From my personal experience, most of my non-Muslim friends know that there is a month where Muslims fast for 30 days and that it is called the “fasting month” but most of them do not know the name of this fasting month. So I was surprised when my Vietnamese friend Hami asked me a question to clarify something about fasting but instead of referring to it as “fasting month”, she said “Ramadhan”. Plus, she also seemed to know more than the basic info than my other non-Muslim friends.
So naturally I was curious. I asked her, “How u know so much about Ramadhan?”
“Back in my hometown I got one friend who also fast in Ramadhan”
“Oh really? She’s Muslim? (Obviously rite mardh…duh)”
“Yup, she also wear like you” (referring to my scarf..hehe so funny the way she describe it)
Then she told me that her hometown has 20% Muslims and the reason why is that its near Cambodia which also has a population of Muslims (suddenly I remembered the recce we did last year and we took some photos with fellow Cambodian Muslim sisters).
I did some research and found that:
Islam in Vietnam is primarily the religion of the Cham people, a minority ethnic group related to Malays; however, roughly one-third of the Muslims in Vietnam are of other ethnic groups. There is also a community describing themselves of mixed ethnic origins (Cham, Khmer, Malay, Minang, Viet, Chinese and Arab), who practice Islam and are also known as Cham, or Cham Muslims, around the region of Chau Doc in the Southwest. Uthman ibn Affan, the third Caliph of Islam, sent the first official Muslim envoy to Vietnam and Tang Dynasty China in 650. (Wikipedia)
Similar to Cambodian Muslims, who are also made up of the Cham people.
I told Hami that I wanna visit her hometown one day & eat Halal Vietnamese food – and she said OK! :D
So awesome. I wonder how Ramadhan is like in Vietnam.