Khmer Krom: Dragon Boat Tradition Continues at Toronto
More than 3, 000 paddlers from 12 countries will take part in the races which started early today and finishes on Sunday 13th August.
Captain of the Khmers Kampuchea Krom Seattle team, Mr. Thanh Son will be leading his dedicated team of 48 members into the races with the back up of hundreds of other Khmer Krom community members who have flocked to Toronto City in show of their support.
Dragon boat racing is a well known tradition practiced amongst the Khmer Krom people of the Mekong Delta region and continues to be celebrated in grand style during the Bonh Om Boc festival held annually.
For the Khmer Krom communities in Kampuchea Krom (South Vietnam) and aboard, dragon boat racing is not only a sport but a cultural identity that they have and continue to preserve. Also celebrated in Cambodia, such festivals provide unique opportunities for the competitive spirits as well as allowing the Khmer Krom communities to celebrate their rich and diverse culture.
Everyone wants to know about us, says Venerable Be Rong, a young Khmer Krom Buddhist monk who has flown from California to show his support.
In addition to the racing competition, the Khmers Kampuchea Krom Federation has proudly displayed their rich and unique culture with Chay Yum, beats of drums and masked dancers as well as a traditional Khmer dancing performance.
Since its first international presence during the IDBF World Championships in Philadelphia in which their teams won Gold, the Khmer Krom dragon boat paddlers have been getting waves of recognition and respect by the greater communities.