Festivals


On April 06, 2011, the Women’s Media Centre of Cambodia (WMC) organized a party for the celebration of the Khmer New Year to come on the April 14. It is also an occasion to motivate staff after they have been working very hard through out the year to achieve WMC’s goals. It was also aimed at appreciating WMC’s board of directors for their contributions in terms of advices as well as strategic directions which contribute to the growth of WMC as of today. The celebration aimed also at promoting Cambodian precious tradition. Besides, this event marked the 16th anniversary of the establishment of WMC.

The event was divided into two main parts: religious ceremony and team building/social party. The religious ceremony started at 8 am beginning with the offering to Krong Peali (the name of the spirits that take care of the mother earth), followed by Buddhist blessings, filling the rice bowl. After finishing the religious ceremony, lunch was provided and then they took a rest. The party started at 4:30pm beginning with guest reception, welcome speech of the Acting Executive Director which officially marked the start of the party. The party ended up at 10pm. It was such a happy event within which every enjoyed watching various performances of staff, singing, eating, and dancing.

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Staff joined the Buddhist Blessing session

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Monks blessing staff with the holly water

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Rice Bowl Filling

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Just before the party (Left: Virak, colleague)

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Just before the party (Left: Samnang, colleague and best friend)

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Photo shooting session. WMC Staff
Photo by: Meng Sang, my colleague

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Joining the game session
MCs: Phasoka and Ros Kong, right most

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Let’s be dancing (Traditional way of dancing called Rom Vong)

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Dancing Saravan (traditional way of dancing)

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កោះពេជ្រដែលជាកន្លែងធ្លាប់ទាក់ទាញមនុស្សរាប់ម៉ីននាក់ទៅលេងជារៀងរាល់ថ្ងៃបានក្លាយ​ជាទីមរណៈ​របស់មនុស្ស ប្រមាណ​៣០០នាក់ និងរាប់រយនាក់ផ្សេងទៀតកំពុងត្រូវជួយសង្រ្គោះនៅថ្ងៃអ៊ុំទូកចុងក្រោយ។ នេះជា​ហេតុការណ៍​ដែល​មិន​ធ្លាប់មាន​នៅ​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា ក្រៅពីរបស់ប្រល័យពូជសាស្ត្រ។ តើមូលហេតុពិតប្រាកដបណ្តាលមកពីអ្វី? តើមាន​ជនបង្ករដែរឬទេ? ក្នុងការស្លាប់នេះ លោក នាយក​រដ្ឋមន្រ្តី ហ៊ុន សែន បានធ្វើនូវសន្និសីទវីដេអូទាំងយប់នៅប្រមាណម៉ោង 1 និងជាថ្មីម្តងទៀតនៅម៉ោង ២ និង៣០នាទី រំលងអាធ្រាត​ថ្ងៃ​ដដែល​នោះ និងបាន​បញ្ញាឲ្យមាន​ការស៊ើប​អង្កេត​ពីមួល​ហេតុបង្កនៃការស្លាប់នេះ។ លោកនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ប្រកាសយកថ្ងៃទី ២៥ ខែ វិច្ឆិកានេះ ជាថ្ងៃរំលឹកដល់វិញ្ញាណក្ខន្ធ​នៃអ្នកស្លាប់ក្នុងថ្ងៃនេះ។

តាម​ការ​ប្រាប់​ឲ្យ​ដឹង​ពី​អ្នក​រង​គ្រោះ​ក្នុង​ឧបទ្ទវហេតុ​នេះ សោកនាដកម្មនេះ​ផ្ដើម​ចេញ​ពី​អ្នក​បង្អើល​ថា​បាក់​ស្ពាន​កោះ​ពេជ្រ។ ចំពោះបងប្អូនដែលបានបាត់បង់បងប្អូន សាច់ញាតិ សូមអញ្ជើញទៅទាក់ទងនៅសាលារាជធានីភ្នំពេញ ព្រោះ​ជនរងគ្រោះ​ត្រូវ​បានបញ្ជូន​ទៅកាន់​មន្ទីរពេទ្យជាច្រើន​។

ការប្រណាំងទូកមិត្តភាពនៅតាខ្មៅត្រូវបាន រំសាយជាផ្លូវការ!!!!

Koh Pich, the place which used to attract thousands of people to visit and enjoy their evening time has become the place of hundreds of death. Around 300 people are reported dead and hundreds more being rescued on the last day of the Water Festival of the nation. This is the first ever event of such great number of death, except those of the genocide regime. What really were the causes of this tragedy? Prime Minister Hun Sen gave a short remark on a video conference over this at around 1am and again at 2:30am on the same day​ and ordered to have an investigation on this.  ​The Prime Minister marked November 25 as the day of mourning.

One of the victims said that this tragedy was caused by the rumor that the bridge was broken. For those who have lost their relatives, please go to the City Hall for information​ because the victims may be rescued at various hospitals.

The to-be Friendly Boat Racing at Takhmao is officially canceled!!!

by Piseth

អត្ថបទពីវិបសៃថ៍ ដើមអំពិល រូបភាពរបស់ mpsinfo


នៅថ្ងៃទី ០៧ ខែ កក្កដា ឆ្នាំ ២០១០ រដ្ឋាភិបាល​កម្ពុជា នឹងធ្វើពិធី​អបអរ​សាទរខួប​លើកទី ២ នៃការដាក់បញ្ចូល ប្រាសាទព្រះវិហារ ទៅក្នុងបញ្ជីបេតកិភណ្ឌពិភពលោក នៅលើកំពូលប្រាសាទព្រះវិហារ ឱ្យបានអធិកអធ័មជាទីបំផុត ។
មន្ត្រីរាជរដ្ឋាភិបាលកម្ពុជា និងមេបញ្ជាការយោធាខ្មែរ ដែលកំពុងប្រចាំការ នៅតំបន់ប្រាសាទព្រះវិហារ បានឱ្យដឹងថា គេនឹងរៀបចំធ្វើពិធីអបអរសាទរខួបលើកទី ២ នៃការដាក់បញ្ចូលប្រាសាទព្រះវិហារខ្មែរ ទៅក្នុងបញ្ជីបេតិកភណ្ឌពិភពលោក នៅលើកំពូល ប្រាសាទព្រះវិហារ ដើម្បីឱ្យទាហានការពារព្រំដែនខ្មែរ និងប្រជាពលរដ្ឋបានចូលរួមកម្សាន្តយ៉ាងសប្បាយផងដែរ ។
លោកឧត្តមសេនីយ៍ឯក ជា តារា អគ្គបញ្ជាការរង នៃកងយោធពលខេមរភូមិន្ទ និងជាមេបញ្ជាការការពារព្រំដែនតំបន់ប្រាសាទព្រះវិហារ បានមានប្រសាសន៍ ប្រាប់គេហទំព័រដើមអម្ពិល នៅរសៀលថ្ងៃទី ០៦ ខែកក្កដា ឆ្នាំ ២០១០ ថា កងទ័ពខ្មែរដែលកំពុងឈរជើងការ ពារនៅតាមព្រំដែន មានសមត្ថភាព និងលទ្ធភាពគ្រប់គ្រាន់ក្នុងការការពារដល់មន្ត្រីរាជរដ្ឋាភិបាល ដែលអញ្ជើញទៅចូលរួមក្នុងពិធី អបអរសាទរខួបលើកទី ២ នេះ ។

design: mpsinfo

គួររំលឹកថា ប្រាសាទព្រះវិហារ ត្រូវបានចុះក្នុងបញ្ជីបេតិកភណ្ឌវប្បធម៌ពិភពលោក កាលពីថ្ងៃទី ០៧ ខែកក្កដា ឆ្នាំ ២០០៨ ដោយគណៈកម្មការ បេតិកភណ្ឌពិភពលោក បានបោះឆ្នោតគាំទ្រ និងដាក់បញ្ចូលទៅក្នុងបញ្ជីបេតិកភណ្ឌពិភពលោក នៅទីក្រុងកេប៊ិក ប្រទេសកាណាដា ។
លុះ ៨ ថ្ងៃក្រោយមក គឺនៅថ្ងៃទី ១៥ ខែកក្កដា ឆ្នាំ ២០០៨ សៀមបានបញ្ជូនកងទ័ពច្រើនរយនាក់ ចូលលុកលុយក្នុងវត្តកែវសិក្ខាគីរី ស្វារៈ នៅជិតប្រាសាទព្រះវិហារ ធ្វើឱ្យជម្លោះព្រំដែនខ្មែរ-សៀម បានកើតឡើងអូសបន្លាយរហូតមកដល់ពេលបច្ចុប្បន្ននេះ ។

Cambodian New Year is celebrated for three days. New Year in Cambodia represents the end of the harvesting season. According to the Gregorian Calendar, it falls on April 13th or 14th. For this year, it falls on 14th April.

I made this design by hand. Look nice? lolz

Khmer New Year Traditions

People visit temples to get blessings from monks and priests. They build a sand hill on the temple grounds and decorate it with five religious flags one on the top and four around the sides. This sand hill represents Buddha’s five disciples.  After performing all rituals and customs to welcome the New Year, it’s time to have some fun. Some physical activities become part of New Year celebrations. Popular games played include Chol Chhuong, Chab Kon Kleng, Bos Angkunh, Leak Kanseng, Teanh Prot and so on. There are also some other new games which are now not recognized in the Cambodian society such as the powder throwing, water splashing, etc.

Khmer New Year Celebrations

New Year in Cambodia is celebrated by performing various rituals and playing number of games. Khmer New Year is celebrated for the period of three days and because this is the official New Year of the kingdom, every office of government and most private sectors and civil society is completely closed for this period except some private institutions such as hotels which need to accommodate people on vacation. However, everyone who is working is at least granted permission to take this important three-day holiday while some other may have up to one-week holiday. As for me, this year I had a full week holiday and following are some of the activities I did within this holiday:

I was supposed to leave for my hometown on the 13th as my sister proposed, yet the plan changed as she just told me late evening of 12th that she wanted to go on her own. Then I decided to go that evening. I left Phnom Penh at around 5:40PM alone with my fancy dirt bike and helmet. It was a cool journey in the evening but it seemed a bit dangerous as we couldn’t see clearly. Anyway, I was lucky to catch up the ferry without delay. I got home safely at around 8:00PM. After arriving for a few minutes, I took a bath and had dinner and talked to my parents. Then it was time to sleep. I had a day prior to the celebration of Khmer New Year free to go around. Then I got to the market to buy a new volleyball and relevant stuff. In late afternoon, I just played volleyball with some young in my village.

First Day Celebrations – Moha Sangkran

The first day of the New Year is called Moha Sangkran. It is believed that on this day Devada (angel) (there are seven angels to take turn to come to the earth depending on the day it falls) comes to earth to take care of her people. This year, she was coming at 7:30am. Her name is Mundea Devi. To welcome this holy angel, people clean and light up their houses. In the evening of the New Year’s Eve, I was preparing and decorating my house ready for the reception in the morning. We placed an idol of Lord Buddha on table with flowers, candles, incense sticks, a bowl of scented water, eatables, drinks and so on. In my decoration, I used BE (BE2554) instead of AD (2010) as I wanted it to sound and look Khmer not universal because we have a lot of New Years in Cambodia nowadays.

After new Devada reception, I just resumed helping my parents selling their groceries and did some visit to my relatives and in the evening I played volleyball with the young in my village. I enjoyed it.

Second Day Celebrations -Virak Vanabot
On the second day of Khmer New Year celebrations, people offer charity and alms to the poor. It is also considered good to present gifts to family members and relatives. At some official places, employees get gifts and other monetary incentives. My younger sister also did this. She bought clothes for the elderly (relatives only).  This year, I didn’t do it as I was not wealthy due to a lot of promotions before the New Year. Also, on that day, we took a bath for my parents though not all their children were there together. We still did it as we used to do every year. This year my oldest brother and his family were not here as they had already left for Australia (My brother does his MA there, so his wife and daughters also accompany). Also, my youngest sister could not join as she had to come back to work. However, at least she could join us for two days prior to this event. All in all, there were my elder sister and her husband and children, my younger sister and me, who did this traditional activity. Then, we invited some monks to have a blessing ceremony with other relatives.

For me, nothing was renewed. After having done all these important things, in the late afternoon, I prepared some games for little children and many people joined and enjoyed this. Then, I just resumed playing volleyball. In the evening, we also had a dancing party and I also shared some money but I did not join the dance as I felt exhausted after playing and doing a lot of things the whole day.

Third Day Celebrations – Leung Sakk

On the third day of New Year celebrations people wash all the idols of Lord Buddha with scented water. It is said this ensures good rains all year long. Children pay respect to their elders by washing their feet and get blessings in return (I did this on the second day as I mentioned in the previous part since some had to leave). This ceremony of giving a special bath to Buddha statues, monks and elderly is called Pithi Srang Preah. However, for Pithi Srang Preah, I could do only for my parents because I had to leave for the provincial town after offering some food to the monks in the morning and it was the end of my visit to my hometown.

I left my parents at around 9:00am, and arrived at the provincial town at around 10:30am. Then I joined a trip with my elder sister and her family to visit my relatives in Kampong Cham province, where we enjoyed eating newly caught fish (raised fish). They tested nice. After eating and drinking for some time, we went swimming. It was cool and fresh. Then we went back to Prey Veng provincial town and we had soup. It was also cool in the town as there was rain in the afternoon.

I woke up in the morning, had some breakfast with my sister’s family members and left for Phnom Penh. On the way back to Phnom Penh, I faced some problems because my dirt bike just ran out of gas unexpectedly. At first, I was thinking my bike was stuck due to any serious engine error, yet I soon discovered it was caused by gas running out. Then I just switched it to the reserved. The reason was because I misjudged that the gas I filled from my home was enough for the distance from my hometown to Phnom Penh, but I forgot that I had to visit the provincial town. Oh my Lord Buddha! I felt very uncomfortable because I had only little money left after having spent a deal recklessly before and during my visit. Anyway, I refilled the gas with my little money which was just enough to arrive safely in Phnom Penh and that was the END of my New Year Holiday.

My NOTE

This year, I noticed that many traditional games are not played and it even seemed quiet on the road. As Chinese New Year and other western events become more popular, Khmer New Year is gradually going down. It is true that almost all Cambodians visit their hometowns, yet it does not mean that they really enjoy it. They are not working because they are on official holiday. This event, as I can see, becomes less and less celebrated. Compared to the Chinese New Year, Khmer New Year seems less interesting to many Cambodians. Mostly the city people just enjoy celebrating Chinese New Year than they do for Khmer New Year. Though it seems quiet in the city while people are visiting their hometown, it doesn’t mean that people really enjoy it. Some people just go and sit killing their time. Unlike, Chinese New Year, they all enjoy it. This is only my personal notice of the to-be declining Khmer New Year. I think this decline of the popularity of the Khmer New year is also caused by the overwhelming of the other new years preceding it. If the Chinese New year is to be made official, then there will be nothing to say for Khmer New Year. If you don’t believe my personal observation, you can ask some of your friends. Then some of them may just say “nothing to do, just stay at home”. For the rich, they may have their holiday abroad.

Well, let me just stop here and I hope that the Chinese do not get angry with me as I have only one New Year which seems so quiet. This is only my personal view and it is not called racial discrimination. I just want to draw attention from the public.

On Friday, April 09, 2010, The Women’s Media Centre of Cambodia (WMC) celebrated Khmer New Year. It was a nice event of the year. We started at around 9:00Am with Buddhist Blessing Ceremony until 11:00am. Then we had a short rest before we had a party in the evening at 5:30PM. Everyone enjoyed this party so much as they could enjoy singing, dancing and gift giving as well as eating and drinking. I had a chance to sing a song called “Time and Time Again”, which is one of my favorite English songs. I used to attempt to sing this song when I joint sis Nimol’s son’s Birthday, but the pianists could not play it. They tried to play but seemed difficult so I decided to not sing. However, my attempt was successful here though they also had problem playing at first. They got settled after a moment.

ថតមួយលេងមុនទៅចូលរួមពិធី | Just one shot before joining the party

Let’s talk about the dinner. Everyone enjoyed eating the variety of food and drinking. Luckily I was not drunken because I was busy singing and dancing. That was why my colleagues had no chance to catch me to drink; otherwise, I would have been drinking a lot though I am not good at drinking. You know what, we had a lot of gifts of different kinds but with similar prices for everyone joining the ceremony. Thanks to the Management of WMC who organized such a joyous party for us. I wish you all Happy Khmer New Year full of joy and success.

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