This year’s Chinese New Year to be More Festive

Although the traditional Chinese New Year is not a public holiday in the Kingdom, Cambodian leaders and scholars claimed that this year, the Chinese community here will celebrate this festival with a different sense of joyfulness than previous years, especially during the period of COVID-19 spread.

Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen sent a congratulatory message to the Chinese community in Cambodia on the Jan. 19, urging attention to COVID-19, fire, and traffic accidents.

The Premier appealed to them to be careful of COVID-19 even though the pandemic is under control by getting the booster doses, and of possible fire due to cooking, burning paper, incense and candles, as well as to road accidents by respecting the traffic rules.

A professor of history, Dr. Sambo Manara said the celebrations of the Chinese Lunar New Year in Cambodia this year will be vibrant if compared to those during the pandemic, especially in 2021 and 2022.

“As we know, Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated annually in Cambodia by the people of Chinese origin, even in the pandemic period, they just limited some activities due to the COVID-19 fear, but our country has reopened, therefore I think there will be a lot of joys this year,” he said.

Dr. Sambo Manara attributed to three aspects – first, Cambodia has full peace and well controlled the pandemic; second, China has already eased the zero COVID-19 policy allowing its people to travel for tourism or business or investment in China and the rest of the world including Cambodia; and third, Cambodia is a country that has embraced all cultures as a value of friendship with all the nationalities present on its territory in the sense of harmonisation.

This is a pattern of evolution of Cambodian society that we have had since ancient times and is also a sacred value for our people in welcoming other nationalities on our land with dignity, he said.

According to his own observation, Dr. Diep Sophal, a political analyst and historian said COVID-19 has not yet disappeared from both Cambodia and the world, but it seems that the pandemic is under control in Cambodia, thanks to strong herd immunity, therefore this year’s celebrations of Chinese Lunar New Year will be more joyful.

“The Chinese New Year celebrations in Cambodia have been held for a long time, except during the Pol Pot regime,” he added.

Dr. Chhort Bunthang, Vice Director General of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute shared the same idea saying that Chinese New Year had been celebrated in Cambodia for centuries after Chinese nationals had travelled to Cambodia.

Cambodia is an open society, the country always respects the people’s rights, therefore if there is nothing affecting the dignity or the public interest, people are free to do so, he explained.

Dr. Bunthang said the celebrations will further enhance and build a stronger and more fruitful friendship between Cambodia and China.

Before the celebrations, Chinese Cambodians were very busy with their New Year preparations. The markets and flower shops were crowded.

Ms. Ul Srey Roth, a flower seller along National Road 6A in Phnom Penh's Khan Chroy Changvar, said she had been preparing her flowers for this season a month ago, and so far more than 50 percent of the flowers have been sold.

The price of flowers and plants is higher only for the imported ones while that of the local ones remain the same, she added.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press