Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Youth of the week: Phoeun Sreypov




Youth of the week: Phoeun Sreypov

Youth of the week: Phoeun Sreypov

120808_08

With dimples and a wide smile, Phoeun Sreypov, 22, has a lot to be happy about. She is an expert Buddhist chanter and her skill has taken her all around the world.



/* */

The daughter of a farmer in Kampong Speu province, she never thought that chanting, which she started studying in 2004 via the charity Cambodia Living Arts, would give her the opportunity to travel.

Now she has performed at the world-famous Houston Grand Opera, during one of four trips to the USA, and has visited India and Nepal.

It is a long way from her childhood. She said: “Being a child of a farmer, life was not easy because of the hard work needed on the farm. I also sometimes I had to walk through my village to sell some cakes that my mother made, but I never complained about my childhood as I had a chance to study like other children.”

Classes in chanting provided by Cambodia Living Arts earned her respect from the older people in the village. “Before joining this chant class in my village, I had to do a voice test. After I passed and studied for one year with teacher Keot Ran and Prom Out, I could sing many of the chant songs, but not very well. And during that time, I was always invited by the older people to chant the Buddhist prayer song at pagodas in the village.”

In early 2008 Cambodian Living Arts gave her a scholarship to study at University in Phnom Penh. The charity covered her study, rent and food.

She was first sent to the USA to advertise a book written by a monk about the flight of Cambodians to other countries during the Khmer Rouge years. On her second and third trips she brought CDs and DVDs that she had produced herself.

Most recently she was invited to Texas to perform in the Houston Grand Opera to chant the song New Arrival, the story of Yani Ros, a Cambodian woman who helped many people in the war.

“The performers are from different country, there is only me who is Cambodian. I chanted two songs to the audience. The performance was not easy because I had to mix chanting with the orchestra music. I spent two weeks training and preparing.”

Today, Srey Pov is a second year student of International Relations at Paññ?s?stra University of Cambodia (PUC). She teaches a Buddhism chant class at Cambodia Volunteer Community Development (CVCD) and also presents a religious television program at CTN channel.

She also volunteers as a singer for Tzu Chi Association, which works with people in 70 countries around the world. It came to Cambodia last year.

She said: “I am very lucky that I have had so many good opportunities. In the future, I am keen on taking care of ancient art, and I am trying to study more about religious philosophy.”

She hopes to chant a Buddhist prayer song that she has written herself one day. This week, she will give away 300 CDs of her chant songs to the elderly.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,