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Five heritage listings sought

CAMBODIA plans to nominate a total of five items for inclusion in UNSECO heritage listings next year, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts said yesterday.

Chuch Phoeun said the five items included ayai, an artform that involves two people pitching their wits against each other through song; chapei dong veng, a two-stringed instrument with a wooden body and long neck; the 7th century Sambor Prey Kuk temples in Kampong Thom province; hol phamuong, colourful traditional dress made from silk; and kbach kun boran Khmer, a traditional form of boxing.

“We have been working very hard researching and preparing about these ancient Khmer [practices and objects] for inclusion in the UNESCO lists,” he said.

“With our hard work and strong commitment, we expect that we will able to submit these valuable things for the UNESCO listings by 2011.”

He said members of an inter-ministerial task force had most recently been travelling around the country “interviewing the old people who still remember about the ancient Khmer boxing” to collect information about kbach kun boran Khmer, which officials plan to submit to UNESCO in August.

Other submissions are expected to be made in February.

Angkor Wat and Preah Vihear temple are already included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, which is designed to help preserve cites or practices deemed by the UNESCO committee to have “outstanding universal value”.

Sbek thom, Khmer shadow puppet theatre, is the only traditional Cambodian practice which is currently included in the body’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

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