Labor Minister, compatriots observe post-Covid Pchum Ben in South Korea

Labor Minister Ith Samheng (blue shirt) takes part in a group dance September 18 during a visit to South Korea to gain insight into the situation of Cambodian migrant workers. Cambodians who live and work in the East Asian country celebrate the Buddhist festival of Pchum Ben this month. MLVT

Minister of Labor and Vocational Education Ith Samheng met with the Cambodian Embassy in South Korea and more than 10,000 Cambodian students and workers and Ansan city authorities on September 18 to commemorate Pchum Ben and the days of Kan Ben after a long Covid-19 celebrate break.

Samheng led the celebrations and expressed his appreciation to the expatriate Cambodians for their excellent adherence to cultural traditions and respectful nature.

Cambodian Buddhists observe Pchum Ben for 15 days, which fall between September 11 and 25 this year, the first 14 of which are enumerated as the 1st to 14th Kan Ben Days, when families usually gather in pagodas and eat and other offerings for monks.

The main celebrations take place over the three days of September 24-26, beginning on the 14th Kan Ben Day and including an additional day after the first day of the “Great Sacrifice” or Ben Thom on September 25 to coincide with the new one Moon. The entire 16-day holiday is dedicated to commemorating ancestors and an opportunity for families to come together.

Samheng also praised the labor market in South Korea, saying working conditions are good and wages are high.

“Workers who have the opportunity to come here to work should remember that this is due to efforts to establish diplomatic ties with South Korea since 1997,” he added.

He pointed out that Cambodian workers in South Korea have been recognized for an excellent work ethic and positive attitude, despite recent events in which a number of workers – known for their political affiliations with the League for Democracy Party (LDP) – abruptly resigned their jobs left and returned to Cambodia to escape alleged “global tsunamis” predicted by LDP leader Khem Veasna.

At the time, Veasna’s appeal attracted not only his supporters in the kingdom and pro-LDP workers in South Korea, but also those in Japan and Thailand.

“We are saddened that a small number of workers in Korea believed a politician’s superstitious propaganda and quit their jobs and returned home. This damaged the reputation of Cambodian workers, who are almost always respected by Korean employers.

“Those who left also lost good sources of income that could have supported their families,” he said, without naming the LDP leader, who pronounced himself “universe protecting Brahma” when appealing to his supporters, himself to gather at his plantation in Banteay Srei in Siem Reap province district to survive the alleged apocalypse.

The minister said that everyone has the right to believe in anything they want, but before committing to an extreme belief, one should consider what it might cost him. He called on all Cambodian workers to have faith in the government, which will continue to ensure Cambodia’s rapid development.

Cambodian Ambassador to South Korea Chring Botum Rangsay expressed his delight that the celebrations took place after a two-year delay.

She said the event aims to follow Khmer traditions and showcase Khmer cultural identity to South Koreans and other foreigners there, as well as create a joyful atmosphere for Cambodian workers.

She vowed to keep paying close attention to helping Cambodian citizens who need help in South Korea, adding that she is always ready to work with local authorities to resolve any issues and improve rights and freedoms — as well as working conditions – to promote. the Cambodian community in South Korea.

“It is noteworthy that Cambodia was one of only 16 countries during the pandemic whose workers were not prevented from working here,” she noted.

According to the latest Labor Ministry report, South Korea has about 50,000 Cambodian workers. Thailand has the highest number at more than 1.2 million. In total, the kingdom has more than 1.3 million citizens working abroad who send around $3 billion worth of remittances back to their families annually.

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