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Pchum Ben – Days of Gathering to Make Offerings for Those Remembered and for Those Forgotten

By: Norbert Klein: editor, The Mirror Posted: September-22-2009 in
Norbert Klein: editor, The Mirror

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 630 - Sunday, 20.9.2009

Though the present national holidays extend only over the final period of the fifteen days of commemoration of the living for the dead, it is one of the major events of observing traditional religious observances in Cambodia. What is interesting, is that these holidays of the Cambodian Buddhist community are not observed similarly in other Buddhist countries like Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, or Thailand. It is said that there are some pre-Angkorian and pre-Buddhist Cambodian origins of the Pchum Ben observances, which formed the basis for a later Buddhist interpretation. But it seems that not many people in Cambodia are aware that other predominantly Buddhist countries do not celebrate a similar cause.

Generation M: Getting to know the Modern Monk

By: Jordyan Edmiston Posted: August-13-2009 in
Jordyan Edmiston

Take a stroll around Phnom Penh on any given Sunday and you are bound to encounter a pack of teenaged monks, hanging in the afternoon sun or cruising the museum scene. More likely than not, they will smile at you, ask you where you are from, and inquire if you like Cambodia.

Take them up on the offer to talk and you'll quickly realize that Khmers often choose the cloth over the conventional for very different reasons than young men and women in the west.

MAG helps secure safety of UNESCO World Heritage site

By: MAG Posted: August-03-2009 in

Spectacularly beautiful, featuring towering limestone formations and pristine forests, it’s no surprise that Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province is a UNESCO World Heritage site attracting around 300,000 visitors a year.

But until recently communities there could not access all the agricultural land they needed as it was heavily contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Doan, who lives within the park, remembers: “We never dared to dig the ground too deeply because there was so much UXO.

PJs are a Khmer girl's best friend

By: Amirtha Martin Posted: August-05-2008 in
Amirtha Martin

Who says pajamas are only for bed? In Cambodia, the comfortable garments have evolved into an all-purpose wear, perfect for any time of the day or night, writes Amirtha Martin

Available in a cornucopia of colours, designs and styles, pajamas are probably the most comfortable pieces of clothing a girl could own, but they have taken on a whole new direction in Cambodia.

Phnom Penh's stately matron

By: Aaron Leverton Posted: July-30-2008 in
Aaron Leverton

It's just after 4pm and Phnom Penh's most stately lady packs up after a hard day's work serving her public and heads home southwards down Sisowath Quay. Like dozens of others every day she stops at a few restaurants along the way. Unlike the rest of the customers, however, this particular lady is too big to fit in through the doors, let alone squeeze her ample posterior onto a seat.

On Three Wheels

By: Expat Advisory Posted: July-30-2008 in
Expat Advisory

The tuktuk is a widely used form of urban transport in Bangkok and other cities in THAILAND. It is particularly popular where traffic congestion is a major problem. Tuktuks were introduced in Brighton, England on July 10, 2006, where a fleet of 12 (spelled TucTuc) operate using compressed natural gas, as the first motorised rickshaw service in Europe.

'Gone fishing' in Cambodia

By: Expat Advisory Posted: July-23-2008 in
Expat Advisory

Tran Van Thanh removes fish from a net on a small boat in Tonle Sap, also known as the Great Lake, in Cambodia. He says he followed his father there from the southern province of An Giang in Vietnam when he was 10.

Now almost 70 years old, he says he misses his hometown.

For a Better World: Fugitive Denim

By: Andrew Nette Posted: July-16-2008 in
Andrew Nette

Rachel Louise Snyder takes a moment to ponder before answering the question whether she thinks of herself as a writer or a journalist.

"It depends on whose asking. I would probably say a writer, but I do journalism to make ends meet." There is no doubt she relishes the freedom that comes with not being bound by a constant deadline, of having more time to spend on a story, to tease out the small details, to get to what she calls "the nitty gritty of life."

Dancing for the gods - Sovannahong

By: John MacGregor Posted: July-10-2008 in
John MacGregor

The ballet is about a trying game of fate being played out upon a royal family. So, too, is the story of its long-awaited production.

Choreographing the ballet began in 1955 by King Sihanouk's mother, Queen Kossomak - who trained her granddaughter, Princess Buppha Devi, to perform the lead. Cambodia's turbulent modern history helped ensure the work was never completed.

But that history has now come full circle - with Princess Buppha Devi herself, now 65, staging the first production of 'Sovannahong' half a century on.

Blogging and Clogging

By: Geoffrey Cain Posted: July-09-2008 in
Geoffrey Cain

Youngsters are breathing new life into Cambodian cyber-culture

They sit quaintly in a Monivong coffee shop, plaid-patterned laptops open and plastered with quirky stickers that proclaim their affinity for technology and cyberspace, the gentle rat-tat-tat of keyboards clicking in the background.


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