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The 12th Giant Puppet Parade Attracts Big Crowds to Siem Reap

SIEM REAP: Many Cambodians and international tourists came to celebrate the 12th Giant Puppet Parade in Siem Reap to promote the arts, education, culture, and environment.

The parade was held on Saturday, 11 March 2023, and began at 7 pm, starting in front of Wat Damnak and then moving along Doeng Stung Siem Reap and other main roads, all the way to the Royal Palace Park. Thousands of national and international tourists marched along with the parade and celebrated in the streets, with numerous concerts, dances and cheering involved.

Cambodians have expressed pride for how this tourist attraction and celebration was organized after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many expressed their happiness, saying that the organization of this giant puppet parade is a testament to the peaceful state of the nation, as well as the revival of tourism, promoting arts and culture in the Angkor tourist area.

The organizer of the giant puppet parade, Un Savann, said that this year’s theme was ‘Khmer Brave’, and the main focus of the parade was to promote arts, culture, environment and tourism.

He explained that the giant puppets featured were seven characters designed by more than 10 local and foreign organizations, including the participation of young boys and girls from the organization and students from two local primary schools.

The seven giant puppets include three main characters, one of which is the Preah Vesondor (depicting the Buddha), representing resilience, Cambodian spirit, and compassion. Another puppet depicts a mother character taking care of her child while sick with Covid-19, as well as puppet farmers portraying different farming practices and providing rice to the people. The parade also featured puppets of rare and endangered animals, fish, birds, and insects, representing Cambodia's social, cultural and natural environment.

The Giant Puppet Parade is a celebration that aims to teach children and youth that art can enhance their lives, give voice to their imaginations, ignite pride in their rich heritage and unite all communities.

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