King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, who are currently in Beijing, China, for medical checkups, sent a letter commemorating the 26th observance of National Cultural Day.

The March 3 letter said the day is celebrated to honour the Khmer ancestors for their sacrifices, which have contributed to the cultural wealth of Cambodia. 

“On the occasion of National Cultural Day, we are extremely delighted to join the Cambodian people in observing this day with profound affection,” the letter read.

“[The day] is celebrated annually to show appreciation to all generations of the Khmer ancestors, whose sacrifices have resulted in the creation of immense cultural wealth ... Our ancestors devoted their physical and mental strength to build this rich and invaluable cultural heritage and to ensure its preservation for future generations,” said the King.

He noted that the day is important for encouraging a love for national culture, tradition and conscience, and serves as a motivation for all citizens to contribute to the maintenance of national cultural heritage and the protection and preservation of national identity.

Minister of Civil Service Hun Many, who also leads the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), marked the day under the theme “Youth for National Culture”.

He emphasised that the essence of celebrating the holiday lies in promoting and spreading Khmer traditions. 

He said it serves as a reminder and inspiration for everyone, particularly the youth, to cherish and maintain the Kingdom’s unique heritage, echoing the slogan “Cambodia is a Kingdom of Culture”.

“The responsibility to preserve national identity rests with all our Khmer children,” he said.