On Friday we had a party – in fact we had two parties, one for the morning classes and one for the afternoon classes. The party was funded by a group of student physiotherapists from Australia who have been working with the special needs unit for three weeks. All the children came in wearing their party gear, and I can now confidently inform you that denim is this season’s party must-have in Siem Reap.
We started off with games – some traditional Khmer, such as the scarf game –
– and other more international games, like tug of war
and good old musical chairs
and the (rice) sack race.
After the games, there were refreshments – soft drinks and rambutans – and all the children lined up to collect some. They don’t like giving sweets to the children because of the poor state of their teeth, but sugary, fizzy drinks can’t be good either
and I dread to think how many artificial additives are required to make that lurid shade of orange.
My class were having a really good time.
Next it was time for the dancing. It’s traditional to dance around a table in Cambodia, in the same way that it’s traditional to dance around a handbag in England, I presume. They go round and round the table making very elegant movements with their hands.
But there was also some less traditional dancing. Here are the cool dudes
and the disco babes
Nancy from California lead the Macarena, with the Aussie physios as her backing dancers.
But the gamblers in the corner couldn’t be persuaded to get up and dance
They’re the ones who’ll be propping up the bar in years to come.
I learnt a traditional dance, with a lot of leg swinging and foot shuffling, and showed it off on Saturday evening, much to the amusement of a group of older women sitting nearby … oh well, I suppose I would have laughed if they’d all got up and started Morris Dancing.