Monthly Archives: May 2012

April 2012: Khmer New Year

In the middle of April Cambodia celebrated their Khmer New Year.

The day before the Khmer New Year holiday we all shared a wonderful Khmer New Year party at The Goodwill Center, with the traditional fruit table, dance performances and lots of games. Even a large rain shower during the party did not stop the fun. Some children ran for shelter under the roof whilst other chidren took the opportunity to take a shower at the neighbour’s.

Watch the dance performance by clicking this link:


At the end of the party, the teenagers and staff cut and prepared the fruits so the children could enjoy a delicious and healthy snack before going home.


Art and craft

Tanya, from England, asked the children to draw and paint their hands onto material and to take these cut-outs and use them to represent the leaves of a beautiful tree. The children had never done anything like this before and were very much into it. They were again very surprised that something so simple could turn out to be so beautiful.


Working with modelling clay

The children are very skillfull with modelling clay. Some children go into great detail, modelling every little pattern on a fruit, or making a whole dinner table.


Imaginative birthday party

One afternoon the children, together with Nain, prepared a special surprise for Sabine….. a birthday party! Of course, they all knew that it was not really Sabine’s birthday but, since there is no tradition of celebrating one’s birthday in Cambodia, this new Western habit is very fascinating for Khmers, and especially the children.

Sabine was requested to enter one of the rooms with all the children waiting there inside. When she entered the room she was showered with flower petals and all of the children started singing the Happy Birthday song. They had also prepared a lovely table with all kinds of delicious looking play food made from wooden bricks and Lego, mixed with colourful flower petals and green leaves. Then, a specially prepared food plate was going to be served to Sabine but, before this was served she had to blow out all of the imaginative candles and cut and distribute all of the imaginative birthday cake.

Watch these movies:


The children didn’t forget any detail that is important in Cambodia: The two boys standing behind Sabine are actually her security guards!



Here are just a few snapshots of the various activities that are usually going on. The wedding play this time was conducted by the children without a staff supervising. The children choose a groom who really didn’t want to marry, so this would have been an arranged marriage if we had not intervened – arranged marriages are still quite common in Cambodia.