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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Axed festival dampens people's mood

Axed festival dampens people's mood

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Phon Srey Mao, Takeo, 18
I came with my mother and father to sell jewellery made of string, like bracelets. It has not sold well this year. We have few buyers... In fact, last year, the boat racing was also cancelled, but there were concerts and discount stalls. But [not] this year... Anyway, there are still some people and foreigners interested in buying things.

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Chan Phal, Kandal, 30
For me, I have not sold well either... I knew that there was no boat racing, but we still came to sell things because at least there are some people to buy them. I hope that next year we have boat racing and many people visit as usual, because for two years there’s been no Water Festival.

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Chan Rasmey, Kandal, 51
I always come to Phnom Penh to sell bamboo products such as [toy] fish, baskets, flutes, balls, which are Khmer hand-made products... It is so quiet... Every year, I could sell at a high price because there were so many people, but this year, I’m selling at a lower price because I need money to travel back my homeland.

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Prim Sok, Preah Vihear, 22
Even though there’s no boat racing or any concerts I still came to visit, but my friends did not come with me. Before last year, I always came with my friends in a group to visit Phnom Penh... It was so fun, but this year and last year [they] didn’t come... I still came because I had a holiday, and I wanted to pray to our ex-king too.

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Ly Ya, Phnom Penh, 14
I was hired to walk around and sell souvenirs. I walked in front of the Royal Palace, on the riverside and on Koh Pich... for so many hours, but I didn’t sell much. There are few buying... I’m helping to sell for my relative who is from the country, but they gave me some money for selling well when I’m walking.

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Chhoun Srey Ny, K Cham, 24
I had a holiday from studying for the Water Festival, so that’s why I had to visit Phnom Penh. It is so quiet this year... There isn’t much souvenir selling or discount stalls, but I still buy some souvenirs made by Khmers, like hats, to encourage the vendors from other provinces to sell things in Phnom Penh.

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