Siem Reap to host Khmer literature festival

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Slapaka Khmer will launch the Khmer Literature festival on October 20-22. To be held in Siem Reap province, the purpose of this festival is to cultivate a love for Khmer Literature and promote Khmer authors, and to create more opportunities for authors to find readers and network with other writers.

According to Huot Socheata, publishing programme manager at Sipar and an organiser of the Khmer Literature Festival, this will be the first festival of its kind in Cambodia. It will help authors to network, share their experiences, and strengthen their writing skills.

Ms Socheata added that, “It is special that the Khmer Literature Festival takes place in Siem Reap, a place of heritage where our culture originates. Normally, we celebrate in Phnom Penh, but this doesn’t give a chance for authors in remote areas to participate.”

Ms Socheata added that the event will take place at the Centre for Khmer Studies at Damnak pagoda and Bo Pagoda. The event will have many activities such as a Cambodian diaspora event, modern Khmer poetry, a writing workshop, a book fair and an event for reading with children, as well as Khun Srun literature. Khun Srun was a famous author in Cambodia during the 1960s. There will be a film screening about Khun Srun, a performance by Phare The Cambodian Circus, and a performance organised by Cambodian Living Arts.

Ms Socheata urged that, “To promote Khmer literature, media and advertising can play a very crucial role. Also, for students who want to be writers, they can join this event because they can get new ideas in designing their stories and make them unique.”

Since youths are more likely to use social media, Ms Socheata urged authors to keep writing by not giving up. She said that if people keep writing and sending make their voices heard, people will understand the value of reading.

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