While some view Valentine’s Day celebrations as un-Cambodian, the younger generation embraces the occasion through buying gifts and spending time with their loved ones.

090213_17.jpgWhere’s the love this Valentine’s Day? Apparently, not at Phnom Penh’s Bak Touk High School, where director Sok Sovanna tells the Post he’s imposed a “love-free” zone during what he calls a very un-Cambodian holiday.

“I don’t support Cambodian youth celebrating Valentine’s Day because it is not a part of Khmer culture, such as Khmer New Year or P’chum Ben,” Sok Sovanna said.

“This is part of Western culture that makes our young people overwhelmed with joy and leads them to forget about their studies.”

However, the adamant director acknowledged that his authority on this point does not extend beyond school grounds.
“I don’t care if [students] celebrate outside school by giving gifts to loved ones. But if I see students doing such things in my school, I will re-educate them not to show their romantic love here,” he said.

Sok Sovanna’s “Cupid crackdown” could have an unintended economic impact.
Flower-sellers have done a brisk trade in recent years by setting up stalls near high schools and other areas where students gather. They may find business slow anywhere near Bak Touk High School. READ MORE

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