Currently, there are more than 180,000 Vietnamese people studying, working and living in Cambodia. Despite their different living conditions, each expat shares a common interest and aspiration to live a full life, and at the same time continue to strengthen, develop community, preserve cultural identity, national traditions, maintain Vietnamese language and promote origin-oriented activities. That is also the motto of a Vietnamese class for overseas Vietnamese in Koh Kong province (southwest of Cambodia).
Currently, the province of Koh Kong has about more than 450 Vietnamese households with over one thousand people. However, like most overseas Vietnamese in Cambodia, the lives of people here are still very difficult, when most of them do not have Cambodian nationality, as well as stable careers. That leads to the fact that many overseas Vietnamese children grow up do not have sufficient conditions to study, or if they are lucky enough to go to Cambodian schools, they can hardly speak Vietnamese.
Mr. Nguyen Nhi Anh, President of the Khmer-Vietnam Association in Koh Kong province, said that the association previously rented a place to open free Vietnamese classes for people, but due to lack of funding, it had to closed for over 2 years. In 2020, with the great efforts of the community here, along with the support of the Consulate General, the Embassy of Vietnam in Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City, the class finally reopened for free.
Up to now, the school has attracted more than 20 students who are overseas Vietnamese children. Duong Ngoc Thao My said: “My mother is Vietnamese, so I want to join this class to know more Vietnamese. I find Vietnamese books are very good so I try to learn to know more.”
The teacher of the class Duong Kim Hue always thinks, there are many ways to express ones’self, but what is better than sharing feelings with our loved one in our mother tongue.
And with her love and responsibility, she always mobilizes the children to come to the Vietnamese class: “I want them to know many languages, especially Vietnamese. Through that, the children will know that they are of Vietnamese origin, and they know their mother tongue. I also hope that from now on, more people will know about this class, as well as more students will come to join the class.”
Overseas Vietnamese are becoming more and more aware of the importance of maintaining Vietnamese to the existence and development of overseas Vietnamese as an ethnic community with its own cultural identity. The activities are designed to maintain, preserve and disseminate Vietnamese in the community, especially for the young generation, as well as express the desire and efforts of the Vietnamese community abroad to preserve cultural identity, tradition in which the focus is on maintaining the national language.
According to ubvk.hochiminhcity.gov.vn