Thursday, April 23, 2009

Happy Khmer (Cambodian) New Year!

The actual Khmer New Year was last week, but you can still get your saik-ko ang (grilled beef stick marinated in lemon grass) fix by visiting one of the largest New Year celebrations outside of Cambodia. If you have never been, think of it as the Cambodian version of a Cinco de Mayo celebration. You'll find tasty food booths, games for the whole family and performances from critically acclaimed Khmer Dance troupes/singers. It's a great place to people watch too!
There are multiple staging areas so here's my suggested plan of attack:

Pre-Party (optional) -
  • Breakfast at Hak Heang (2041 E Anaheim St, Long Beach). I suggest the Ga Thew Phnom Penh (Noodle Soup with various meats). Get it dry with the soup on the side.

At The Park -

  • Grab a beef stick at the Food Court, head over to the nearby small stage for some contemporary live music. Be prepared to pick up some new dance moves.
  • Play some cultural games at the games section near the informational booths. You'll probably see a group of people kicking a large badminton birdie type object. Feel free to join in.
  • Take a stroll around the booths and pick-up some free swag.
  • Take a break at the covered main stage and a watch fashion show or flower dance.
  • Head back to the Food Court to pick up some delicious mango with sticky rice (yum!) and a snow cone.
  • Then head to the Carnival Games to win some prizes.

You might get hit with some baking flour. Don't worry it's good luck. Sorry, but the location isn't Metro friendly. Go green by carpooling!

Check out details on

-Michael Kolana Kek, Contributing Writer

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