Food is often at the core of celebrations across cultures. At Food Lifeline we strive to be responsive to the needs of our community, including providing nutritious and culturally appropriate food.
COVID-19 has impacted all communities. As our neighbors in the Khmer, Thai, Lao and Burmese communities are preparing for New Year celebrations, recognized for three days in April, social distancing and a reduced food supply have compromised the tradition of attending local monasteries to make food offerings to monks.
Food Lifeline’s Volunteer Coordinator Prenz Sa-Ngoun is teaming up with a colleague to organize a virtual Khmer New Year celebration on April 17th – 19th to continue the celebration in the time of coronavirus.
The three-day online celebration will consist of classical dance performances, a cooking workshop, visual arts showcase, and monk’s blessings with guided meditation. The celebration will be streamed on social media and can be found here.
Many people in Cambodia have been finding alternatives to uphold traditions by delivering food to monasteries and having monks give blessings via cellphone and social media.
For Khmer people, New Year is the largest festival in their culture. So large that in some regions throughout Cambodia the new year may be celebrated for a whole month. Part of New Year traditions include cooking traditional food, playing traditional games, gathering and reuniting with family and friends, fulfill wholesome actions and dedicate merit to our ancestors by attending local monasteries. During the coronavirus outbreak many of those activities will happen virtually.