Khmer Elders Storytelling: Bon Om Touk
A discussion of the history, significance, and lived memories of the Khmer Water Festival.
Bon Om Touk is the annual boat racing festival that takes place in November in Cambodia and in the Khmer diaspora.
Professor Boreth Ly will provide a brief introduction to the history of this festival in Cambodia, and discuss royal court rituals associated with this festival and how they align with the changing seasons, and their effects on the agrarian society and culture of Cambodia.
Mrs. Narin Jameson will speak from the perspective of a practicing Buddhist about the boat
racing tradition and religious ceremony associated with the Water Festival.
This talk hopes to evoke participants’—especially Khmer elders’ —memories and souvenirs of Bon Om Touk, and foster conversations between different generations of Khmers in the diaspora about this important festival and the meanings it reflects about our lives and culture.
Moderator: Professor Khatharya Um, UC Berkeley
The event is sponsored by the National Cambodian American Organization (NCAO) and Asian American and Asian Studies Department at UC Berkeley.