SABBATICAL NOTES. 4 JUNE 2014. WEDNESDAY. N1.
Memory of a Cambodian Wedding.
THIS WAS AN experience of a lifetime, this Cambodian Wedding, a fact of life in Cambodia.
When Sarak Sarith was bringing me to Banteay Srey, a temple complex 37 kilometers away from Siem Reap's old town, I passed by three weddings done at the front yard of modest homes.
I heard a sound system as loud as thunder, and the hip-hop songs, in Cambodian, that sounded like those rock-and-roll songs from Nashville than in Siem Reap. By then, I had spent several days in Cambodia, and had spent my waking hours observing and reading up, or reading up and observing, in both order, of Cambodian life.
When Dr Alegria Tan Visaya and I decided to go to the Cambodian Cultural Village after our sumptuous lunch, I instructed Sarak to bring us there, and then come back for us at 500 PM so we can catch our flight back to Manila, scheduled at 10 PM that evening.
We went to all the scheduled theatrical performances, first a comic one that showed us what was happening, exactly in that vaudeville kind of a performance they did as curtain raisers in those Laoag Fiesta during my childhood days, when TV was black-and-white and antenna was bamboo, and radio determined our day-to-day life.
And then this, at the Millionaire's House where a performer, Bobo Pop, brought us from another theatrical performance that talked about love pure and simple, and love tested by other loves and other intentions, both pure and impure.
There, at the Millionaire's House, some wise guy selected me to stand in as the father of the groom, and on the state, I tried to act like one, with the instructions, said in a subtle and halting English, by my Cambodian stage directors.
Whoa--this is a living memory and I can only thank Dr Alegria for snapping these pictures to remind me that one day, in Siem Reap, I was the father of a groom in one Cambodian Wedding witnessed by hundreds of people.
Did I own the millionaire's house?