Many couples in Cambodia are putting wedding celebrations on hold because of Covid-19 while others are seeking alternatives.
Some parents and couples not wishing to delay have decided to shift from a traditional wedding ceremony to a smaller betrothal ceremony in front of family altars, where the couple seeks approval from ancestors of both families.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon, who is under quarantine after meeting Covid-19 positive Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto on November 3, said on November 10 he was also postponing one of his children’s wedding.
“We as parents would like to inform distinguished guests that our children’s wedding that was set to take place on November 20 at the Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre will be postponed,” Sakhon wrote in a Facebook post.
Four officials tested positive for Covid-19 and more than 1,000 people have been tested for the virus after they were in contact with Szijjarto, according to the Ministry of Health.
Others took to social media with similar announcements. Pursat resident Van Kimmuy posted on her Facebook account the postponement of her wedding that was scheduled for November 21.
“We apologise to all the guests that our wedding will be postponed due to Covid-19,” she wrote.
Koy Pisey, Ministry of Tourism secretary of state and vice-chair of the Cambodian Border Affairs Committee, postponed her wedding in March. She told The Post on November 11 that to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, marriage, which she said was a personal matter, should wait.
“For public safety in our country and to prevent the spread of Covid-19, our family has decided to put the wedding celebration on hold,” she said.
Pisey said large gatherings such as weddings, birthdays and housewarmings should be cancelled or delayed or reduced to a smaller family level.
Seng Thavrak, a resident of Russey Keo district’s Kilometre 6 commune in Phnom Penh, is pushing ahead with his wedding on November 16. He told The Post he had already postponed it once in May.
“We will obey the Ministry of Health rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19 by changing the wedding to a smaller praying ceremony according to Khmer tradition,” he said.
On November 10, the health ministry reiterated its call for the public to maintain social distancing to prevent community transmission.
The new guidelines advise people to avoid social gatherings like wedding ceremonies, national ceremonies, traditional ceremonies, music performances, travelling, eating out and large birthday parties.