We celebrate any New Year?
During the first day of the three days Chinese New year, 31.01.-02.02.2014, Phnom Penh becomes quieter. There is less traffic. Many shops are closed and many houses are locked. Our people with Chinese ancestors are having days off to celebrate their tradition and leave the cities for visiting resorts in other provinces. The price of commodities goes off every year during this season. Roasted piglet and roasted ducks are among the most favorite foods of the Chinese.
It is estimated that more than ten thousand piglet from 5Kg to 20Kg were roasted in Phnom Penh alone to serve the needs of the customers. The owner of the shop, where we got our roasted piglet, said that he received orders up to 400-500 piglet for the New Year. We have ordered one piglet of 8Kg. It costs 460,000 Riel or $115. Few years ago, it was less than $100.
It seems that more and more people adapt to the small celebration of any New Year. It is interesting to observe this trend? What are the main reasons behind this behavioral change? It could be a mix of all these factors:
- Peace and stability
- Freedom in belief and religion
- Economic development and better living conditions
- The spread of new social and traditional Medias
- Marketing of the business sector (TV ads, hotels, restaurants etc.)
- Freedom of movement etc.
On 31 December 2013, we went to Sihanoukville to celebrate the universal New Year. Many people went there, so that all the hotels and guesthouses were booked. The price went off for three or four times the usual price. One month later, many Sino-Khmer are celebrating the Chinese New Year, including pure Khmer. It is just a new trend, and nothing much to do with belief, religion or tradition. In our family, my wife has prepared also something to mark this New Year as well, just to have something to eat and drink among family and relatives. In two and half month, we, Cambodians, will celebrate our Khmer New Year, for three days, from 13-15 April, every year. The difference between Chinese and Khmer New Year is that the Chinese of Vietnamese are celebrating in the family, but the Khmer are celebrating among family, visiting their home villages and bringing food to the monks in the pagodas. It is good that we have reasons for joint celebration, rather than reasons for self-destruction. Money spent during the new years could help to stimulate the local economy and inject motives/incentives for more goods production to serve the markets during these special events.