Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Birthday In Battambang

This past weekend three other teachers and I took advantage of our long weekend (we had Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday off school due to a holiday) and made a trip out to Battambang, a town just a few hours away. While its quiet streets were a nice change from Siem Reap it was a little too quiet; there really wasn't much to do there. Lucky for us, an 85 year old lady happened to be celebrating her birthday (probably the biggest party to hit Battambang in years) which we were lucky enough to get invited to!

We were walking around after dinner when we stumbled across a massive party being held on a blocked-off bit of road (where most Cambodian celebrations, like weddings and birthdays, are held). We peeked in curiously to catch a glimpse of the festivities. When the party-goers noticed us looking in they quickly invited us to join them, and join them we did. Within minutes we were surrounded by Cambodians who taught us the traditional dance they were all doing. We didn't plan on staying long but we were there until the very end (by which point the music had progressed from traditional Cambodian to Carly Rae Jepsen) drinking and dancing with some very lovely people.

I've said it before and I will say it again: the people of this country are without a doubt some of the most kind, generous and welcoming people I have ever met. Even though the city of Battambang didn't make that much of an impression on me, this Cambodian birthday party and its guests certainly did.

My dance partner

The venue

The 85 year old birthday girl!

Me with with some very fancy Cambodian women

Teenage party guests (and incredibly talented singers!)

Having a ball

Traditional dancing

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