So I’ve arrived in Cambodia after a quick stop in Bangkok. It just so happens that it’s New Year’s this weekend in both Thailand and Cambodia – a happy discovery!!! I’ve already experienced the difference in how the two countries celebrate. Water and cleansing are very important in both cultures, but in Bangkok that was a much more public act than it is here in Cambodia.
On our first night in Cambodia, we shared a traditional meal with a family living in a village just outside Siem Reap. There we learned about village life and how families bring gifts to each other in celebration of the new year. The water fights have been outlawed here, but villagers still douse each other with talcum powder.
After an elaborate meal, the small children of the village introduced the tradition to us immediately in what became a talcum powder explosion. We were greeted by laughter when we went to the Pub Road in Siem Reap, as I suppose the tradition isn’t quite as common in the cities.
It was early to bed and early to rise so that we could catch sunrise behind the glorious temple of Angkor Wat.