PHNOM PENH, Nov. 5, (Khmer Times) – The teams of oarsmen at the Water/ Boat Festival appreciate the small supplies the government is providing.
Hailing from Kandal province, the 75 racers on the boat, ‘Samroung Daik Chou Sen Chey” (Samroung commune victory) happily enjoy their meager meal or rice and pork under the noon- day sun.
One racer, Kheng Kon, said “the meal that the government provides is good for them and makes practicing easier. The food is delivered to us, rather than us having to travel far to the market to buy food. We can stay near their boats and concentrate on practice.”
Small packets of food are provided for all racers and their entourage, giving them strength for the two kilometer race.
The oarsmen representing “Daun Penh Sen Chey”, from Duan Penh commune in Phnom Penh, were adorned with green berets that they claim only people from the city can wear. The portions of food they received were more than double in size than the ones given to the teams from the countryside.
Although many teams may have sponsors providing food and supplies, the rations that the government provides is considered fair. Phan Ky, the preparation assistant , said that “the food provided to all racers is a good portion for one racer.”
Not only was food given, but a multipurpose cloth scarf called “krama” as well. Tuy Hom, the prop master to the “Somheng Sen Chey Baramey Jak Angrae Ler” team received “krama” scarves for the 70 racers.
“Very useful,” Tuy Hom said as he wrapped the cloth around his head to shelter it from the sun.
A nearby team had a different idea about the distributed scarves and started selling them for $.30 each to help support their team financially.