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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Long live, the King

On the very first day of setting her foot in Cambodia, Miss Igorota noticed pictures of a good-looking mestizo, like the one below, plastered in every government and private buildings all over the city. That mestizo is Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni, or simply, King Norodom Sihamoni, the current King of Cambodia. Although the King doesn't rule the country, Cambodians revere their King very much and the King dedicates his entire life and pledges to be faithful and devoted to the people. He visits the countryside several times a year, giving out aid and hope to the ordinary Cambodians.



the king and i

Educated in Beijing and finishing a doctoral degree in classical dance in Prague, he went on to study cinematography in North Korea. It is no surprise that the King speaks many languages - French, English, Czech, among others - very proficiently. Before becoming the King, he served as the Cambodian Extraordinary Ambassador to UNESCO for several years. He ascended to the throne in October 2004 after his father, then King Norodom Sihanouk, stepped down due to failing health.

The picture was of King Sihamoni taken during his ascension to the throne in 2004. If I am not mistaken, Miss Igorota was admiring King Sihamoni's costume, very simple and yet elegant: a crisp white uniform of sorts with gold embroidery and the traditional Khmer pants called phamoung; wearing not the royal slippers but black leather shoes... on his head was not a crown but a golden phnov leaf tucked behind his ear for good luck...

P.S. Miss Igorota also learned that it was King Norodom Sihamoni who signed the special decree bestowing Cambodian citizenship to Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie in return for her various works in the country.

7 comments:

fortuitous faery said...

studied cinematography in north korea! how interesting.

no wonder miss iggy is seemingly smitten, her cambodian king is a "lifelong bachelor" according to wikipedia. :P

Sreisaat said...

Oh yes, maganda ang lahi ng Hari... his mother is of Khmer-Franco-Italian lineage. Cambodia and North Korea has a special relationship, and that the former King, the King's father Norodom Sihanouk, has burly North Koreans for bodyguards.

roentarre said...

I really like this shot. Good story and great culture

Sreisaat said...

Salamat, Ron.
Indeed there is more to Cambodia than the Khmer Rouge.

fortuitous faery said...

and you're doing a phenomenal job touring us and miss iggy around cambodia! :)

Sreisaat said...

FF, Binisay-on ko na lang kay basi ma-pick up sang iban. Kabalo ka kun ngaman lifelong bachelor? Guro may inkling ka na *lol*

fortuitous faery said...

aw, ah! haha! mayad masaot...hmmm!

:P

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