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Making a Trail

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

In the Hindu and Buddhist mythology, there are figures called Apsaras, which are female spirit of the clouds and waters. They are rumored to be beautiful and supernatural, almost like muses. Throughout Angkor Wat and the other temples, these images are carved in bas-relief on the walls (see Mike’s Angkor Wat post). However, in Cambodian culture, these images inspired a specific form of traditional Khmer dance. It was thought that these dancers would perform for the king in the Angkor era (900’s to 1400’s). Unfortunately, the Khmer Rouge tried to kill this art form with all its dancers, as art and culture were thought to be subversive. Now there are a few survivors of the Khmer Rouge era who are reviving the art form.
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The Apsara dance involves slow, graceful movements, with emphasis on subtel hand gestures to tell part of the story. Most dances are narrations of Hindu folklore, though many are about love and romance. We went to a dinner dance performance at a local hotel, which featured the main Apsara dancers, as well as some little kids that are learning the tradition as well.
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A story about monkeys versus mermaids:
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Some Khmer Martial arts:
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