Improved living conditions add more joy to Cham people’s Kate Festival

(VOVWORLD) - 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. The annual Kate Festival, which took place between Oct 15 and 17 this year, is a community event for Cham people to honor their ancestors and unite with their families. 2020 celebrations were even more cheerful as the Cham enjoy a better life.
Improved living conditions add more joy to Cham people’s Kate Festival - ảnh 1The gate to Huu Duc hamlet, Phuoc Huu commune, Ninh Phuoc district, Ninh Thuan province. (photo: VOV)


The Kate Festival often takes place at temples and worship towers. 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.

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.”

Improved living conditions add more joy to Cham people’s Kate Festival - ảnh 2  On the yard of the Cham Culture Center in Bau Truc, Ninh Phuoc district, Ninh Thuan province. (photo: VOV)

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 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, Mr. Dat said.“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.”

Improved living conditions add more joy to Cham people’s Kate Festival - ảnh 3Ginger cakes for Kate Festival (photo: VOV) 

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. 

There are about 130,000 Cham people living in Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan provinces. 10 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.