|Picture courtesy of Sabay.com|
I haven't been near the Royal Palace since the King Father died. The official week of mourning comes to a close today and its been clear from the news reports and photos over the past few days that Cambodians have been out in big numbers to offer their respects to their former monarch. I just felt it wasn't my place to intrude on their grief and their mourning, I don't have the same affinity with the King Father that the Cambodians do, how could I, I'm not Khmer, and rather than just going along to soak up the atmosphere and take a few snaps with my camera, I've left it alone. But I got a taste of the dramatic nature of what's happening when I stood and watched thousands of factory girls, in white shirts and black paper hats, file past me when I went out for my coffee from Fresco's on St 51 this morning. There they were, 25-30 girls abreast stretching across the road and pavements, hardly a smile on view, a moving mass of humanity as they made their way towards the Royal Palace. And that was at 9.30am this morning. On just one street. I can easily imagine this will be a scene repeated in all directions, as everyone heads to the riverside area today. There has been the most incredible outpouring of emotion and respect for the former King, I don't think anyone was quite prepared for what they've seen so far, and what they will no doubt witness later today. The scenes at the procession from the airport last Wednesday was totally unexpected, and I think today will be another of those never-before-seen occasions.
Labels: King Father Norodom Sihanouk