Fun is the best way to describe the Khmer New Year celebration at VBC’s community centre today.

Students and staff were in party mode on the last day of classes before the New Year holidays begin. About 200 students showed up, all keen to take part in the events and entertainment.

They were joined by a group of VBC volunteers, who spent the week building houses and finished the week with a school party.

The celebration was opened by VBCCC founder and director Sinn Meang, who quickly got into the spirit of things.

“I would like to say a big thanks to the lovely teachers and the building team,” Sinn says. “You guys have worked very hard for this and done an amazing job for this young generation.

“Our community centre has only been open a short time but the students are happy to join our English lessons.”

The celebrations started with performances from the classes. Most sang songs and had a lot of fun doing the actions to songs like Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. The more advanced group read out a traditional Khmer story in English.

And then the games began. In true Khmer New Year fashion a range of traditional and fun games took place. The little ones took delight in trying to bite off pieces of fruit hanging on a string. And there was plenty of laughter with sack races, egg and spoon races and the three-legged race.

A Khmer New Year favourite involves blindfolding a person, spinning them around, giving them a big pole and getting them to try and strike a clay pot full of powder. It’s a bit like a Mexican piñata, but instead of treats it’s full of powder. It always creates a lot of laughter and some of the volunteers also took part in the fun.

Of course, it’s not a party without food and 200 serves of curry were dished up and served out to the students, teachers and volunteers. Afterwards, the music was turned up and the dance moves came out as students, teachers and volunteers took to the stage. Even head teacher Phirom pulled out some dance moves.

It’s the first event we’ve had at the community centre and it was a great success. Everyone enjoyed the day.

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