Ministry To Celebrate National Cultural Day

The Ministry of Culture will celebrate the fifth National Cultural Day today with a crafts and photography exhibition and a dramatic performance, Ruon Tour Nora, chief of the ministry’s Adminis­tration Office, said Wednesday.

The exhibition at Chaktomuk Theater will celebrate the last five years of achievements by the ministry’s 14 departments. The traditional drama, also at Chak­tomuk, will take place at 6:30 pm. Both are free and open to the public.

In a statement last month, Prime Minister Hun Sen ex­pressed support for the holiday and for the Culture Ministry’s ef­forts to uphold Cambodian culture. For its part, he said, the government would begin developing ancient temples such as Preah Vihear and Banteay Chhmar for cultural tourism.

The government, he said, is committed to “increasing dissemination of Khmer culture through radio and television stations, new­spapers and the Internet, to educate all Cambodian citizens about our national culture and preserve that national culture for the next generation.”

The government is also promoting the development of hu­man resources in the culture sector, particularly by enhancing the cultural portion of the general study curriculum, he added.

Hun Sen encouraged all of the government ministries to participate in the celebration of National Cultural Day.

Cambodian culture has undergone a significant revival in recent years, resisting foreign influences, Ministry of Culture Un­dersecretary of State Kim Sophat said Wednesday.

“Cambodian culture is unique,” he said. “Cambodian culture is firm; no [other] culture can interfere [with it].”

The revival of skilled artisanship has also led to a reduction in trafficking of ancient artifacts, he noted.

“Looting of ancient objects has declined because the new crafts being produced look just like the real, ancient ones,” he said. “I ap­peal to foreign visitors not to buy ancient artifacts.”

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