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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Festival highlights Cambodian culture

Ben Brenman Park in Alexandria was turned into a showcase of all things Cambodian Sunday afternoon, featuring music, dance, processions, games, crafts, educational exhibits, and food. The park is on Duke Street, just east of Annandale.

This was the 10th annual Cambodian Community Day, says Sophia Tep, a member of the festival’s organizing committee. The aim is “to educate Cambodian people living in the United States about their culture,” she said. “We also want the American people to learn about Cambodian culture.” Tep estimates there could be as many as 10,000 Cambodian immigrants in the D.C. metropolitan region.

The festival was cut a bit short by the thunderstorm, but there was still time for the re-enactment of several ceremonies, including a hair-cutting ritual (pictured below). According to Tep, ceremony involves an angel bringing scissors from heaven to cut a bride and groom’s hair to bless them with good luck, prosperity, and happiness.

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