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Comment :  Hi KPP Team
Posted by: SR   On: 2006-07-05   From: Cambodia  
Reply :    Hi

Subject :  Tradition the focus of this year's Water Festival
Comment :  Tradition the focus of this year's Water Festival


LOWELL -- This summer's 10th annual rendition of the Southeast Asian Water Festival will feature a greater emphasis on traditional Southeast Asian arts, crafts and music than past years.

Sayon Soeun, president of the Southeast Asian Water Festival Inc., said this year's festival will feature more traditional craftsmen, as well as demonstrations by traditional instrument-makers whose wares -- a stringed piano called a kim that is struck with bamboo mallets, bamboo flutes and xylophones made from rosewood or bamboo -- will be on sale as well.

"We have a lack in traditional arts and crafts," he said. "We always had merchandise at the water festival, people selling CDs and that sort of stuff. After all, we're supposed to highlight the cultural aspects of it, besides the boat racing."

The main draw is the dragon-boat races, in which teams of young men and women race each other on the Merrimack River in ornately decorated canoes. At least 10 dragon-boat teams will participate in this year's festival, which also features much traditional food and music.

Lowell's water festival is modeled after celebrations held in Cambodia and other Southeast Asian nations, traditionally in November, to commemorate the finish of their harvest season. The largest water festival in the world is held on the Mekong River in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.

The Mill City's version typically draws in excess of 50,000 visitors.

Soeun, who is in his first year as festival president, called the event's 10-year anniversary a cultural milestone.

"People believe in cultural preservation, I guess," he said when asked what has kept the festival going for all this time, despite many trials and tribulations. "It's one of those special times of the year for everybody. It's going to get better as well."

Events kick off the evening of Friday, Aug. 18, with a candle-lighting ceremony at the Lower Locks area behind Middlesex Community College in downtown Lowell.

The water festival itself will be held Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Lowell Heritage State Park's Sampas Pavilion and along the Vandenberg Esplanade on the northern banks of the Merrimack River in the city's Pawtucketville section.

July 31 is the deadline to submit an advertisement in the festival program. Aug. 2 is the deadline to apply to be a food or beverage vendor. Apply to the Southeast Asian Water Festival, 165 Jackson St., Lowell, MA, 01852.

For more information on being a vendor or placing an ad, call Soeun at (978) 804-5055 or Phone Phetvixay, the festival vice president, at (978) 996-4008.

Soeun said the entertainment lineup has yet to be finalized but will feature at least two musical groups that specialize in traditional Southeast Asian music -- in this case, Lao and Cambodian -- as well as performances by the Lowell-based Angkor Dance Troupe and other cultural institutions.

Michael Lafleur's e-mail address is
Posted by: k4k   On: 2006-07-02   From: Cambodia  

Reply :    Tradition the focus of this year's Water Festival

Subject :  Cambodia joins Thailand on the silk route

Cambodia joins Thailand on the silk route

Village weavers find global opportunity as they help heal wounds of 20-year war

Thai silk has, as we know, made a name for itself; now it is the turn of Cambodian silk to emerge onto the global market, reviving a heritage lost for a century, and contribute to the healing process after 20 years of civil war.

Its unique designs and weaves have gone on display at the Smithsonian Freer Gallery in Washington DC, in Japan and at a silk shop in Siem Reap.

The money generated has breathed new life into 500 village weavers and their families, bringing them back from the brink of starvation.

The civil war took a heavy toll on many aspects of Cambodia's cultural heritage, ancient temples and silk-weaving among them, just as it cut a people off from the economic benefits of the world at large and brought a halt to technological development.

Kikuo Morimoto, 58, acting director of the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles, has devoted himself for more than a decade now to the revival of Cambodian silk.

Morimoto, who founded the institute, has spent years seeking out old skilled weavers from Phnom Penh to the ancient temple town of Siem Reap, where he has set up a workshop.

"Traditional Khmer textiles nearly died out during the 20-year civil war in Cambodia. I want not only to revive them but also to create a sustainable living for the people who make them," he said.

"I don't want them to produce silk for commercial purposes as in Thailand; I want Cambodians to concentrate on developing and reviving their culture and maintaining it for ever," he stressed, "I want them to make clothes for the heart rather than commercial wear."

Morimoto said a leading Thai silk shop had approached him to send it Cambodian silk but he had refused.

The institute has reached breakeven point, its sales revenue reaching US$20,000 (Bt769,000) a month, which covers expenditure.

Morimoto has long experience in the industry, having been an apprentice of the Japanese art of yuzen kimono silk-dyeing in his home town of Kyoto, then as a dyeing expert in a Thai textile factory, then running a silk business with his own brand, Bai Mai, in Bangkok. He has also lectured on textile design at the King Mongkut Institute of Technology Lat Krabang and at the silk-production development centre in Surin.

He learned natural dyeing techniques in Chiang Mai from Saengda Bannasith, the acknowledged master craftsman of Thai silk and a pioneer in producing pure natural silk.

Living in Thailand for 10 years, Morimoto gained much knowledge about Thai silk, whose 100-year history, he says, derives from the Cambodian silk tradition.

Initially he wanted to set up a sustainable silk-development project in San Kamphaeng district in Chiang Mai province, but rapid economic growth and the popularity of synthetic fibres prompted him to go to Cambodia, where people really needed help.

So in the 1990s he set off to realise his dream.

The institute had a three-phase plan focused on yellow silk yarn. Morimoto applied his knowledge of production and natural dyeing to the revival of Cambodian silk.

The first stage, 1995-1999, was in Phnom Penh, where he recruited "silk grandmas", skilled weavers who had survived the war.

In 2002 he moved the project from the capital to Siem Reap, in order to avoid risks and other difficulties. Thereafter, the institute focused on improving quality and training the next generation of workers.

The core development plan, a five-year project called "Forest Wisdom", concentrates on achieving integrated pure natural silk production by 2007.

The final stage will consolidate this and move into replanting and the construction of self-sustaining silk workshops and a silk village making fabrics for clothing and interior decoration for sale in tourist spots like Angkor Wat.

Morimoto won a Rolex Enterprise Laureate Award in 2004, and the $100,000 prize money was spent on land and construction to achieve the final goal of the silk village. He has spent all his savings on the project. He exhibits Cambodian silk in Japan once a year to attract financial aid.

The aim of the model village is to help revitalise rural Cambodia. It will embrace all aspects of silk-manufacturing and have an art school, a weaving workshop, silkworm-feeding sheds, a dyeing plant, a mulberry plantation and outlet shops, covering 22 hectares in Chot Sam district, about 30 kilometres from Siem Reap town.

"The village will resurrect Cambodian textiles and pass on the tradition," he said.

To this end Morimoto encourages his workers to bring their children into the workshop so that they can absorb this aspect of the national heritage.

Ong Mary, 40, has been in the institute's workshop for several years and earns $40 a month. A friend encouraged her to go out to work.

"It's enough for food but no luxuries. I'd like $70-$100," she said, but conceded that this job was all she could get.

With six years' experience in the workshop, Tak Lang, 71, earns $80 a month. Before joining the institute she sold vegetables and sundry goods from a bicycle around her village, which brought in some $2 a day.

Chea Chanta, a 13-year old schoolgirl, accompanies her mother to the workshop every day and is being trained by her in silk design. Though not yet up to solo work, she has made rapid strides.

She spends her $10 a month on education, attending school in the afternoons. She wants to continue her studies and become a doctor or teacher.

"I'm glad to be taking some of the financial burden off my family, and it's an incentive to study and eventually get where I want to be," she said.

Morimoto emphasises that salaries depend on skill and length of service, largely ranging from $35 to $150 a month. The highest of $180 is drawn by a worker who has been with the institute for 10 years.

At one point the institute was so short of money it had to delay the payment of salaries. Morimoto encouraged his workers by assuring them that the problem would be solved by high quality.

"I said to them that better quality would increase sales and I would have the money to pay them," he said.

His Rolex Award has opened up the market for natural silk from Cambodia, and 80 per cent of his customers are now Japanese.

Achara Pongvutitham

The Nation

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Source from:The Nation

Posted by: LoveKhmer   On: 2006-06-18   From: Cambodia  
Reply :    Cambodia joins Thailand on the silk route

Subject :  South Korea adds flights to Vietnam, Cambodia, Czech Re....
Comment :  SEOUL, June 12 Asia in Focus - South Korea has decided on additional flights to Vietnam, Cambodia and the Czech Republic... more...
Posted by: 4Khmer   On: 2006-06-12   From: Cambodia  
Reply :    South Korea adds flights to Vietnam, Cambodia, Czech Re....

Subject :  Cambodian Ventures Limited Signs Memorandum of Understa....
Comment :  Cambodian Ventures Limited Signs Memorandum of Understanding With TTY Corporation
-- (MARKET WIRE) -- 06/08/2006 --

Cambodian Ventures Limited (PINKSHEETS: CMBV) announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with TTY Corporation of Cambodia to develop two potential gold mining sites in the Snoul District of the Kratie province in the Kingdom of Cambodia. These sites are known as Srei Char and Svay Cras. The Srei Char site is one of the most well-known in Cambodia and was previously called Srei Ja.

TTY Corporation is a wholly owned Cambodian Industrial Company with multiple business interests in Cambodia's natural resource sector. With an experienced management team, strong network of partnerships, and over 500 total employees, the company is an experienced leader in the fields of mining, rubber production and agricultural processing.
Cambodian Ventures has reviewed a geology report of the Srei Char site. The report states that vein material returned assay results translating into 40 to 50 grams of gold per ton. In addition, twelve "grab" samples from three different areas in the site showed concentrations of gold of up to 18 grams per ton.

The report also confirms that there are numerous trenches, pits and excavations already on the Srei Char site distributed over an area of 4 hectares and that a number of shafts that have been excavated to the water table (3-4 meters) and worked laterally under the residual soil cover.

Overall the report deemed both the Srei Char and the Svay Cras sites as "significant prospects" and "worthy of following up with a systematic testing of the site and surrounding areas."

Gary Fineberg, CEO of Cambodian Ventures Limited, stated: "We are very excited to be working with TTY Corporation on these two promising sites. Srei Char shows tremendous potential based on previous analysis. While currently not as much data is available on Svay Cras, there has been significant artisinal mining performed on that site, leading us to believe there is also much potential there."

Over the next month Cambodian Ventures expects to bring in its own geologist to analyze both sites for further exploration and mining potential. TTY Corporation will grant Cambodian Ventures full usage of its construction equipment already present at both sites. The two companies will then further negotiate a definitive breakdown of percentages each will yield from the mined precious minerals from each site in a Joint Venture Agreement.

Safe Harbor Statement: The statements, other than the statements of historical facts may be deemed to contain forward-looking statements with respect to events, the occurrence of which involves risk and uncertainties, including, without limitation, demand and competition for the company's products and services, the availability to the company of adequate financing to support its anticipated activities, the ability of the company to generate cash flow from operations and the ability of the company to manage its operations.


Cambodian Ventures Limited


Tiger Capital Corporation

Trevor Burns



SOURCE: Cambodian Ventures Limited

Posted by: 4Khmer   On: 2006-06-08   From: Cambodia  
Reply :    Cambodian Ventures Limited Signs Memorandum of Understa....

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