Khmer New Year: DDP Party

It was really satisfying to see a good number of young deaf adults coming together today for a Khmer New Year party at DDP.  It’s a week early but next weekend all these youth will be in their home provinces.  Everyone MUST go home for the new year, the biggest and most festive celebration of the year.

An annual game–the new year games are very traditional and most are played only at this time of year–is similar to the Mexican pinata. Here a young woman, removing her blindfold, locates the hanging pot while the man on the right shows her she was swinging against the wall.
This man starts walking toward the target. The pots were filled with well wrapped cakes and candies–and nestled in a pile of baby powder which is the source of the white sheen on so many faces.
This young woman broke the pot and the DDP guard helped her collect the goodies that fell to the ground.
These celebrations are just plain fun but they also bring together young deaf people who are very isolated in their daily lives. I first met these three women more than fifteen years ago but hadn’t seen them since.
After a day of activities and then lunch, the final game of the day was a tug of war with mixed teams pulling against each other on a floor made really slippery by the powder.
Russ Brine and I had our picture taken with three young women who came to be united with old friends. Some of them rode several hours on a motorbike to get here from the rural provinces.
Finally the games were over and as the deaf people went inside to get a drink, the Deaf Community Center staff started hosing and sweeping away all the powder and the bits of broken pottery. A successful event!