via Reuters in the Bangkok Post, 04 Jan 2019: The listing of the Khon dances of Cambodia and Thailand are welcome, but the tradition still is in danger of dying out if new generations do not learn the craft.
Cambodia’s centuries-old tradition of masked dance was nearly wiped out by the Khmer Rouge’s “Killing Fields” regime, but a handful of artists managed to keep it alive and are now working to pass it along to a new generation.
Sun Rithy’s father and grandfather were both performers of the Lakhon Khol masked dance, but the ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge — who scorned most art as decadent — banned its study when he was a child in the 1970s.
Now 48, Sun Rithy leads one of the last Lakhon Khol troupes in Cambodia, made up of about 20 performers and students aged six to 15. For him, teaching a new generation is a matter of survival for the tradition.
“I don’t want Lakhon Khol … to go extinct,” Sun Rithy told Reuters.
Lakhon Khol was recently listed by Unesco, the United Nations’ cultural agency, as intangible cultural heritage, along with neighbouring Thailand’s version of the dance, known as khon.
via The Malaysian Insight, 28 August 2018: Orang Asli (the original native peoples of Malaysia) in Kelantan lose a legal battle over recognition of traditional land rights, which will pave the way for logging and the destruction of the Orang Asli’s source of food.
Forestry Deparment Officer dismantle a Kalge blockade in the Gua Musang forests at Kuala Betis, Gua Musang Kelantan on August 27,2018.The Malaysian Insight/Afif Abd Halim
As the nation counts down to Merdeka, the Orang Asli in Gua Musang do not feel like they are equal citizens despite being the oldest residents of the land that is now called Malaysia.
This is because their claims to tribal lands that they have used for generations are still not recognised by the Kelantan government.
Yesterday, they were dealt another blow to that fight for their rights when the blockades they erected to protect their land claims were destroyed by state government agencies.
After being up for close to eight months, the barricades they built and maintained were dismantled as they watched on with silent tears and heavy hearts.
Now, there is nothing to prevent plantations companies and loggers from entering and further destroying the communal jungles they have depended on for generations for sustenance.
via Phnom Penh Post, 3 July 2017: A new book on the Cambodian martial art Bokator has been published, highlighting its historical significance after its near eradication.
As Cambodia awaits Unesco’s verdict on Angkor-era bokator getting its due as a World Heritage tangible asset of humanity, a new book on the martial art was released three days ago to enhance its historic, cultural and social impact on the Kingdom’s way of life.
In this series of weekly rojaks (published on Wednesdays) Iâ€™ll feature other sites in the blogosphere that are related to Southeast Asia and archaeology in general. Got a recommendation for the next Wednesday rojak? Email me! Read More