Cham ethnic community celebrates distinctive culture

Update: 18/05/2022
Source: The Saigon Times - - May 18, 2022
While Vietnam was celebrating four days of holiday to mark the anniversary of the country’s Reunification, Chau Phong Village, Chau Doc Commune, in An Giang Province, had its very own celebration. The village is home to the Cham ethnic people, mostly Muslims.

Children often light candles two nights before the end of Ramadan. It is a tradition specific to Chau Phong. PHOTOS: JOANIK BELLALOU

The Muslim religion, Islam, centers around five main pillars, and one of them is the holy month of Ramadan.This tradition is one of the most important.

According to the Quran, the holy month of Ramadan represents the opportunity for self-introspection, as well as reinforcing Islamic beliefs, and to reflect upon those who face a shortage of food throughout the year.

In Vietnam, the Cham community is one of the 54 ethnic groups in the country. Nowadays, the Cham from Chau Phong and their unique traditions from Islam are a unique opportunity to explore the diversity of Vietnam.

The Imam of the Jamiul Azhar Mosque counts every minute before proclaiming the end of fasting

The Jamiul Azhar Mosque is the most important religious edifice in Chau Phong Village. During the holy month of Ramadan, the place can gather up to 250 people.

As stated in the Quran, Muslims have to present themselves in a clean state before God

A young worshiper at the women’s mosque

As sunset comes, the men prepare a mixture made from coconut milk for breakfast, as it goes with the tradition. A sweet soup is usually served.

Some Muslims from other villages in Chau Doc take the ferry to participate in the celebration in Chau Phong

A teenager and her family rush to complete last-minute grocery shopping. It is not rare to experience cravings during Ramadan.

A young worshiper goes to the mosque after the end of Ramadan. Muslims can eat and drink at ease while celebrating and giving each other gifts in the form of food and drink.

A man stands in front of a mosque

A young teenager in front of her house in Chau Phong awaits the sunset so she can go out

On the occasion, visitors rent traditional outfits and organize a photoshoot at a shop in the heart of the village

By Joanik Bellalou