April 14, 2019 – Cambodian New Year – Choul Chnam Thmey
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to the Canadian Cambodian community on the occasion of Cambodian New Year or Choul Chnam Thmey.
Traditionally, the Cambodian New Year is celebrated over a period of 3 days, beginning on either April 13th or 14th of every year. The New Year coincides with the end of the harvesting season, when farmers can celebrate and enjoy the ‘fruits of their labour’ before the rainy summer season begins.
To mark the beginning of a New Year, Cambodians carry out a variety of rituals and customs. Families often gather in ceremony to offer their thanks to Buddha and their ancestors over the course of the 3 days. In temples, people erect sand hillocks, representing the stupa (a mound-like structure often used for meditation) where Buddha’s hair and diadem are buried. Four other smaller stupas are often erected around the large one, to represent the Buddha’s four most-favoured disciples.
Toronto is a proud multicultural City that embraces a wide variety of cultures and faiths. Our City flourishes because of the diversity of people who have chosen to make Toronto their home. It is important to recognize each and every community that plays a part in enhancing Toronto’s social and cultural landscape.
As the Newcomer’s Advocate with the City of Toronto I strongly believe that we must work to together to promote togetherness. We must Respect our newcomer communities. We must Accept our newcomer communities. We should Celebrate our diversity and Embrace our different cultures and traditions, because we are all part of the human RACE.