Language Student’s Nightmare

Quite a few superlatives can be written about Cambodia. One of them is the bane of anyone trying to learn to read and write the Khmer language: The written script has 74 letters and is officially the longest alphabet in the world. Above are some of the letters

The Old New Year

The Lunar (Chinese) New Year was February 12th but there are still plenty of remnants of the holiday decorations still around Phnom Penh. Many stores and other establishments still have their doorway decorations.

The colorful new year flower arrangements are the most perishable of the decorations and many have found their way to the trash, but a surprising number still grace the fronts of stores and homes.

Reunion dinner

Today is New Year’s Eve in the lunar calendar and for the people in the chopsticks countries, the reunion dinner this evening is one of the most important happenings of the year. In non-pandemic times, everyone MUST return home for the meal together.

This is a Khmer-Chinese family next door to the DDP office compound. They are well-to-do by Cambodian standards. As I was going home this afternoon, they were arranging parts of their dinner (the roast pig) and offerings to their ancestors (the paper houses and car and the beer and soft drinks and fruit and incense). And they were well decked out in their traditional red outfits for this glorious night!

Musica Felice

Ms. Miwako Fujiwara is the founder and director of the now quite well-known musical group, Musica Felice. Several times a year they perform in charity concerts that are always well received. This past weekend we were treated to their latest production which had been delayed several months because of COVID-19 restrictions. It was well worth the wait!

The whole Musica Felice ensemble with Miwako as pianist.
Some of the women singing some Christmas-themed music
for the last time this season.
These two young blind men, from one of the groups benefited by the concert, really stole the show with their strong vocal duets.