IN a bid to familiarise more of the nation’s young people with their Khmer heritage, the Department of Youth held a Youth Council study tour in Siem Reap from September 29 to October 1, drawing close to 160 attendees from 23 provinces.
The seventh annual tour educated young Cambodians about the stages and key figures of Khmer history. Participants in the tour spent three days at local temples such as Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm. They were given lectures about the history of the temples and Khmer culture by the Apsara Authority and participated in group discussions.
Kim Amara, deputy director general of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is hopeful of encouraging the young people of Cambodia to “work to protect the temples and Khmer culture.
“When they study history by reading and writing, it’s not the same as if they see it with their own eyes.”
The representatives, mostly secondary and high school students aged between 15 and 22, were selected from provincial youth councils and were described by Kim Amara as “future leaders”.
The study tour opened with an address by the general director of youth, Phan Sokim, and it was closed by the secretary of the Ministry of Education, Chey Chap.
Suos Makara, 18, is a member of the Youth Council in Kompong Speu province. He said: “The most important part was getting to know Khmer history. Everything I learned here I will teach to my friends, family and community.”
Apart from educating Cambodian youths about the finer points of Khmer history first-hand, Amara emphasised that “the study tour aimed to bring together youths from all over the country to learn from each other and develop their independence.
“We think it is good for young people to exchange their knowledge with other young people from other provinces and make friends. When the representatives go home, they will share what they learned with their community and enhance nationalism and love for the humans who built the temples.”