The Cham ethnic minority people, followers of Balamon religion, in central Ninh Thuan province are holding their traditional Kate festival, the biggest annual festival of Cham people, from September 28-30, 2008.
Local authorities and mass organisations have created favourable conditions for Balamon followers to organise the Kate festival and cultural, art and sport activities during the festive days.
Ninh Thuan province now has more than 67,600 Cham people, representing 11.69 percent of the province’s population. About 37,150 of them are Balamon followers.
Local authorities have spent more than VND 30 billion to restore and preserve Cham towers, and more than VND 18 billion to build the craft villages and a stadium of Cham people. The proverty rate in Ninh Thuan’s Cham households has reduced to below 15 percent.
On the occasion of the Kate festival, representatives of local authorities also visited and presented gifts to a number of Balamon dignitaries and outstanding Cham families.
On September 28, 2008 (June 30 according to the Cham calendar), thousands of Cham people in central Binh Thuan province also gathered at Poshanu Tower in Phan Thiet city to celebrate the Kate festival.
The two-day festival is organised at the foot of Poshanu towers and draws participation of Cham artists across the province.
Binh Thuan is home to more than 30,000 Cham people, becoming the locality with 2nd largest number of Cham people in the country.
Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan have broadcast TV and radio programmes in the Cham language and used the language at some primary schools in the areas inhabited Cham people.
Source: VNA - Vietnamtourism