Vietnamese community granted minority status in Czech Republic

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The Czech Republic has officially recognized the country's Vietnamese community as a national minority, according to the local Vietnamese Embassy.

 

The Czech government decided to expand its Council for Ethnic Minorities by recognizing Czech-Vietnamese and Czech-Belarusians as minorities, as had been previously proposed by Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, who heads the council.

 

Pham Huu Uyen, who represents Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic, was invited to join the council.

 

Tran Viet Hung, deputy chairman of the Czech-Vietnamese Society, told Vietnam News Agency the recognition was "good news" for the local Vietnamese community.

 

With the new status, Czech-Vietnamese will receive support from the government's budget to preserve Vietnamese culture, tradition and language, he said.

 

According to Pravo, a daily Czech newspaper, the law confers the right to officially recognized minorities to ask for bilingual inscriptions under certain conditions.

 

Such minorities also have the right to use their mother tongue when interacting with authorities and in court.

 

The state is obliged to support the language and culture of officially recognized minorities, Pravo reported.

 

There are 12 officially recognized national minorities in the Czech Republic. The Vietnamese are the country's third largest ethnic community, after Slovaks and Ukrainians.

 

About 58,000 Vietnamese reside legally in the Central European country of 10.5 million people, Pravo reported.

 

A total of 482 Vietnamese were granted Czech citizenship from 2001-2010.

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