Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 6 of 22 › view all entries
September 3rd, 2009 – by: sarahelaine
The first sign of this was when traditional music started, and we realised it was live. A small group of children and teenageers were swapping in and out of teh instruments and teaching each other pieces of melody. Then the shadow puppet show started. Realising that I am a very silly tourist whose grasp of Cambodian never extended past apologetically bowing when I wanted to say thank you, the waitress brought me over a photocopied sheet explaining the stories.
In the first story, two monkeys were fighting. A holy man told them off and made them behave. I believe that they may have lived happily ever after. I was very impressed with the fight scenes, considering that it must be pretty hard to have an action sequence involving shadow puppets without getting them tangled.
The second story was about two people who were gambling, and then they bet over whose buffalo was the best fighter. One of the buffalos died and they were arrested and sent to jail. Gambling is bad.
But the best story was the re-telling of the ancient Indian epic about Hannuman rescuing Sita.
It was great to see the show for many reasons. Firstly, it was very good and entertaining, even if I didn't understand everything that went on. Secondly, it was a show so that children could be taught traditional arts and entertainment skills and have an audience - no one asked for any money for it either - and that must be a great thing to learn. And thirdly, it refreshed my memory of Hindu mythology a little, hich was great for enjoying the carvings on Angkor Wat, some of whcih feature some of the same characters.
All in all, it was a great start to the stay in Siem Riep. I wandered back to the guest house, trying not to fall in any pot holes, to find Iain.
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