Cambodian Cultural Week Brings Summer Breeze to City People

Cambodian Cultural Week in Viet Nam featuring traditional dances and movies has blown into Ho Chi Minh City. City people had wonderful moments enjoying a show performed by the art troupe of the Kingdom of Cambodia at the City Theater to commence the week.

An interesting dance performed by the Cambodian Art Troupe at the City Theater in the opening night

Melodies and dances stirred up old memories

“…they are melodies and dances that stir up our old memories…” said Mr. Som Sokum, Cambodian Department of Culture and Arts on the opening day of the event on June 26.

Yes, indeed! The audience was deeply impressed with the stunning Apsara dancing, a famous classical ballet, which has been recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of human kind.

The pictures of Apsara dancers carved on the walls of ancient Angkor temples appeared lively before the audiences who were totally attracted by cool, graceful Cambodian dancers in silk and glittering jewels. A kind of poetry in motion occurred in which dancers were moving their sinuous hands and bodies and stepping rhythmically according to the sounds of gongs, drums, xylophones, horns and stringed instruments.

After being enchanted by the graceful movements of Apsara dancers, the audience was ready for “Chhaiyaim”, a popular dance with local farmers expressing their happiness after a bumper crop. Following was the exciting dance “the Kouy battle” in which dancers turned many somersaults on the stage.

Coming between the dances were songs about the land, culture and people of Cambodia, some of them composed by the former King Norodom Sihanouk. The audiences gave Sin Sovanary and Huy Srey Na a big round of applause for singing Vietnamese songs so well.

Sin Sovanary is a singer of the art troupe of the Kingdom of Cambodia. She once confided with several Vietnamese singers who took part in the event of Vietnamese Cultural Days in Cambodia 2006 that she had learnt many Vietnamese songs by heart and wished to have a chance to perform in Viet Nam. Her dream now comes true. She was there on the stage, singing Vietnamese songs right in the center of Ho Chi Minh City.

Needless to say, the show did bring enjoyment to the audience. It was a chance for the Khmer people living in Ho Chi Minh City to relive the moments of their own culture, and for Vietnamese people to learn about the culture and people of Cambodia. Moreover, the event raised public awareness of the solidarity and precious friendship between the people of the two countries.

Week of Cambodian films

             Poster of film Tum and Teav

City People who are interested in movies can enjoy best Cambodian films during the week of Cambodian films from June 25- 28. In the opening night at Diamond Cinema, Mr. Muong Sokhan, deputy director of the Cambodia Cinema Department, told the audiences about ups and downs of the Cambodian cinema industry. He, however, asserted that the industry is reviving and developing.

Four films have been introduced to the audiences to mark the event. Among them, “Filial love” and “Tum and Teav” have been highly appreciated.

“Filial love” is a story about a 13-year old fatherless pupil, Khorn Molika, who has to take care of her seriously ill mother. Since she has to earn money to feed her mother and herself and do all the housework, Molika is always late for school. This offends her teacher a lot. Molika does not have a chance to explain her situation to her teacher until the day she writes a composition telling about her mother’s helpless condition and her deep love to her mother. The small actress playing the part of Milika performs excellently. The film brings tears to many viewers.

“Tum and Teav” is a romance based on the work created by Santhor Mok, a famous Cambodian poet. The film is directed by Fay Sam Yang in 2003 and is a great favorite of many Cambodian people. It was on the list of best films which were sent to the Asian Film Research Institute in 2005.

By Kim Ung, Ha Giang – Translated by Phuong Lan

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