Tuesday, August 2, 2011

University of Cambodia Celebrates Khmer New Year

By Yon Phanith (UC student)

The University of Cambodia (UC) cele­brated the Khmer New Year’s Day with a full day of festivities and a fundraising concert at the UC campus on April 3. The celebration was hosted by the University of Cambodia Student Senate (UCSS) to welcome the new year, cultivate an appreciation of the culture, build school spirit and rapport amongst stu­dents, and raise funds for orphans in Kam­pong Speu Province.

H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, President of UC and Adviser to Samdech Techo Prime Minister, Lok Chumteav Khem Rany, H.E. Samraing Kamsan, Senior Adviser to the President of UC and Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, and members of the UC Executive Team enjoyed the Khmer New Year fundraising concert.
The event was presided over by H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, UC President and Adviser to Samdech Techo Prime Minister, and Lok Chumteav Khem Rany, Director-General of SEATV. H.E. Samraing Kamsan, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and Senior Adviser to the President of UC, was also in attendance.

Superstar sensations Mr. Chhorn Sovanna­reach, Ms. Ouk Sokun Kanha, DJ Adda, and DJ Kdeb performed hit songs to a crowd of UC staff, faculty, students, fan club members, and the general public.

UCSS hosts the celebration every year and updates it to make the event more joyful for students and lecturers. This year, the event was open to members of the UC community and the public.

H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, President of UC and Adviser to Samdech Techo Prime Minister, and Lok Chumteav Khem Rany posed with orphans at the start of the celebration. All proceeds from the fundraising concert and activities were donated to the orphanage.
Chanty Pisal, UCSS President, said that the event was different from those in previous years and also much bigger. The performanc­es were different and the stage size was larger. Most notably, a few famous Cambodian sing­ers performed in the fundraising concert.

The Khmer New Year celebration lasted for an entire day. During the morning, many students took a needed break from their studies and participated in traditional games, which included clay pot breaking, a sack race, Ang Koung, and a Coca-Cola drinking competition. Furthermore, UC students or­ganized many booths where they sold food, drinks, dessert, and clothes.

Later in the day, many students and staff members participated in the fundraising con­cert, which aimed to promote culture, charity, and education. In his keynote address prior to the concert, H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn said that the celebration was not only for fun but also for promoting “our splendid tradition” and for promoting our “magnificent culture.” He urged students to create more programs similar to this.

“The engagement of students in the performance is an act of charity,” Dr. Kao said.

A donation box was passed around during the event to raise money for two orphanages in Cambodia: Orphan Care and Training Organization (OCTO) and Riverkids. All donations were donated to the two orphanages.

Chhorn Sovannareach, a very popular singer from Hang Meas Production, said as an artist he had nothing except the strength of mind and the performance to contribute to the spirit of charity.

Several groups of UC students performed pop and classical songs, a traditional dance, a dramatic skit, and a fashion show. The involvement of UC students in the show demonstrated their varied abilities—they are not only active and successful students, but have other talents and can perform well.

In addition, orphans from Kompong Speu performed a talent show during the event and four American exchange students sang the “Cambodia, Kingdom of Wonder” song.

Kelly Botteri, one of the exchange students, said this was a very good program because it brought students together and that she was pleased because many students came to support it. She was also excited to wear a traditional Cambodian dress because she had never worn clothes like that before. It was very difficult to get it on at first, but then it felt natural afterwards, she added.

UC students performed traditional dances and modeled in a fashion show during the fundraising concert, which was hosted by UCSS.
“I feel Cambodian,” said Kelly. “I’m happy. I like it.”

No Sophearith, a UC student majoring in International Relations who attended the event, said that he enjoyed the program and was happy to participate, adding that he had fun and contributed to char­ity for the orphans.

The University extends its sincerest appreciation to the event’s sponsors: SEATV, The Southeast Asia Weekly, OKF, Coca-Cola, Ya­maha, Smart Mobile, SPK, Cambodian Children’s Fund, and Blue Pumpkin.

Source: UC Bulletin June 2011, Page 1 & 3

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