Indigenous visitors celebrate their culture
Last Monday saw the arrival in Siem Reap of 336 indigenous people representing 30 groups from 15 Cambodian provinces, who gathered in town to celebrate International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.
The celebration was aimed at recognising the desire of Cambodian indigenous peoples to exercise control over their ancestral lands, forests and other natural resources vital to their way of life.
Most of the activity took place at Banteay Kdei temple, where 20 stalls were set up to display indigenous artefacts, food and cultural items.
The biggest contingent was from Rattanakiri province, but people came from all over the Kingdom. For example, Son Kil, 35, travelled from Preah Sihanouk province, bringing fishing tools with him to represent 28 families of the S-och ethnic group.
He said he took part because he wanted to show his group’s identity and to ask officials to grant the group some land in Prey Nup district.
It seems Siem Reap is full of heroes these days. Following last week’s item about the nomination of de-mining expert Aki Ra as a potential CNN Hero comes news that, in June, Ponheary Ly was nominated for the same honour.
Ponheary Ly was a tour guide at the Angkor temples until she set up the Ponheary Ly Foundation, which, among many other activities, buys educational supplies, shoes and uniforms for more than 2000 school kids.
The name game
The new area director of sales and marketing for Raffles Hotels in Cambodia is Peter Foster, but he has a name to live down.
In both Britain and Australia, the name Peter Foster is at first associated with a notorious Aussie conman who has the dubious distinction of having been boyfriend to topless pinup Samantha Fox, and of having been convicted on three continents.
The Raffles’ Peter Foster said he has been the butt of countless jokes but simply tells people that he is the real Peter Foster.
Meanwhile, Robert Hauck, general manager of Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, assures 7Days that the Raffles Peter Foster is “not the criminal”.
School heads change
Sala Baï Hotel & Restaurant School is seeing big management changes, with Mr and Mrs Dethomas taking the positions of director, and marketing and communication manager respectively from August 23.
Caroline Jouve, fundraising and communication manager, will also end her contract on that date, while Miss Sam-Oeun finished her contract as director on August 6.