Muong Cha – a glimpse of Cham Muslim culture

 

An Giang is famous nationwide for festivals such as Ba Chua Xu, Chol Chnam Thomay and Dolta. The province is also popular for its ox racing and stunning attractions including Sam Mountain in Chau Doc, Cam Mountain in Tien Binh, Tuc Dup Hill, grottoes of Thuy Dai Son, Anh Vu Son, Co To, and Oc Eo culture.

Yes, there is so much to see and if you are lucky enough to get a chance to visit An Phu District, you will realize that the Mekong Delta province is also famous for craft and interesting cultural features of Cham Muslim people.

An Phu District has five communes, of which Da Phuoc Commune has the largest Cham population of over 6,000 people, who reside in Muong Cha community. Visiting Muong Cha you arrive into the bosom of the Cham Muslim people with their architecturally uplifting Islamic mosques.

Like other mosques, Masjid Jamius Sunnah Mosque is greatly admired due to its elegant architecture with the recognizable dome a striking feature pointing skywards. Most Islamic mosques are designed by painting or carving Arabic words or sentences from the Qur’an to honor Allah. The mosque has a lecture hall covered by a carpet. Iman, the head of the mosque, will stand next to the hall to host ceremonies such as weddings, funerals or other important rituals of Cham Muslim people.

It is a sacred place and visitors who want to enter the mosque, need to wash their face, hands and feet due to Sambayang regulations and to cover their bodies.

Muong Cha is also well-known for the craft of weaving brocade and the most popular firm which tourists choose is the Tares family who have a tradition of making the craft for over half a century with products made by daughters of Tares. The trip is not complete without buying indigenous products for souvenirs.

If travelers have the time they can stay a while and walk around the commune to learn more about the culture and customs and daily life of Cham Muslim people. They won’t regret this wonderful and meaningful experience.

(Source: SGT)

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