By Chhay Daroth
On July 7, ceremonies around Cambodia were held to mark the third anniversary of the Preah Vihear Temple as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; we at the University of Cambodia (UC) were one of the participating groups to commemorate this memorable and historical event.
The University celebrated this event in front of its main building near Independence Monument with hundreds of students and staff members waving Cambodian flags and singing the national anthem. This year, the celebration was presided over by Por Malis, Vice President for Operations.
Chheang Sangvath, Director for the Office of Student Academic Affairs (OSAA), said this ceremony was an excellent way to promote Khmer culture and to congratulate the Royal Government of Cambodia for successfully applying for Preah Vihear to be listed as a World Heritage Site. He continued to say that the celebration broadcasted to all Cambodian people and the world that Preah Vihear has outstanding universal value.
According to Mr. Chheang, there were many objectives for hosting the event: to educate people about Cambodian culture and history; to involve UC students in cultural and educational activities; to promote past Khmer achievements, including successfully applying for the Preah Vihear Temple to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; to encourage Khmer people to pursue future accomplishments; and to inform people that July 7 is the anniversary date of Preah Vihear Temple being listed as a World Heritage Site.
“This ceremony is very meaningful,” said Sann Sethvitou, a UC student. “It shows the world that Cambodia is the real architect and owner of the temple, and Cambodians love their temples, culture, and country.”
In addition to reminding Cambodian youth about the historical event, “the celebration stimulates nationalism among the youth to develop the country,” he added.
Source: UC Bulletin September 2011, Page 10