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28 Apr 2002


The grandmothers were given food and presents by their sons and daughters and then it was their turn to come round and give presents to the guests, us included. All the children lined up excitedly and were given small presents of books and pens, but they had to answer questions first to see how clever they were! Throughout the morning we were served delicious Khmer food, a rare treat for us. We were surprised to meet several people we already knew, which almost made us feel like part of the community. They were from the Khmer New Year party we went to - the two families are actually related. Unlike in "developed" countries, Cambodians still spend a lot of time with friends and relatives, often just sitting underneath the house playing cards or chatting. It was also nice to see how many people helped around at the party, not waiting to be asked. Towards midday everyone began to leave and we were amused to see elderly grannies being taken home by young men on the backs of motorbikes - you don't see that in England!