The celebration of Christmas in Phnom Penh is quite different from what most people would experience in places where there is a large Christian community and long-standing Christmas traditions and customs. Here Christmas is almost universally not understood and largely ignored except by the shops and stores that can profit from it commercially.
Christmas Day in Phnom Penh
Here are some glimpses of Christmas day here in Phnom Penh this year.
|Even on a regular Sunday, much of the normal commerce continues in Phnom Penh. Here is an auto repair shop at the end of our street. These guys never get a day off–and they haven’t a clue about Christmas.|
|This man is stopping to get his morning coffee, probably like he does most other days of the week and of the year.|
|One sign of Christmas: the new Carl’s Jr put up an ersatz Christmas tree in the front of their franchise.|
|Down on the river front, a woman sells sparrows from her cage to Cambodia people who release them to gain merit for the next life. Seems to me there would be more merit gained by not capturing the birds in the first place.|
|A Christian NGO arranged a Christmas giveaway, handing out bags of goodies to the crowd that quickly formed around their tuk-tuk. I’m not sure what all was in the bags but I could see cans of Coca-Cola through the plastic.|
|A disabled man begs for money along the river front.|
|Two monks make their rounds begging for food for themselves and the poor people they support.|
|A husband and wife take a river front tour in cyclos.|
|An enterprising shop along the river sells little Santa Claus outfits to the tourists and locals who think it’s cute for their kids.|
|This crew repairs a flat tire on their garbage truck.|
|This coffee shops and bar goes all out for the Christmas spirit with a large snowman.|