Music legend Kong Nay has won the Fukuoka 2017 Arts and Culture Prize in Japan and returned to Cambodia yesterday to a reception from the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.
Mr Nay was greeted with a parade from the Phnom Penh International Airport to the Chaktomuk Conference Hall, where a celebratory ceremony was held in his honour.
Secretary of State Khim Sarith said that Mr Nay, a chapey dang veng specialist, has brought pride to the Cambodian people.
“The Fukuoka Prize for chapey dang veng legend Kong Nay has brought pride and honour to our people,” he said.
The Fukuoka Prize was established in Fukuoka City in 1990 to honour outstanding individuals, groups or institutions for the creation and maintenance of unique and diverse cultural arts. Only two other Cambodians have won the prize.
UNESCO in 2016 declared chapey dang veng as an intangible cultural heritage for Cambodia.
Mr Nay, 72, said he continues to perfect his art form in order to preserve the cultural heritage of his people. “All people have to preserve Khmer culture from disappearing,” he said.