The Khmer New Year celebrations mean also the national Thanksgiving Day, but also the Day of the Parents (Mom and Dad,) although it is not expressed that way. The thanksgiving ceremony consists in the respect to parents, elders, teachers and tutors that each Cambodia should do during the new year’s eve. The rite is called “Reawakened”, in Khmer Katinnuo (កត្តញ្ញូ). As our parents provided a lot of care for us when we were babies and defenseless, now every son and daughter should recognize their lacks in showing respect and obedience to their parents. They wash the feet and hands of the parents – in some cases it is a full bath, while the parent is sitting. Khmer people use to bow down three times before their parents, sometime on the floor, before their feet. During the ceremony some children cry in repentance for the mistakes done against their parents, sometimes in full conscious, sometimes by omissions and many times without realizing. The ceremony is done during the first day of the Khmer New Year that in this 2015 starts on April 14, but schools do the ceremony of the previous week, as they close for holidays. The King of Cambodia is also center of respect as the lovely representation of the nation and his fatherly figure. Buddhist monks or other religious leaders, teachers and elderly in general are included in this moving ceremony.
Let us promote this new campaign to prevent traffic accidents in Cambodia. Cambodia has one of the highest road traffic injury rates and one of the highest death rates caused by traffic casualties. And it gets worse every year. With this group, we want to try to stop this tendency. Join and share the group to create awareness!
The Khmer New Year is on the move right now and Cambodia is on parties everywhere. Here some facts and recommendations.
Although the proper Khmer New Year is on April 13 this 2015, actually celebrations start one week before. Children and young people gather on night time in villages to play traditional games. The celebration marks also the beginning of the raining season, so people through flour and water on the streets as a way to express happiness and friendship – well, as for friendship, every year there are many quarrels around the country for this game, because not everyone understands it as a friendship act…
Children wash their parents – as you washed me when I was a kid, now I wash you to pay respect to you. It includes the washing of the King in Phnom Penh. It is a way to thanks the love of our parents. Then Cambodians visit the pagodas and bring a lot food offering to the monks. Most pagodas have cultural and traditional programs. During the Khmer New Year to visit pagodas is the most recommended action to do, especially during the night. Pagodas profit this time to gather funds to finish constructions or to provide some help for the same community, so to make contributions to the monks is always good.
Dear volunteers, I would like to give you some recommendations and notes to work with Cambodian people, especially with students and staff.
The Cambodian culture and traditions is difficult to understand for Western people, so it is necessary to know some principles that would help you to coordinate your work with them.
I appreciate very much your contribution and I am sure that Cambodia need the transference of knowledge, skill and ethics if it wants to develop its society. At the same time, we need to protect and promote the best of the Cambodian culture and traditions. Continue reading
- It is not that people stop to read books… it is that they are reading books in digital forms.
- In Cambodia there is not a culture of reading and the process must start by supporting schools and creating a national campaign on education.
In Cambodia there is not a decline in the culture of reading books, as it is the case in many countries. They can say that during the last decade new generations read less and less books, but it is not the same in Cambodia. After the troublesome decades of wars and conflicts, there is not a culture of reading books and, frankly, there are very little efforts to promote reading. It comes especially in a time of crisis for the paper book before the advance of digitization. According to a report by Spanish blog Ser Escritor, only in Spain two bookstores are closed everyday, a phenomenon that happens in industrialized countries, while developing nations increase their consumption of books (Ordoñana, Merino y Mayoz, 2015.)
- An Introduction to the Khmer Language for Spanish people, a work of 15 years living in Cambodia.
- Any income from the book will be used to sponsor children and youth studies in Cambodia.
- You can find the book at the Bubok online bookstore.
I just published my book “Introduction to Khmer language for Spanish people.” It is a long story starting in 1999 when I arrived to Phnom Penh without speaking even English. Looking Khmer lessons for Spanish speaking people like me proved to be a difficult task. There was nothing. Cambodia and its Khmer culture was so unknown to the Spanish world as Spanish was a rare thing for most Cambodians at the time. I remember that I began to know some Cambodian professionals in Phnom Penh, who have studied in Cuba and could speak Spanish. Many of them were doctors, since many Cambodians went to study medicine in La Habana under the Vietnamese occupation. Back in Cambodia, they got good jobs in the capital with their Cuban wives and speaking a beautiful Caribbean Spanish. Meeting a Colombian was a wonder for them and one thought me Khmer for some time.