Uptown Funk by Epic Arts Cambodia

Look what I found on the Internet today!
Epic Arts in Kampot once again released a music video, this time featuring “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson. This is locally produced with support from UNICEF and the performers are students and staff of Epic Arts organisation in Kampot.

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I think it is well-made and the performers are amazing. Don’t forget to look closely at Sothun, my man! He’s got the moves! Previously, they also produced a video featuring Pharrell Williams’ hit, Happy.

According to Sakon, who delivered a short message at the end of the video, they made this in order to demonstrate that people with disabilities in Cambodia are valuable, can be involved and can be as cool as Bruno Mars 🙂 Sakon tells the viewers to help raise awareness on disability issues and to spread the message that every person counts. Epic Arts is an organisation that assists people with physical and learning disabilities. Find out more about Epic Arts and how you can help through this link.

A Khmer Wedding

Oh, my sweet, wonderful, beautiful Miss Igorota sisters! How Khmer Iggy and I have missed all of you! I’ve barely been able to @@@ at all during the past weeks so I’m excited to jump back in.

The whole neighborhood of Tuol Sangke woke up before sunrise today thanks to the loud music coming from our neighbor. The music, coupled with canned chanting of the monks, signaled that a wedding was to take place in the neighborhood. Reluctantly, I got out of the bed complaining about loss of precious beauty sleep with the music reverberating everywhere at an unholy hour. When I went to the kitchen I found my dear husband already making me my chocolate drink.

I went outside, just before 6.30am, to walk the dog and, lo and behold — there were already vehicles rolling in our streets and carrying wedding guests. Khmer Iggy volunteered to walk the dog with me, and she confessed, she had never seen so many Land Cruisers and Lexus in one place before!

Khmer Iggy at the entrance

Here’s Khmer Iggy standing in front of the lavishly decorated entrance to the tent-covered reception area. The tent covered the entire block where we live. Inside the tent were rows and rows of tables and chairs and powerful loudspeakers broadcasting music and the entire ceremony throughout the neighborhood.

A traditional Khmer wedding starts with a procession led by the groom heading towards the bride’s house to present gifts (dowry). The groom and his gift-toting entourage walk in a procession to the bride’s house. Elders say that the groom’s eagerness to marry is reflected in the distance he is willing to walk. Unlike Philippine weddings, in a Khmer wedding, guests don’t bring the gifts at all. Even the gifts that they carry during the procession are provided by the groom to represent a part of the dowry. The gifts comes in twos (pairs) to represent the couple.

Khmer wedding entourage

Then the bride and her family meet the groom and his entourage at the especially decorated doorway where the bride offers a lei to the groom, and vice versa. After the obligatory photo-shoot for a few minutes, they then enter the house together for a day-long ceremony with the whole proceedings being broadcast over a loudspeaker and interspersed with traditional Khmer wedding music, a live salapa (sitcom) about married life, and canned chanting. A lavish reception follows with dancing that lasts all night long.

Khmer wedding

Iggy, the bride and groom and the bride’s parents.

Although not invited, Miss Igorota was happy to get a glimpse of a traditional Khmer wedding, and managed to sneak in a few shots paparazzi-style. Khmer Iggy couldn’t help but admire the fabulously dressed women all prettily made up at silly-o’clock in the morning.

Miss Iggy thinks that times are hard, but we still see people taking the marriage plunge. This is definitely love, and the power of love is even stronger than the economic crunch! One of my Khmer friends told me that he’s getting married later this year, and that’s welcome news for us and Miss Iggy, as we’ll be able to see a Khmer wedding in its entirety.

Wordless Wednesday #63 : Sadhus of Nepal

sadhus of nepal

These are some of the sadhus I met while sightseeing in the ancient city of Bakhtapur, just outside Kathmandu. Initially, I got scared when I first saw them -thick, matted dreadlocks and ochre body paints – but I was later told they were totally harmless. The sadhus are generally revered for their holiness, having chosen to leave behind the material world to focus on their spiritual perfection, however, there are some sadhus who are feared for their curses. Do you know what Khumbh Mela is? This is a mass gathering of all sadhus in (one of the four points along) the sacred rivers of India and it happens only once every three years.

See other Worldless entries here.

Wordless Wednesday #59: Modern-day neary Khmer (Khmer woman)

modern day Cambodian hero

A female Khmer de-miner with her partner, an Alsatian sniffer-dog. She’s one of the many female members of the Cambodian de-mining team that participated in last Sunday’s 55th anniversary celebration of Cambodia’s Independence from France. To me, she represents the modern-day Khmer woman. Brave, independent, hard-working and yet remaining true and respectful to the ideals of being a Cambodian.

Cheyor, neary Khmer!
Cheyor, Kampuchea!

Obama elected 44th US President!

It’s official – America has decided and Barack Obama, triumphed.

Barack Obama swept to victory as the nation’s first black president Tuesday night in an electoral college landslide that overcame racial barriers as old as America itself. “Change has come,” he told a huge throng of cheering supporters.

Click here to continue reading. Photo is from the same Yahoo article.

My Wordless Wednesday entry is just below, please scroll down a bit.