Cambodian Youth Art Festival comes back this year

The celebration of Cambodian Youth Art Festival (CYAF) is back with the Cambodian art performance from 10th to 16th November in Phnom Penh.

The opening of CYAF 2012 was on 10th November at Chenla Theatre with the participation of about 500 people both national and international. The event included the performance of Khmer classical dance, Mask Dance, Folk Dance, and Ethnic Folk Dance. The event is in the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, the Ministry of Information and 20 organizations.

The festival enabled Cambodian artists to teach and display rare and contemporary Cambodian art forms, creating a forum for intercultural exchange among artists from all over the world. It will also strengthen relationships among arts organizations to unite in a mission to build arts renewal, and build up the identity and leadership skills of young Cambodians to be future leaders.

Phloeun Prim, an Executive Director of Cambodian Living Arts said, “In this occasion, it is not about showing cultural performance and sharing the same interest in art, but it is also about the solidarity activity to develop Cambodia by Khmer cultural art.

H.E. Khieu Kanharith, Information minister said, “The Royal Government of Cambodia that has the Ministry of Fine Art and the Ministry of Information often pays attention to promote and preserve our culture by listing our culture and art in the heritage of UNESCO.”

Kong Vollak, a participant and an independent visual artist, was happy to join CYAF that encouraged youth to show their talent on the stage to others. He expressed that the event showed Cambodian youth the different kinds of Khmer arts; it also helped promote the value of Khmer culture by youth, as they were the main factor to push the development. He said, “I hope there will be more cultural events, so it will expand our culture, and the next generation can have the creative idea to develop our culture more. Finally, I suggest our Cambodian youth reduce getting influence from foreign culture.”

Horm Lika, another participant and also a junior from RUPP, suggested having more events like this in all places in order to spread out the understand of our culture to Cambodian people and foreigners. She said, “This event can promote our culture by the performance of our youth and they can preserve it as our heritage.”

Cambodian Youth Art Festival was initiated in 2004 by Cambodian Living Arts (CLA). This is the 6th celebration of CYAF as it was celebrated twice in Siem Reap in 2004 and 2005. Later on, in 2006 and 2007, it was held in Battambang. In 2010, CYAF was celebrated in Phnom Penh.

CYAF is an art festival in Cambodia, which aims to increase awareness about arts revival in Cambodia among educators, students, artists and observers from around the world by providing opportunities for all participating groups to demonstrate the mastery of their arts by leading workshops and demonstrations and participating in public performances.

CYAF works on three main objectives such as raising awareness about Cambodian arts amongst non-artists, especially amongst young Cambodian people; strengthening and developing professional network between Cambodian artists; and empowering arts communities to own arts festivals in the future.

Article by: Sam Chanmaliny
Photo by: Rithy Lomor Pich
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About Writer:

Liny's profile photoSam Chanmaliny is now a Junior of Media Management at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC), and also a student of International Relations at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC). She said that she became interested in reporting news because she wanted to meet new people. “Being a journalist, it is very important to seek the truth and repot it to the other people who do not know about that information,” said Chanmaliny, adding that this is the reason that she devotes her time on finding new story ideas to serve her audience. She started joining the in April 2012.