stocked sugar, rice, mushrooms, and salt to prepare for a month of fasting.”

In the past, hamlet 4 was an extremely poor village. Thanks to changing their way of thinking and State support policies, life for the local Cham has improved.

Mohamad Amin, head of the Masjid Nourul Ehsan mosque, says village lanes have been paved and concrete houses have replaced wooden stilt houses.

There are nearly 440 households with more than 2,200 people in hamlet 4. Most of villagers of working age are employed by companies located in the commune. With stable incomes, their Ramandan festival this year will be better than in the past.

Mohamad Amin said: “Each year the provincial, district, and commune administrations visit and give gifts and cash to the locals, so we can enjoy Ramadan festival.”

Like the Cham people in hamlet 4, the 7,000 Islamic Cham living in Ho Chi Minh City have bought essential commodities in preparation for prayer services at their mosque.

Ho Chi Minh City’s Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee has visited, congratulated, and presented gifts to the Representative Board of the Muslim Community of Ho Chi Minh City, mosque management boards, and poor households in the city.

Aphi Nah, a poor person who lives in HCMC, said: “Cham people are very glad to receive gifts from administrations at all levels during the holy month.”

Ly Du So, chief of the Representative Board of the Muslim Community of Ho Chi Minh City, said: “In past years, HCM city authorities have promulgated many policies to help Cham ethnic people. These include providing business loans, delivering medical insurance cards, building houses for the poor, and waiving school fees for Cham students.”

Vietnam has more than 80,000 Islamic followers. 85% of them are Cham people who live in southern provinces.