The latest from Cambodia – March 2020!

Written by our Cambodia Team

With all schools, including our Supplementary Centres closed due to COVID-19, program delivery has paused in Cambodia. We are making the most this time by reviewing some of our processes while working on developing documents that will assist us to transition smoothly back into program delivery. As always our priority is supporting the communities that we work with during this difficult time. 

Our priority right now is assessing the situation and impact of COVID-19 in country to strategize and plan for upcoming delivery and ensure we best meet the needs of the communities we work with.

About Khmer New Year

Cambodian people have many holidays during the year. 

One of the most important is Khmer New Year (Khmer: បុណ􀃵ចូល􀄓, pronounced: Choul Chnam Thmey). It is celebrated over three days starting from the 13th or 14th of April, which coincides with the end of the harvesting season. 

Khmer New Year is a precious time for Cambodian people to gather with family, friends and their community. It is celebrated throughout Cambodia and is rooted in Buddhist traditions.

How is Khmer New Year Celebrated? There are different traditions on each day. 

Day 1: Maha Songkran

On the first day of Khmer New Year people put fruit in front of their houses as an offering to the gods. They believe that the new gods will come to take nourishment from the fruits and give their blessings to the home. On the second day people visit their relatives, give gifts to their parents, have a nice lunch with them or visit somewhere together. 

Day 2: Virak Vanabat

On the second day people visit their relatives, give gifts to their parents, have a nice lunch with them or visit somewhere together. 

Day 3: Vearak Loeng Sak

On the last day people bathe statues of Buddha and their parents and grandparents with water blessed by monks. In the Khmer language we say “Srong Tek”. This is a way to respect the Buddha and your parents, bring them health and long life, and ask their forgiveness for past wrongs. 

Over the three days, people also bring some food to the pagoda for ancestors who have passed away.

Khmer New Year During COVID-19

Because of COVID-19, the government restricted movement between provinces so many people cannot visit their family for Khmer New Year. To protect themselves, people also avoid going to Pagoda, just visiting to make offerings to the Monks for a short time individually, not all together.

Thanks for taking the time to understand about Khmer New Year!

Written by Phearom Soeurt (Cambodia Hub Community Coordinator)

Cats Corner!

Introducing the Cambodia hubs newest staff member, Sasha. Sasha brings many skills to the team, mainly the ability to bring joy to her colleagues and climb into places she is not supposed to be. 

We are also excited to announce that CAD 3 has a gorgeous new family member, baby Sid, pictured below with his proud mum.

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