Got time, so it becomes time to write. There hasn't been much happening to be honest. Well not until recently anyway. From the last one I wrote about my time back in England. I honestly thought that it would be tough returning to this wonderfully mad country! Although last night I was riding home and it just hit me like a tonne of bricks. I love this place, I want my future to involve it somehow, someway. I understand that it may not always be like this, that I may eventually get sick of the place but right here, right now, I'm happier than I have been in a long while.
I want to try to tell you about the love and death in this place from what I know so far. I may write about it again, in a couple months and say that this was all out my arse. So here goes....death in western culture is generally a bit taboo of 'oh we can't mention lest they get upset' it's always 'i'm sorry' and what have you. It's a dreary and upsetting affair for all those affected. Then, once they are buried that's it, you move on and remember them with rose tinted spectacles unless you're jimmy saville. However here, they're never forgotten. They have services for one whole week after their death, drinking and remembering and praying in their name. After that I think it's one month on they have another service with more drinking and celebrating the persons life. Then it's one year on they celebrate again with drinking and laughter. After five years, they again celebrate with dancing and singing. There maybe more but that's all I know so far. This does get irritating because over here they just block the main streets up with big pavilions but still how incredible is that? For five years they celebrate the death and life of someone. They're not forgotten, and death is accepted as a thing of life. The ying to yang. You don't get the gift of life without the release of death and over here it is accepted that it happens and it's a thing to dance and sing about. I, personally, think it's wonderful. I will learn more this weekend as I'm going to a five year anniversary funeral....
On the other hand we have love. Again streets are blocked up with tents and monks praying for good luck. Obviously there are different levels of wealth bigger tents, more important streets being blocked, more garlands, more people. I know less about the wedding rituals apart from there is traditional clothing and food and what have you. Then we have got the poorest of the poor. People having to live and work on construction sites. It popped into my head, what happens for these guys? The ones that cannot afford a house and roam around looking for work. The ones whose children live on site and live in less than sanitary or safe conditions. So as I was going along I happened to go past a construction site and do you know what? They were having a wedding! Playing loud music and having a good time. Everyone deserves their special days and these guys certainly got one, I was so happy to see it. That even though they have a tough life, these two people got their special day and celebrated it with their friends. Everyone loves a bit of a party and it showed here.
Anyway what have I been upto recently. I've been playing in a football tournament and we are through to the quarter finals after topping our group with a goal difference of 39. Playing two matches this weekend to get to the semis. Wish me luck!
Work is fine but we have three days off now for Chinese New Year. So I'm going off to the mountains which I hope will be fantastic. No light, sound, air pollution. Will be able to see the stars, will probably be bitten by Mosquitos as well...will let you know how it goes.
However for a celebration of the new year my school had a professional lion dance, it was brilliant. Makes you want to go to China...
Link of the day - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zUeAaBGVTk
Here are some photos and videos of the event.
Football for Kampuchea
The website for the charity Football for Kampuchea (F4K). It contains all the details you want to know about us and even a place to donate!