Cambodia has a lot of popular games. People like to play in their free time, during festivals and other small and large festivals, such as Khmer New Year.
Khmer folk games have more than 20 forms to strengthen unity, manifest happiness, maintain physical and mental health, which is a symbol of ancient Khmer identity.
However, the youths are deviating from their culture. It is the reason why people are not interested in playing Khmer folk games.
What are the factors that make young men and women not interested in playing such Khmer folk games?
Traditionally, traditional Khmer games, such as Bos Ang Kunh, Chol Chhong, Chab Kon Kleng, Sdach Chong, and Teanh Prot, are popular games that take place one or two months before the Khmer New Year and are even more popular in pagodas and villages.
But it should be noted that about a decade ago, Khmer folk games were not as popular as before, either before or during the Khmer New Year.
There are at least three main reasons that could explain this variation. The three factors are: economic factor, the influx of foreign cultures and the advancement of technology.
To support their livelihoods, most young Cambodians are forced to migrate from the countryside to the cities or abroad to earn a living. The absence of young people from their hometowns has made the Khmer village quiet and free of traditional games and activities.
In addition to migration, the hustle and bustle of running a business for a living has forced Cambodians to give up the habit of playing popular games to celebrate the Khmer New Year. This is for those who do not have a comfortable life. As for those who have a prosperous life, they also do not like to play popular games, preferring to travel to various resorts instead.
While not playing popular games, most young Cambodians have turned to dancing to modern songs to celebrate the Khmer New Year. This shows the influx of foreign culture into Cambodian society, which most young Cambodians welcome to practice in a very rough way.
As for some people, just because they are not obsessed with foreign culture does not mean that they are interested in turning to Khmer folk games, as today, technology is more advanced and people have more options for leisure. Unlike in the past, there is no internet, no smartphone, which requires people to play popular games to have fun.
We, the young men and women of the new era, should turn to playing the Khmer folk game in the sense of helping to preserve the heritage of our ancestors, which has been a tradition since ancient times, if it splits like that, it may be lost one day for sure.
Excerpted from Radio France International
Posted on: April 10, 2017