PUB STREET PACKED
Pub Street’s traditional and perhaps even infamous New Year’s Eve Street Party was “officially” cancelled this year in deference to the death of Norodom Sihanouk.
But try telling that to the thousands who packed the humble little street on Monday night to have the street party you’re having when you’re not having a street party.
Pub Street went off. The build-up began early – by about 7pm streets leading to the mecca of merriment were clogged with traffic, and by about 11.30pm the throngs of people were so dense in Pub Street proper that there was hardly wriggle room.
But despite what some could describe as overcrowding, the crowd was good natured: obviously hassle-free good-times were as firmly on the agenda to ring in a New Year. No reported violence seems to have marred the night.
But amongst all the brightness and revelry, there was the black spot that was the spooky burned-out shell of the Siem Reap Night Market, a fiery tragedy that marred the ending of the year. The boarded up remains of the market stood in blackness, a harsh contrast to the riot of colour surrounding it.
But Pub Street wasn’t the only scene of action in Siem Reap on New Year’s Eve – a pop concert at Kyung Yu attracted thousands of Khmer and once again there were no reports of violence or mayhem emanating from this crowded spectacular.
All in all a great night and hopefully a good omen for the year that is now upon us.
PALM LEAF SHORTAGE
The local handmade products market is suffering because of a shortage or raw materials, especially palm leaves.
Journalist Thik Kaliyann reports that this was revealed on Thursday December 28 at a conference at Somadevi Hotel between HomeNet and the Artisans Association of Cambodia (ACC) to determine how to increase local and international markets for handmade items.
Norm Sina, planning manager of ACC said the industry was setback by problems with securing some raw materials.
She said, “Recently we discovered that palm leaves have decreased because of overuse. Now we are lacking it in our production, and the palm leaf is the most important material for the manufacture of handmade products.”
She added that this matter has to be fixed as soon as possible.