Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Opening of the (Sixth) Angkor Sangkranta, Buddhist Year of 2562 [Unofficial Translation]

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Sangkranta Presents National Culture, Tradition, and Identity

I am so pleased to join with all of you to celebrate the upcoming sixth Angkor Sangkranta (here in Siem Reap). This the fourth participation that my wife and I have made our presences. It is true that in 24 hours the current deity will leave and the new one will take over. We are celebrating the opening of Sangkranta at the very end of the year (of rooster) and the beginning year (of dog). I hope that both of them will bestow upon us their best wishes […] we have celebrated the Angkor Sangkranta six years in a row now. We have now celebrated the Sangkranta event to over ten cities/provinces […] this is a very good time for us to present our culture, tradition, and pride of our effort to preserve our culture and identity. Let me take this glorious occasion to welcome Excellencies, Ladies, Ambassadors, and our foreign friends for taking their times to celebrate this event with us […] we are pleased to welcome everyone, and this year, the event of Sangkranta has recorded helps from over 4,000 youth volunteers in Siem Reap […]

180,000 Tourists in 2013, 1.6 million Tourists in 2017

The governor of Siem Reap, HE Khim Bun Song, just reported about how the Angkor Sangkranta had been organized in the past and progresses made by the province of Siem Reap in raising awareness of the Angkor Sangkranta event. According to the figures I have here, there were some 180,000 tourists coming for the event in 2013, and 400,000 in 2014. We had recorded some one million tourists to the event in 2015, 1.3 million in 2016, and 1.6 million in 2017. I sincerely hope that the figure this year will rise higher since people are looking forwards to enjoy the festivities organized in the historical site of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

A Triangular Meeting of Human, Visual and Abstract Cultures

We had in the last year been the record keeper of the giant Ansam or sticky rice cake of 4,040 kg. There was also a Madison of 2,015 dancers. We also had national level records breakers of chess, fishing traps, palm-leave hat, etc. […] I do not know if there was really a giant but everything that is big we always say they belong to the giant or giant-like. I know we are going to have more shows in the Sangkranta event this year. I hope through these efforts the province of Siem Reap will be making further progress in peace. I am so happy that in every Sangkranta event we organized, we have been able to present a meeting between three players – human, visual and abstract cultures. We have brought visual arts/culture of every forms to this historical site of abstract culture for our people […]

Angkor Sangkranta – Young Generation’s Creativity

On this occasion, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the provincial authority, the armed forces, institutions involved, for their active participations in preparing for, organizing, and supporting this event. I also express my sincere appreciation for the Union of the Cambodian Youth Federations for their initiative to celebrate and organize this event for six consecutive years. It is our youth’s creativity and we recognize that it is the younger generation requirement and efforts. Everyone has gone through their period of youth. We the former youth generation build things for the younger generation. They would do the same to younger ones […]

Youth Benefits from Peace and National Development

From one stage to another, youth are benefiting great interests from peace and national development. I have no hesitation to support activities carried out by the youth and would be happy to provide them chance to fulfil their tasks and dreams. The fact that the youth volunteers are growing in number shows clearly their voluntary activities to prepare and take parts in supporting national culture. That we have this year the Sangkranta in over ten cities/provinces, we are encouraged to see that we still have many youth volunteers here and participations at every levels and places […]

“In Admiration of Ancestral Heritages”

Under the theme in “Admiration of Ancestral Heritage,” through which 23 forms have been selected for shows as reported by the Chairman of the UCYF, which includes also Prey Prosidhi – one of the chief playwright of Samdech Preah Borom Ratana Kaod, Preah Baat Norodom Sihanouk, we are taking high national pride. I hope that the longest scarf weaving program would in the end achieve our aim of breaking a new record. We will prove that we, as a nation, are able to do it as has been proved by heritages left by our ancestors […] we are proud and will continue to take good care of these cultural heritages […]

I am calling on our people living nearby and doing their business in the Angkor region to join hands to protect and preserve our heritages. Their inputs to our understanding and participation for the safeguard and preservation of historical heritages would be welcome […] please do not infiltrate forbidden areas, especially in temples that we have already earned their world heritages statuses. We must make efforts to protect – not only the three temples listed but also those ones we are preparing for listing as human cultural heritages […]

Advantages of Angkor Sangkranta

Firstly, people in Siem Reap enjoy advantages of hosting tourists, not only in hotels but also in many guesthouses. They are the outcome of implementing open-sky policy. Providing services for tourists to stay, transport, sell souvenir objects, and other activities, gives benefits to our people as a whole, those in Siem Reap in particular. People who grow vegetables and raise animals can export their produces to meet local needs […] the other day I hosted a meal for the Foreign Minister of Japan […] I noticed he had them all […] this proves that Cambodian foods are edible […]

Secondly, Angkor Sangkranta provides joy for traditional Khmer New Year, and smiles from our people’s hearts to welcome foreign guests. Tonight, there will be traditional dances and Saravan will definitely be one of them. I am ready for it. Experts seem to have thought that Saravan dance originates in Laos. However, Saravan has been one of the Cambodian dances as well […] I hope people will benefit from tourists’ arrivals and I am calling on our people to keep reasonable prices in their trades […]

Thirdly, the Angkor Sangkranta reflects unity, solidarity, friendship, family-like spirit of the Cambodians, joy of harmony, happiness, and pride among our youth and people in the whole country. Angkor Sangkranta is not for this or that group of people. It belongs to us. We enjoy together […]

Fourthly, Angkor Sangkranta presents to foreign guests our history, prosperity, culture, civilization, custom, tradition, religion from the time of great Angkor period to present. Cambodia, which before was divided because of war, internal division, and genocide, has become one of the most attractive tourist destinations with some 5.7 million tourists arrivals […]

Fifthly, through the experiences of Angkor Sangkranta, we have now celebrated Sangkranta in more places. This year we have the Sangkranta in Phnom Penh at Wat Phnom and Po Senjei, in Kandal province at Phnom Preah Reajtroap, in Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, Kompong Thom, Benteay Meanjei, Kompong Speu, Battambang, Koh Kong, Kompot, etc. We also have Sangkranta in South Korea, where we have some 50,000 workers […]

Four Factors for Cambodians to Enjoy Khmer New Year

… I may conclude that there are four factors that our people are enjoying the Khmer New Year in the whole country. Firstly, peace has allowed people to travel freely without fear. Cambodia in the past had been a country of many divisions and till 1998, we were able to being a complete peace for the country, for which we are celebrating the 20th anniversary this year […] Secondly, infrastructures in place provides connectivity for people to get to where they wish to. We now have only this segment between Samlot and Thmorda (in Pursat) and through to Koh Kong to complete round-country connectivity […] the Royal Government will continue to make further efforts on this front […] Thirdly, people have means of transportation. More and more people have their own transportation means, and some travel with private means […] fourthly, income of civil servants, armed forces, workers are better […] it is true that we still have challenges. It is not yet sufficient. From one year to the nest, people’s living condition are getting better. We have entered a status of lower-middle income country, with an ambition to become in 2030 a higher-middle income country, and 2050 to become high income country […]

Please allow me to convey best wishes to and to ask the new deity to bestow wishes for our compatriots inside the country and abroad, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, civil servants, our peacekeeping troops in South Sudan, Mali, and Central African Republic, and may the new deity of the year of dog blesses them […] ./.