Sunday, February 12, 2012

Party On!

Last year, I wrote in detail about a  Cambodian wedding we attended.  It was an elaborate affair that lasted two days, so packed with activity that it took two separate blogs to describe everything.   You can read about it here  and here

This year, we were thrilled to learn that Mao, the cook at Honour Village was getting married on January 15th.  The biggest drawback was that it was held in Pursat province, a good 6 hour drive away.  Many of the Honour Village volunteers wanted to attend, but after weighing several options, including renting a van, we realized the cost would be prohibitive, so we had to drop our plans.   Imagine how thrilled we were to learn that Mao had decided to have another wedding party in Siem Reap on February 5th, for all her friends here. 

Everyone at Honour Village was all excited about going.  I knew that however none of the female volunteers had a nice dress to wear to the wedding, so I opted to wear something more simple rather than the fancy dress I had made while here a few years ago.  

The Honour Village volunteers ready for the wedding.
Men don't have to dress up, but women usually come in full formal attire.
Lee (far left) wore a traditional Malaysian sarong.

I opted not to wear my glitzy Cambodian 'go-to-wedding' outfit,
but I still went to Old Market and had my nails done.
Price - $2.00 US

Since all the wedding ceremonies had taken place three weeks earlier, this party was a scaled-down event, but nonetheless a full-blown celebration.  It was held at a nearby restaurant, and when we arrived, we had to look twice, because we barely recognized Mao. 
This is how Mao looks at work
Here she is all dressed up for the wedding party.  Wow!
And that's my handsome husband wearing his new Cambodian shirt.

Soon after, the staff from Honour Village began to arriveh.  Te ladies were dressed like princesses and made up beautifully.

Honour Village female staff. 
(One of the houemothers stayed back to take care of the kids.)


Srey Lean


The tables were laden with soft drinks and beer, and plate after plate of food arrived.  All throughout the meal, the music blared from massive speakers, as it does at all Cambodian celebrations.

Loads of food and plenty to drink.
When everyone was finished eating, the dancing began.  First some Western-style dancing, then some more traditional Cambodian-style dancing. 

Me, dancing with Da.
His wheelchair doesn't stop him from having fun.

Cambodian-style dancing is fashinioned after Apsara dancing, in which hand movements are slow and graceful.  Typically the fingers bend quite far back.  I'm told they begin at a very early age to flex the fingers backward to increase and maintain flexibility.  Everyone dances in a counter-clockwise circle, with the center of the circle unoccupied, except maybe for a decoration at the hub.

Sela and Va
Serious facial expressions are part of this dance.

Notice the bent back fingers

I'm trying, I'm trying!

Jane and John join in the fun

Guys sit out the dancing and drink beer.

The party went on late into the evening.  It was a night to remember, and everyone had a great time.
I think Gordon and Da had an especially good time.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful ladies, looks like a very nice celebration! Congrats to the bride and groom.