Friday, April 10, 2009

Keeping with tradition

Performance over, the youngsters board their tuk tuk for the next show
Youngsters from the Cambodian Light Children's Association orphanage enter Hanuman HQ
Getting into the swing of the Khmer New Year early doors, Hanuman presented two ceremonies today for their staff, with a ritual prosperity and peace blessing by monks at the traditional arts shop this morning, and this afternoon, the youngsters from the Cambodian Light Children's Association orphanage made their annual appearance at the tourism offices to perform the Robam Trot. This involved dressing up in traditional garb, collecting small denomination riel notes, then symbolically chasing away bad spirits and bringing luck and prosperity for the new year by the hunting of a deer, played by a very small boy. The group of children then carried on their merry way, by tuk tuk, to their next performance. Elsewhere around town, you can see groups of youngsters and twentysomethings enjoying themselves by playing traditional games late into the night, often accompanied by loud music. The games usually involve boys chasing girls or vice versa and the games include Angkunh, Leak Kanseng, Chhoung and Dandoeum Sloek Chhoeu. In fact, the Khmer staff at the office this lunchtime, all joined in a game of 'catch the young chicken,' called Kleng Chab Kun Meann in Khmer.
Traditional costume is all part of this folk ritual
This sack on a pole is used to collect money from the audience
The youngsters this year were much smaller than last year, dressed as a deer, peacock and so on - the death of the deer is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity - seems a little harsh to me



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy,
just out of curiosity: how wd you phrase the Khmer greeting for the New Year?
By the way, a Happy New Year to you in Cambodia, fr. Florence

April 18, 2009 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Hi Florence.
thank you for your good wishes.
I would say...Soursdei Chnam Thmei - Happy New Year.

April 18, 2009 at 8:52 AM  

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