By Kristin Grafft
The Cambodian New Year celebration returned Wednesday, April 17 to LBCC, filling the PCC with color, food, dancing and even a bokator fighting demonstration.
The purpose of the event was to support the Cambodian community, said Rocky Tim, vice president of the Cambodian Student Association. “Students, family members, friends, anybody can take part in it,” he said.
Tim’s favorite part of the New Year is throwing shaving cream and powder. “You throw it in their face and you just smack them,” he said.
However, this is one aspect of the holiday they decided to leave out of the school event. Instead, students enjoyed traditional dancing and an ancient form of martial arts called bokator.
Kimberly Yang, 17, a student at Jordan High School, started the entertainment with her performance of the wishing dance. “Originally the dance was just meant for royalty,” but as a celebration for New Year’s, they include all the people in the nation, to bless them with prosperity and good luck,” Yang explained.
At the end of the dance, Yang threw handfuls of petals to symbolize the blessings.
Next, audience members witnessed Boone Ran, 40, an auto tech major and former president of the Cambodian Student Association, duel with David Thong in traditional Cambodian style. Ran said he has been practicing bokator for a year now. “I wanted to keep the tradition and culture to show future generations. It’s a beautiful art,” he said. Students are also encouraged to attend the Cambodian Cultural Celebration at El Dorado Park, Area III at 7550 E. Spring Street, Long Beach, Calif., 90815 on Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.