In September, CBT members gathered in the CBT office for new committee elections. Elections are held every 2 years and they also help to recognize the achievements and challenges of the CBT. This year, we had 11 candidates running for CBT President and Vice-President. All the candidates are from the four villages surrounding Banteay Chhmar Temple.
We are pleased to announce that the CBT members have re-elected Bieng Sruon, as the CBT President. Sang Ponlock, has been elected as Vice-President.
Bieng Sruon was born in 1974 in Banteay Chhmar Tbong village in Banteay Chhmar Commune. In 1991, he returned from a refugee camp along the Cambodian-Thai border. In early 1994, he married Rith Reth. They have raised 3 children – all girls. He owns a phone shop across from the Banteay Chhmar market. He has a professional job repairing mobile phones, televisions, CD and DVD players. In 2007, he decided to work for the CBT. He was quickly elected President. He can also speak English and Thai. His ideas about the CBT are that “The CBT can provide extra income and work for villagers, share experiences with each other and tourists and protect the heritage and culture of Cambodia.”
Sang Ponlock was born in 1979 in Pongro Village, Tapou Commune in Battambang Province. in 1991, he and his family moved from a refugee camp along the Cambodian-Thai border to Sras Chray village in Banteay Chhmar Commune. in 2000 , he married Khal Sary, from Sras Chray village. They have raised 2 children – one boy and one girl.In 2007, he decided to work for the CBT. He was quickly elected accountant. He can also speak English and do tour guide from beginning the CBT project. His ideas about the CBT are that Conservation asset, improve extra income for family and development Banteay Chhmar. Local authorities from Banteay Chhmar Commune, the 4 village chiefs and CBT members participated and voted in the CBT election.
Pchum Ben is celebrated in September. It is one of the most important holidays and cultural events in Cambodia. It is a time of prayer, remembrance and dedication to deceased relatives. It is celebrated over 15 days from the first moon to full moon in September. Most villagers will bring food, flowers, candles & incense to the pagoda. Food is also given to monks and the monks pray for the villagers’ ancestors. In Banteay Chhmar, villagers from each village are responsible for all the expenses on a certain day and this continues for several more days. On the full moon day, all the villagers go to the pagoda together to pray and honor their ancestors.