Vietnamese community in Czech gets minority status

The Czech Republic’s government on July 3 officially recognized the Vietnamese community in the country as a minority group.

A government commissioner for human rights, Monika Simunkova, told Prague Radio that the Vietnamese and Belarusian communities will each have its own representative at the Government Council for National Minorities, as decided by the cabinet on Wednesday.

With the minority status, representatives of these minorities will be able to participate in the drafting of the bills that concern them, Simunkova said.

The representative for the Vietnamese community at the council is Mr. Pham Huu Uyen.

With a minority status, the Vietnamese community will be given support from the Czech Republic’s budget to preserve and develop their culture, tradition and mother tongue.

Tran Viet Hung, deputy chairman of the Vietnamese Association in Czech Republic, said that this is good news to all Vietnamese people living in the country, since the minority status ensures them the right to use Vietnamese language at offices as well as courts, set up Vietnamese broadcast or TV programs, among others.

There are about 65,000 Vietnamese legally living in Czech Republic, Hung said.

Under the Czech Republic’s law, a minority group is formed by those bearing Czech nationality or other groups living in the country who are different from other groups in terms of ethnicity, language, culture, tradition and represent a crowded community.

Once giving an official status as a minority group, that community will also have the rights to learn their mother language as well as other cultural rights, including one for which the State will support them in preserving traditions.

Up to now, there have been 12 official ethnic groups recognized in the Czech Republic, including Bulgarians, Croatians, Hungarians, Germans, Poles, Romanians, Rusyns, Russians, Greeks, Serbians and Ukrainians.