A man from the Cham ethnic group hops on a motorbike taxi in front of an apartment building on Phan Van Han Street in Binh Thanh District. Nearly 200 people from the Cham ethnic group occupy around half of the building, and have been living here for more than two decades. The women wear head scarves most of the time. “We only take them off when we take a bath, go to sleep or when we have permission from our fathers or husbands,” Sophia, a 50-year-old woman, said. Sikho (left), 69, said their prececessors migrated from An Giang Province in the Mekong Delta during colonial years. They first lived along the Thi Nghe Canal but were relocated to the building in 1995 following the canal cleanup project. There are other Cham communities in District 8 and Phu Nhuan on the city’s outskirts, she said. The families here share an apartment on the top floor and use it as a mosque. Women are strictly prohibited, except during Ramadan. “During prayers, we don’t touch each other and think of nothing but God,” a man named Mohamah said. A boy at the mosque with his father. All children are instructed in the religious practice by their parents. Karim,… Read full this story
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