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Highlights of Cambodian New Year 2003, San Jose, Bay Area, N. California

COMMITTEE IN GENERAL
Phillip Lim – Chairperson , Paul Lon – Vice Chairperson
Chanthoeun To – Secretary, Channary Bill – Treasurer, Davy Chea – Treasurer,
Chamroeun Yean – Cultural Dance Coordinator, Frank Huon – Adviser, Norind Su – SJCBS President, 
Perom Uch
 – Sr. AdviserRobert Lor – Stage Manager, Someth Lor – Stage Décor & Photo/Video Coordinator,
Vinita Kylin –Social Dance Coordinator


Donated by Davy Chea

Photographed by Bill Lange (Reserved with Copyright of http://www.ltaphotos.com/) Click on each picture to view it bigger
MCs: Sovandy Hang & Sarah Chea Open Remarks by Mr. Perom Uch Keynote Speaker: Mr. Hin Sath
Representative of
Hon. Mike Honda, Congressman
Mr. Phillip Lim, Chairperson of
Cambodian New Year 2003
Hon. Terry Gregory,
San Jose City Council
Thousands of people attended this holiday observance featuring blessings by Buddhist monks, traditional new year games, Cambodian fashion show, Khmer rememberance Song, the cultural dance performances and the public were warmly welcomed. This year the day-long community celebration began at 9:00 AM with Buddhist monks in saffron robes chanting and performing the New Year Blessings ceremony. The blessing is followed by a display of traditional Cambodian games for adults and children. These daytime festivities are an opportunity to participate in the rich cultural heritage of the Khmer people making a new home in this country and are free to all comers. In addition, there will also be a host of vendors displaying their arts and crafts and other Cambodian products. The evening cultural program begins at 5:30 PM and will feature several performances of Khmer classical ballet and folk dance; folk and classical music as well as modern performances.
Robam Neary Chea Chuor: This dance is a Khmer Classical dance describing the beauty of young ladies in their elegant costumes performing beautiful Khmer dance. This dance reminds the Khmer people of the rich culture that has been kept and nourished through generations, and it is a well known among the neighboring countries.
Robam Meh Am Bao: It illustrates a story of bug busters working diligently to maintain the garden and keeping unwanted bugs away. At same time, a group of young female butterflies flying and singing in the garden as they look for pollen to extract. To their surprise, the butterflies are quietly caught by the bug busters. They try to convince the bug busters to release them by claiming they were just “beautifying” the garden.
Robam Phuong Neary: This Classical dance describes the beauty of Khmer woman. The music and the melodic song narrated her uncompromising beauty and compare it to a golden flower. Although she is practical and strong, she is also admirable and soft. This dance brings out all of which true beauty is.
Robam Moni Mekala: depicts the story of three students, Moni Mekala, Ream-Ea-So and prince Vora-chhun, who received lessons from one teacher, Moni-Ey-Sey. The teacher had given each of them specialized weapons before their departure. Ream-Ea-So was a bad giant who seeks to steal the other’s weapons to be top in his class. He kills prince Vora-chhun for his Sword, and is trying to kill Moni Mekala for her Crystal ball.
Moni Mekala is not only beautiful, but is also powerful. She fights her battle bravely with Ream-Ea-So. While attempting to take possession of the Crystal ball from Moni Mekala, Ream-Ea-So throws his Arch in an attempt to kill her. To prevent this, she throws her Crystal ball up to make the thunder’s flame,
blinding Ream-Ea-So and defeats him at the scene.
Robam Koah Trah Lauk: This Classical dance describes the beauty of Khmer woman. The music and the melodic song narrated her uncompromising beauty and compare it to a golden flower. Although she is practical and strong, she is also admirable and soft. This dance brings out all of which true beauty is.
Seven Day Color Fashion Show:Seven beautiful Cambodian ladies dressed in vibrant color pamoung for seven days of the week:
Sunday – Red, Monday – Yellow-Orange, Tuesday – Purple, Wednesday – Mustard-Green, Thursday – Green, Friday – Blue, Saturday – Burgundy
For special occasion, Cambodians believe that choosing the right color of clothes in accordance with its color chart will bring good luck and happiness.
Khmer Remembrance Song: “Savoda Khmer” or “Khmer Remembrance song” is written by Mr. Nuon Kan (well known Khmer poet). This poem reminds all Khmer, young and old, domestic and abroad, to remember their roots and origin. It further describes its geography, rich natural resources, Angkorian history, culture and tradition, architect, and many more. It is a well-known fact for many centuries.
Yeeke Tum-Teav – ( Part—II )
A scene where Daun Phann tricked TEAV to marry someone else
In the previous scene, Tum and Teav were married by the king. The couple was happy together. However, Daun Phnan, Teav’s mother, strongly disagreed with the king’s decision. She prefers Teav to be married to a wealthy person for it is in her best interest. She sent Teav a faked letter stating her severe health condition and wishes to see her daughter. She slowly learned her presence is requested for an arranged marriage that her mother had set up. She was to be married to Meun Nguon, the son of a regional governor, Auh-Choun. She later discovered her mother had “tricked” her. For it is the only way to manifest true love in the presence of the villagers. The test proved the couple remains faithful to one another. They were tragically separated. Tum was battered by Auh-Choun and was taken away to be executed.
This TUM-TEAV sad scene, reminds us of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliette story.
Chhayam features the long-drum (skor chhayam), clashing hand-held cymbals, wooden clackers (Krab), and other noisemakers made of commonly found materials. The performers show off in comic masks and exaggerated hair styles and make-up. Communal and spontaneous, the combination of drumming, comic exhibitions, and animated vernacular call-and-response vocals (at times nonsensical) are characteristics of Chhayam