Floor Statement in Recognition of the Khmer New Year
MR. REED: Mr. President, on behalf of my fellow Rhode Islanders, I wish to recognize the 2550th anniversary of the Buddha, the Khmer New Year. This cultural celebration highlights the rich heritage of Cambodian Americans, while recognizing contemporary Khmerian accomplishments. Ancient dance, music, and religious traditions of the Cambodian community are the focus of the holiday. The festivity, celebrated in the reprieve between the harvest and the weeks referred to as the rainy season,'' is an occasion for Cambodian Americans to pass their customs to future generations while simultaneously allowing all Cambodians to share their culture with other Americans. Traditionally, the anniversary of the Buddha affords Cambodians a chance to give thanks, reflect, and welcome the spirit Tevada Chhnam Thmey. Also, in accordance with tradition, scores of Cambodian Americans will gather with family and friends to visit the wat, the local spiritual center, to offer food to their clergymen, pray for ancestors, give charity to the less fortunate, forgive the misdeeds of others, and thank elders for their knowledge and care. The Khmerian New Year ceremonies and activities demonstrate that each year brings new opportunities for charity, peace, and happiness. As we commemorate this important time, let us reflect on our Nation's continued efforts to promote universal human rights and democratic principles. Let us also take this opportunity to honor the Cambodian Americans currently serving in the U.S. armed services, for their daily sacrifice in protecting our freedom. Finally, I would like to wish all Cambodian Americans happiness, prosperity, and good health in this, the Year of the Dog.