(Video) Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the 25th National Cultural Day, March 3, 2023” and “the 4th Meeting with National Artists” [Unofficial Translation]


(1) Youth for national culture

[…] At this point, I would like to emphasize that in the past we chose a different topic for each year. Since 2015, the theme of youth for national culture has been consistent at all stages of every year, because the youth will be the ones to take turns from us. Therefore, in the future, there is no need to bring up a different topic than youth for national culture […]

(2) Attention must be paid on Khmer writing

At this point, I should emphasize that we must make efforts with special attention to the issue of Khmer writing. So far, I have noted incorrect use of our language, where people confused with words, used wrong words for wrong context, etc. … this is a small point in the evolution of Khmer literature, and with the increasing use of social media, incorrect writing appears to be worried. It is a good thing that in each smart phone there is always a dictionary of Samdech Preah Sang Chuon Nath there. But we must continue to work to strengthen the capacity of Khmer literature for our citizens […]

With only 64 days away, Cambodia will have the honor of hosting the SEA Games, an event that I have been waiting for more than half of my life.

(3) Statues or Buddhist statues required correct standard and style

[…] I would like to mention that the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, as well as relevant institutions, that they must pay attention to the construction of statues or Buddhist statues as those artifacts must be done in style. If the construction is not in accordance with the rules and is incorrect, when the official ceremony is celebrated, no one will dare to demolish it as they are afraid of supernatural danger. Well, that thing would be left untouched for hundreds of years to come, leading the next generation to misunderstanding the real Khmer art form […]

(4) Despite the modern material, keep the tradition of things from the past

At this point, I have already decided that out of the 1.5 million students who need to be trained in technical expertise, between 2% to 4% is reserved for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to train ancestral professions heritage. We must take this point into account, and not neglect and underestimate. What I fear most is the loss of (those professions and products for) modern equipment. Everything is modern, people are abandoning the traditions and things we used to have in the past. I urge you to pay special attention to the construction of statues and Buddhist statues […]

(5) Buddhist philanthropists or wealthy people sponsor Pin Peat and Chai Yam music bands

[…] We must be striving to urge the Buddhist monasteries to help us with at least two important traditional music bands – Pin Peat and Chai Yam. I am calling on all the monks, pagoda head monks, as well as the pagoda committee to increase the attention in attracting the support of philanthropists, Buddhists perishioners or the rich to help the temples acquire their music bands of Pin Peat (and Chai Yam) […] we need to train people to use this Pin Peat music insturments. At the same time, there should also be the Chai Yam music band in the Buddhist temples […] the temples can contribute to the preservation of the ancient orchestra, the Pin Peat and Chaiyam […]

(6) Find diplomatic ways to avoid conflicts over cultural issues

[…] I would like to make a suggestion regarding the ownership contest. This issue should not nurture a protracted conflict […] today, there are things that happen in boxing martial arts, which Cambodians call Kun Khmer and Thais call it Muoy Thai, while Laos and Myanmar have their own versions. We know that in our temples there is a real martial art bas relief, but can we (based on this argument to) have a dialogue […] and coordinate with the countries involved? Can we register together in the framework of UNESCO Intangible Heritage, as we have previously registered together in rope pulling game […]

I want to use diplomacy to contribute through cultural relations to the promotion of political relations. On this point, I would like to suggest the Minister of Culture to figure out research, and start a consultation process with local elders of related sectors in Cambodia. What are the things that we can raise as initiatives as there are going to be meetings in the framework of CMV or CLMV […] and especially in the framework of ACMECS which includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam?

Most (of the issues) are related to the four countries in the framework of CLMV, and we can have a way to help solve the conflict on (intangible arts) ownership. Of course, our brothers and sisters have the right to express their concerns on this issue and what I am talking now is just a consideration on the matter. We are not going to lose anything, and if we were to take it from Thailand, would Thailand be willing to give it to us? They do not want to give, and if Thailand wants to take from us, we do not want to give them too. That will be the dead end […]./.