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A mega dictation contest in Khmer language attracted more than 800 young and less young writing lovers to the Angkor Wat main causeway.

by Living Cambodia Team, 22 Jan. 2024

On the majestic western causeway of Angkor Wat recently renovated, contestants studiously sit on rows and rows of school tables and chairs on January 21, 2024. As 815 candidates had flocked to the first សំណេរអង្គរ (Saamner Angkor) Angkor Writing great dictation, some just sat on the bank of the baray (reservoir), notebook on their knees.

Inaugurated by Cambodia's Minister of Culture and Fine Arts HE Phoeung Sackona, the reading and writing event was initially the pet project of HE Lim Bunhok, Deputy Secretary General of the National Assembly and initiator of the ‘Angkor Dictation Championship' one year ago. Saturday, with the support of all government bodies and Apsara Authority, the dense six-paragraph test was carefully hand-written down by contestants aged from 9 to 69.

The text itself was a detailed description of the Angkor site, giving facts on the Archaelogical Park (401 sqkm with 112 villages, its reservoirs with a capacity of more than 100 million cubic meters), and stated that "Angkor, also known as Yasodhapura, was the work of several former Khmer kings -- including King Suryavarman II who built the temple of Angkor Wat in the middle of the 12th century -- between 802 and 1431 AD."

At the end of the 1-hour long dictation, the jury deliberated and announced a while later the three winners: 1st, Cheng Ratana, 2nd, Vorn Vida, 3d, Yop Sokheak. The significance of this contest was also stressed by the fact that Prime Minister HE Hun Manet personally congratulated the winners and all contestants, recalling that the improvement of the education system in Cambodia is a top priority in the "Pentagone plan" for the development of the country.

Prizes for the three winners included some cash rewards and vouchers for 3-night stays at Templation Angkor Resort in Siem Reap and Pavilion in Phnom Penh. Our teams extend warmest congratulations. Well writing, clear thinking, as the motto goes!

Main photo: siempreaptoday

Photo 1: siemreaptoday

Photo 2,4 : Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Photo 3: The Prime Minister Press Office