Weaving Life Across Borders: The Cham Muslim Migrants Traversing Vietnam and Malaysia

Angie Ngoc Tran


Focusing on the understudied Cham (Sunni) Muslims who live in the Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam, decades after Vietnam joined the market system, I found that they have sustained their century-old mobile ways of life— including retailing, fishing, and sewing—in close connection with the global Islamic community to make a living and to continue their religious studies. But a mixed picture emerges in their response to Vietnam’s labor export policy since 2002: practicing geographical agency with short-term successes but facing more risks as both men and women engage in extra local journeys, crossing borders into Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Keywords Vietnam  Cham Muslims  Mekong delta  Labor export  Malaysia  Migration  Migrant labour

Download the full paper here: Tran 2016 – Cham Muslim Migrants Traversing Vietnam and Malaysia


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