Cambodia Sets Second World Record of Week

Cambodia set yet another Guinness World Record on Wednesday—its second in three days—when 2,015 people participated in a synchronized line dance during the Angkor Sankranta New Year festival in Siem Reap City.

Organized by the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), the group claimed the record by doing the popular Madison, a ’60s-era dance regularly performed at Cambodian weddings, for 5 minutes in front of Angkor Thom’s Terrace of the Elephants.

Students dance the Madison during the Angkor Sankranta New Year festival in Siem Reap City on Wednesday. Exactly 2,015 people performed the line dance, setting the Guinness World Record for largest number of participants. (Angkor Sankranta)
Students dance the Madison during the Angkor Sankranta New Year festival in Siem Reap City on Wednesday. Exactly 2,015 people performed the line dance, setting the Guinness World Record for largest number of participants. (Angkor Sankranta)

This week’s first record was set on Monday at the terrace when Cambodia claimed the Guinness World Record for the largest num ansorm, a traditional sticky rice cake, which weighed more than 4 tons.

“When we broke the [Madison] record, I was very happy to be Khmer,” said Som Ratana, a spokesman for the Angkor Sankranta festival. “It shows the stability and the unity of our Khmer society.”

Mr. Ratana said that most of the dancers were young people from high schools and universities in Siem Reap. However, at least one adult took part—Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son, Hun Many, the head of the UYFC.

Seyda Subasi Gemici, a Guinness World Records judge from Germany, oversaw the record attempt along with officials from the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.

“The Madison dancing at the Elephant Terrace has been recorded in the Guinness World Records,” Ms. Gemici said, according to a UYFC press release.

Cambodia first claimed the world record for the largest Madison dance in 2012, when nearly 1,000 people in Phnom Penh stole the distinction from France. Australia then overtook Cambodia last year, with 1,155 people taking part.

Sun Sovanny, director of the Siem Reap provincial department of culture and fine arts, who also watched the record attempt, praised the dancers for their ability to move in unison.

“It is a proud achievement for Cambodia,” she said. “Even though it is not our national rhythm, the Madison dance is danced around the world. It is like a sport and makes people have unity, because if they don’t have unity, they cannot dance simultaneously.”

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