Holidays in Cambodia – 2017

January 01 International New Year Day
January 07 Victory over Genocide Day
February 11 Meak Bochea Day
March 08 International Women’s Day
April 14, 15, 16 Khmer New Year Day
May 01 International Labor Day
May 10 Visak Bochea Day
May 13, 14, 15 King’s Birthday, Norodom Sihamoni
May 14 Royal Plowing Ceremony
June 01 International Children Day
June 18 King’s Mother Birthday, Norodom Monineath Sihanouk
September 19, 20, 21 Pchum Ben Day
September 24 Constitutional Day
October 15 Commemoration Day of King’s Father, Norodom Sihanouk
October 23 Anniversary of the Paris Peace Accord
October 29 King’s Coronation Day, Norodom Sihamoni
November 02, 03, 04 Water Festival Ceremony
November 09 Independence Day
December 10 International Human Rights Day


Lunch bar conversation

It has been a while since I have written, but I’m still here and still thinking each day of Cambodia.

The other day I received an unsolicited email message from a graduate student in Cambodia who wanted to say than you for having helped him (one way and another through employment and sponsorship,) get his degree.  What a wonderful thing to receive that message.

Then 48 hours later I popped into a lunchbar in Ellerslie, Auckland,  where I had a chat with the owner, a Cambodian, who knows about my involvement and commitment to Cambodia, and who has been weighing up how she, also, may assist her mother country.

It was a lively conversation as we shared experiences and shared also our dismay at how the burgeoning middle-class of Cambodia is ignoring the welfare of so many fellow citizens.  Cambodia has precious little safety net.  “But to ignore the poor just isn’t true Buddhism,” my friend said. She is going to be very choosy about who she supports in Cambodia – opting to help people in a specific village in the South.  She is worried by corruption, and the tendency by some people to grasp money intended for a whole village,  to keep for themselves. The gifts for monasteries are supposed to be distributed to the poor, she explained with a sigh. But that’s people.

But I wonder how many people over the years have been burned by this kind of greed that diverts a stream of goodwill and dollars into the pockets of the greedy.  Cambodia doesn’t make itself an easy country to love.