March was a very unusual month here in Banteay Chhmar. The weather was unseasonably cool and windy. We had several cloudy and windy days late in the month. The wind chill averaged in the mid 50s (about 13C) during the day and much cooler at night. Despite the cold weather, the moat continues to fill with beautiful lotus flowers and the cassava continues to be harvested, cut and dried by the villagers.
The highlight of the month was the celebration of Khmer Cultural Day on March 13th. In Banteay Chhmar, we celebrated with speeches, music, dance and the giving of gifts to village elders. Excellency Sam Rang Kom San (Secretary of State of Cambodia) and Excellency Oung Uon (Banteay Meanchey Provincial Governor) were among the speakers and presenters.
Two especially beautiful dances were performed by Apsara dancers from the Kroo-a-saa T’may (New Family) organization in Sisophon. One dance is called Poung Maree (Flower Women). A complete slideshow can be seen on the Poung Maree Gallery page.