In celebrating New Year on 1st January 2020, Our Lady of the Smiles Parish (ChamkarTeang) oragnised a kite-flying competition involving 180 kites, ten ox-drawn wagons and ten racing horses. Residents from villages in Takeo province’s Tramkak district entered the competition.
Joining the programme were bishop Olivier Schmitthaeusler of the Apostolic Vicariate of Phnom Penh, the acting director of the provincial department of cults and religions and the deputy director of the department. The Kous commune chief and monks and the pagoda’s clergyman’s commission from Angmontrey Pagoda and a large number of residents also were there to witness the event.
The bishop welcomed all of them to the competition, saying that the day’s activity seemed opportune to celebrate the New Year. The bishop said: “We have elderly people including a lot of villagers from Kous commune. The commune made up of people from 30 villages joining us today. So, this is an opportunity for celebrating New Year as one family. This family which cooperates together is happy together along with Angmontrey Pagoda representatives. This is to show that we all are close to one another to promote our country as one family that preserves harmony, friendship and fraternity.”
He hoped that this meeting would bring together Buddhist and Catholic followers to promote the country’s development for the future.
He further said: “I believe that today’s event can be influential in the years to come with the understanding that we are one people who are reminded of our cultures. We are reminded of our heroes who had built the country to the best of their ability. We continue the work of our heroes to promote our country’s development for the future.”
The kite-flying competition was initiated ten years ago by the bishop. Kite-flying competition organization committee chairman, Meak Sorn said that the event had been organised to preserve Cambodia’s long-established culture.
The chairman said: “This is the 10th time that we are organising the competition. It makes brothers and sisters happy to take part in preserving the cultural tradition and the inheritance of our ancestors who left them for the future generation.” This competition is organised every year in ChamkarTeang village. He further said: “This is a thing that indicates that we are doing something to protect our achievements. We have had the achievements in early times in our district and also in our villages.”