New Books Explore Aspects of Khmer Culture

Five new Khmer-language books on aspects of Khmer culture and heritage were scheduled for release today by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, in col­lab­oration with the UN Educa­tional, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The books, produced by artists from the Royal University of Fine Arts’ faculty of choreographic arts, were funded by Japan Funds-in-Trust at Unesco.

After a ceremony today at 3 pm at the Ministry of Culture’s headquarters on Norodom Boulevard, the books are marked for distribution to teachers and students at RUFA, to artists of the National Theater, libraries, schools, universities, ministries and cultural institutions throughout Cambodia.

“Khmer Salutation” is an explanation of the meaning and history of the sampeah, the traditional sign of greeting or mutual recognition. Cambodians are expected to know how to vary the sampeah ac­cording to age or rank of the parties involved.

“The Art of Writing Khmer Poet­ry” describes 53 different forms of Khmer poetry, each of which can be recited in up to 60 dif­ferent ways. The book is in­tended to help preserve this fragile art form.

“Khmer Arts History” reviews the origin and development of Khmer arts and culture, highlighting the important role they play in preserving social cohesion.

“Golden Ideas of Literature” is the first of a planned series aimed at introducing Cambodians to ideas and arts of other cultures. This first volume discusses the ideas of Western writers such as Voltaire and Tolstoy.

“The Famous Playwrights” ex­amines the history of well-known play­wrights and is intended to help students learn to create new performances.


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