Gong Xi Fa Cai!

All's quiet in the Penh as celebrations to welcome the year of the Horse continue. It's our second chance to kick into gear those New Year's resolutions. But for those who truly excel at procrastination the biggest one is yet to come, Khmer New Year in April. … [Read more...]

Santa Claus has come to the Penh

Our son's first word (apart from mama and papa) was elephant - every time we pointed to an elephant in one of his books he'd say "peh-pet". Last year he was still a bit young to appreciate the celebration of Christmas, and was afraid of Santa Claus, even when he arrived with his favorite creature, Sambo the elephant. This year we milked that naughty/nice list idea cuz it works like a charm - it'll be a treat to watch this little boy on Christmas morning now that he knows better. Sambo, happily, is no longer a regular on Phnom Penh's busy riverside. He retired this year to a zoo. … [Read more...]

Christmas cards with a Khmer twist

I bought these cards at a Women's International Group (WIG) Christmas Fair a few years ago. On the back of the cards is a copyright for Global Art and Anita Dean who, from a quick google search, is the founder of Global Art, Phnom Penh. I wish they printed the name of the artist too. Anyway, I hope I'm not breaking any copyright rules by scanning and posting these beautiful cards. If anyone knows who the artist is, please leave a comment!   … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas!

She isn't happy with his idea to give her to Santa for Christmas!   … [Read more...]

Happy New Year!

It's that time of year again... all productivity is grounding to a lazy halt across the Kingdom. The Mekong is reversing current, the air is scalding, the rainstorms are waiting on the periphery, and we're celebrating the third New Year of the Gregorian calendar ... សូស្តីឆ្នាំថ្មី! ពីភ្នំពេញ Chunpo Chnam Thmei! Happy New Year from Phnom Penh! … [Read more...]

Chestnuts roasting on an open wok..

...and other holiday icon mashups, sprinkled with an Asian twist. Western holidays are already so commercialized back home, they're often adulterated further on their way to becoming eagerly-adopted shopping holidays in non-Christian countries. Like the huge blowup pumpkin, decorated like a Christmas tree at one of Phnom Penh's local bookstores last Christmas. Like the bunnies, traditionally associated with Easter, which seem to take center stage in every Christmas Season set in Bangkok (here's one at the Emporium on Sukhumvit). Edited to note: Asia is about to welcome the Year of the Rabbit in a few weeks, so this is the reason for all the bunnies in the Christmas sets :-) With Christmas over, the bunnies' costumes and sets are being … [Read more...]