The joy and enthusiasm that reflect on every young Khmer readers are positive emblems that the Kingdom’s reading culture is going forward. To celebrate this and to further promote this signi-ficant change, the government marked the 4th National Reading Day last week.
The three-day affair from March 9 to 11 took place at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, under the theme “Reading fosters a lifetime of learning”. The annual event is aimed to nurture a love and a habit of reading among Cambodian citizens across ages, raise awareness about the availability of books in Khmer and other foreign languages, and to foster a passion for writing among the young generation.
More than 30,000 people visited on the first day of the celebration at ITC, according the official statement from MoEYS.
People, mostly youth, visited booths that exhibited thousands of different reading materials that every Cambodian could make use of. Books in various genres, themes, kinds, languages and generations were all made accessible to every book lover, ready to be grabbed and read.
Students were also treated to fun games with books as giveaways and prizes.
The annual Reading Day also included a live concert by multi-talented artists Ting Tong, Chamroeum Sophea and Chii Vitt, adding total entertainment to the educational event.
The event highlighted the continuous growth of the reading habit and the production of books by Khmer writers.
Sam Minea, a student from the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), who hopped from one book booth to another, said that that she believes the exhibition was a big help to encourage youths to read more and that it would be the first step in cultivating mindset of reading.
“I’m captivated by the huge amount of participants, mostly youth that have shown interest in this event. This signifies the deepening understanding of young Cambodians on the importance of reading in their academic, professional and personal lives.
The 4th National Reading Day, from my point of view, reminds Cambodian people, especially youth that reading can benefit us in various ways, from enriching a person’s knowledge to promoting development and human capital.”
The event also served literary panel discussions, poetry chanting competition and other performances all centered to Cambodians’ general love for literature.
National Reading Day is also a commemoration of the birthday of the founder of Khmer dictionary, Samdach Samdach Porthinhean Chuon Nath on March 11.