Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Further heritage aiming to join Lakhon Khol

Further heritage aiming to join Lakhon Khol

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Lakhon Khol is performed on Koh Pich as part of celebrations following the traditional Cambodian dance drama’s inscription on the Unesco list of cultural heritage last year. Hong Menea

Further heritage aiming to join Lakhon Khol

As the Kingdom marks the first anniversary of the inscription of traditional Cambodian dance drama Lakhon Khol on Unesco’s cultural heritage list, the government is preparing to have 10 other forms of tangible and intangible heritage registered with the UN body.

To commemorate the inscription of Lakhon Khol, 280 artists gathered in Siem Reap on Thursday night for what a senior culture official said was the biggest ever performance of the traditional dance drama.

Muon Sopheap, the director of the Siem Reap provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts, told The Post on Thursday that the event aimed to commemorate all the national heritage that had been listed on Unesco’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The event was jointly organised by the ministries of Culture and Fine Arts and Tourism at the Elephant Terrace.

“Siem Reap province is abundant with widely revered world heritage, so we chose it to hold the ceremony. A similar event was also held at Svay Andet pagoda in Kandal province,” he said.

He said artists and participants observed a minute’s silence to pay respects to the late Princess Norodom Buppha Devi before an Apsara dance was performed, with an orchestra playing traditional musical instruments including the chapei dong veng, a Cambodian guitar.

Princess Buppha Devi, who was famous for her skill and key roles behind the Kingdom’s Royal Ballet, passed away on November 18 from an unspecified illness at a Thai hospital in Bangkok.

A symbol of the Kingdom’s Royal Ballet, Princess Buppha Devi was bestowed the title “Number One Dancer” and “Living Human Heritage of Cambodia” in 2013.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Artists partake in a large-scale performance of the Lakhon Khol dance based on the Khmer Ramayana. Hong Menea

A large-scale Lakhon Khol dance drama based on the Khmer Ramayana was then performed by 280 artists to close the event.

“It is called a night of memory. It means that our Khmer heritage are recognised and inscribed in Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

“We commemorate the event again so that the public and younger generations will remember such heritages as the Cambodian Royal Ballet, Apsara dance, chapei Dong Veng and Lakhon Khol,” he said.

The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts said the inscription had significantly boosted the Kingdom’s image on the international stage. It called on people to take part in preserving, protecting and upholding the value of the cultural heritage of humanity.

It said Cambodia had already registered three tangible cultural heritages with Unesco – Angkor, Preah Vihear and Temple zone of Sambor Prei Kuk.

The UN body has also listed five Cambodian intangible cultural heritages including the Royal Ballet, Sbek Thom leather shadow puppets, Khmer tug-of-war, Champei Dong Veng and Lakhon Khol Wat Svay Andet.

Prak Sonnara, the director-general of the culture ministry’s Heritage Department, said Cambodia is hoping to have three tangible cultural heritages and seven intangible cultural heritage listed.

The former includes Khmer noodles, ancient Cambodian martial art l’bokator and silk-weaving. The latter are Kulen Mountain resort, Beng Mealea Temple, Banteay Chhmar Temple, Preah Khan Temple Kampong Svay, Nokor Borei Phnom Da, Banteay Prey Nokor, and Oudong Mountain resort.

“All of them are in our preparatory lists. As far as I know, the government is also considering having other heritages listed, including ambok [flattened rice] and long dragon boats”

Sovannara said Cambodia is rich in cultural heritages, with tangibles including thousands of temples, pagodas, ancient houses, and historical sites. Hundreds of ancient Khmer temples are also located in neighbouring countries.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures