Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cambodia to Host 1st International Kite Festival in Koh Kong province


The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA), in collaboration with the governor of Koh Kong province, will organize the “Koh Kong International Kite Festival,” which will take place from January 6-7, 2010 in Koh Kong province with the participation of over 100 kite lovers from countries. Koh Kong is one of the most beautiful coastal provinces in Cambodia. It is 280 kilometres away from Phnom Penh and borders Thailand.

Thai Noreak Sathya, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said that the ten participating countries include Cambodia, China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden, and Thailand.

The Secretary of State Noreak Sathya continued to say that it marks the first time as his ministry will hold the International Kite Festival in Koh Kong province in Cambodia. The main purpose of the festival is to celebrate the 31st Anniversary of the Victory over Genocide Day, which is the day Cambodian people were liberated and rescued from the Khmer Rouge.

He added that another objective of the international festival is to attract national and international tourists visiting Koh Kong province, which is one of the most beautiful coastal provinces in Cambodia. It is also a cultural event contributing to making Koh Kong province a future natural and cultural province for tourists.

“The main objective of the international kite festival is to dedicate the 31st Anniversary of the Victory over Genocide Day and is celebrated in contributing to the implementation of the Cambodian government’s rectangular strategy to begin the new cultural goal ‘Cambodia: The Kingdom of Khmer Culture’ in the future,” he told the press conference on December 25 in Phnom Penh.

He pointed out that the “Kite” or “Khleng” is a part of Khmer traditional culture and used to be a sacred object during Angkor epoch. Due to the Khmer Rouge regime and about two decades of civil wars in Cambodia, Khmer kites’ forms and its documents had mostly been destroyed, too. He stated that after the liberation of Cambodia in 1979 and hard work and research conducted by MoCFA, the Khmer Kites Flying festival survived and was re-celebrated in 1994.

During the past 31 years, Khleng has become an identification of the Khmer Culture and has been recognized in the world, he said, adding that in the future, the kite festival will be serving as an important thing aiming to promote tourism in Cambodia.

Sim Sarak, General Director of the Finance and Administration Department in Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said that Khmer kites are an important national identification of Cambodia. It has been done by Khmers for over 400 years since the Fu-nan period or Nokor Phnom Time.

He said that the festival is always celebrated for sacrifice and thanksgiving for Preah Peay (winds), which have blown the clouds from the sky; created rains for people doing farming in the rainy seasons, and created good weather for people to collect their produces in harvesting season.

He also said that to develop as well as preserve the Kite for next generation, the Cambodian government and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts will continue its hard work in training the students and organizing more kite festivals in Cambodia in the future. He added to promote Khmer culture internationally, his ministry will design a variety of Khmer traditional kites in order to attend national and international kite festivals or competitions in the future.

Dek Sarin, Director of the Cultural Development Department in MoCFA, said that at present, Khmer kites had been developed and also influencing every local and international milieu. He added that since 1994, MoCFA has been organizing a lot of nationwide Khmer kite flying competitions in Cambodia.

He added that MoCFA has also sent Cambodian Kites flyers to participate in international competitions totaling 43 in the world, in which 19 competitions were held in European countries and the other 34 in Asian countries. As a result, Cambodia has received the “Unique Design of the World” and also received many medals from the international kite tournaments above.

Relating to the Koh Kong International Kite Festival, Sarin said that there are a total of 72 Cambodian kite flyers from 24 cities and provinces, and 40 kite flyers from nine countries will attend the competition in Cambodia.

He said that those who win the first class of the competition will receive a trophy, along with a one million riel award; the second winner will receive an 800,000 riel reward; and the third winner will receive a 700, 000 riel award. He added that those who do not win the competition will also receive 100,000 riel each as incentive money. The trophy and awards are generously provided by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. ////

1 comment:

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