On Wednesday, the Slovak government officially recognised the Vietnamese community in Slovakia as the 14th national minority in the country.
Vietnamese people turned to the government’s Council for Human Rights, Minorities and Gender Equality with a request to be accepted as a minority in February 2022 - nearly a decade after the first media reports that they wanted official recognition of their community.
The council made a recommendation to the government based on an expert opinion from the Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.
"[The community] meets the criterion of number, has been in Slovakia for almost 70 years and now an established third generation is fully integrated into society," reads the expert opinion.
In 2021, 2,793 people declared in the official census that they are of Vietnamese descent and an additional 489 stated Vietnamese as their second nationality.
Now, the minority is entitled to receive support for its activities.
Representatives from the minority said the decision marked a historical milestone.
"We are active citizens, we vote, work, do business and represent Slovakia abroad," said the chairman of the Vietnamese community in Slovakia, Phuong Vo.
"However, at the same time we want to develop our culture and make it accessible to the general public, so we believe that a further step will follow, namely support through the Fund for the Support of the Culture of National Minorities."