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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cambodia Circular Dance

Cambodia Circular Dance
By Kok Sap

Usual spat sarcasms from Sihanouk critics then, reastr ott bai a chhkuot lung chorl madai ram thaun hoy dei,kaen reastr pee sraer paerlaer lok thei, partisans choeung dei aing wai Baraing. I recalled back then, the unrepentant Cambodia's Father of Art and Culture had boasted over radio Phnom Penh and made it his culture proper campaign back in the 60's right after he staged, the invincible bare feet mixed outfits Chivapol (involuntary militia) armed with riffle made of Kapok , grand march on every known national routes. It was a false nostalgia.

For some reasons it was more entertaining for men group play. Especially, for those notable mighty Chivipol officers who had fell in deeply in Sihanouk war game scheme, would pay from own pocket to hire Chinese tailors to supply the black or light sage color outfits donned French male foreskin like beret in green or light red to impress upon fellows who barely could not afford daily meal. Some of these self important officers ego burst out his clothing seams as they were god sent comparable to Nazi SS officers toward fellows.

At the same stroke, his Majesty ordered every young woman, even in far remote hamlets, to learn the dog chasing its tail dance known as Ram Wong, in case of his Majesty visit region. Not every parent was crazy about it but their silent protest did not stop the ex-Chivipol officers who sometimes behaved worst than the Nazi Gestapo. The other few had secret wishes while enthusiastically allowed their blooming daughters to participate in such royal campaign to redeem Khmer art.

Well surely, in every of his royal visitation in the country, the National Radio Band of Manila Spaniard influenced tunes traveled with him at all times. Occasionally, the Pudgy Prince got off stage and led the dance with the hosting delegates own daughters and wives. The Pillsbury dough boy like ruler was beaming under the steaming heat.

Other hand, the poor and the resistant were chastised and fined for not involving in such daily game. My father happened to be one who refused to give in such silly royal games. The argument went what made the entrepreneurial Chinese or lineage so immune from not enlisted for post independence royal force show case? They lived off Cambodia for generation why special treatment still applied to them? My father said he had paid for the corruptive colonial government and Issarak Choar Puth Chhay extortion then, and now the kingdom government officials after Siam and French withdrawal. And now Sihanouk humiliated people with scandalous game ? The chief of village police squad went ahead to fine my father who had scolded the chief of police of his junior for such blindly support of the emotional heightened nonsense ploys of Sihanouk.

Every body seems to think the circular dance was actually the Khmer proper folk dance. Funny later, I had learned from friends from the respective region Laos, Siam, Dai of south China and regional Burma that such proper Khmer dance was also used in social gathering for those ethnic folks entertainment in every important annual event. That alone had confirmed how confused Sihanouk back then in term of national art. The man had no clue of such thing. This may not be important to some, but as ruler of the recovering nation, morally Sihanouk had not been so honest with himself all along. He was and still is the man who is responsible for the Cambodia endless woe. Seemingly his circular dance soon catches up with his hypocrisy.

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