Kampong Speu Ox-Cart Races

KAMPONG SPEU, Cambodia, April 7 (Xinhua) — Cambodian villagers on Sunday organized a traditional ox-cart racing here to celebrate the Khmer New Year, which will start from April 14 to 16.

Sem Sam Ol, head of cultural development office of the Kampong Speu Provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts, said 26 pairs of oxen took part in the 2-km race, which was held at rice fields in Kraing Svay village in Samrong Tong district, about 35 km southwest of Phnom Penh.

He said the annual race, attracting hundreds of local spectators, was aimed to preserve the old-age tradition, and to mark the end of rice harvesting season and the start of Khmer New Year.

“According to the history, the tradition of ox-cart racing has existed here for a long time, since our ancestors,” he told Xinhua.

Ox-cart racer Snguon Chhim, 52, said his participation was to contribute to preserving Cambodia’s ancient tradition and to creating a happy atmosphere for locals ahead of the New Year.

“I’m happy to join the race. I like it and have never missed it,” he told Xinhua. “I have seen ox-cart races since the generation of my grandfather, at that time, I was a child.”

The ox-cart has been a traditional mode of transport for farmers in Cambodia for centuries; however, the use of ox-cart is now on the brink of disappearance since farmers turn to more modern modes of transport such as tractors and motorized rickshaws. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-04/07/c_137957816.htm

Photos: Rasmei News

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