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Cambodia becomes permanent member of World Heritage Committee

PHNOM PENH, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Prime Minister on Tuesday expressed his warmly welcome as Cambodia becomes the permanent member of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO in 17th general assembly in France.

“ It is a new pride for our country that became fully permanent member of the world heritage committee,” Hun Sen told over 2,000 students in graduation ceremony of a university in Phnom Penh. “ Itwill promote the image and prestige of the Kingdom of Cambodia on the world arena,” he added.

On behalf of new permanent member of the WHC, Cambodia will implement its mission with high responsibility and will strengthen the cooperation with other countries, he said.

“ We will enhance capacity building and study multi experiences with the world heritage committee, UNESCO, and other international forums,” he stressed.

Moreover, Hun Sen said that Cambodia will do more to follow the common purposes in the WHC that has been working on conservation, culture and heritage development. “ We have to enhance more international cooperation to move forward of conservation and heritage development.”

The Kingdom of Cambodia was elected as a member of the WHC thanks to her richness in cultural properties and history including intangible cultural properties, several of which were inscribed on the World Heritage List, namely the Royal Ballet, the Shadow Theater, Angkor area, and the Temple of Preah Vihear, the premier said.

Cambodia becomes one of 21 permanent members which represent 186 countries in the world in the 17th general assembly of world heritage committee that is held from Oct. 23 to 28, 2009 in Paris, France at UNESCO Headquarters.

Cambodia became a member of UNESCO in 1951.


Some Malaysian Food Scenes

In Malaysia, the golden word of the Malaysian society is 'makan', which means 'eat' in Malay. Indeed, food is Malaysia's favourite, if not national pastime. This is due to the wide and diverse variety of cuisines available, a reflection of the country's multicultural society. This national love of food makes it Malaysia's most powerful uniting factor, which is why despite the recent race politics rocking the country the Malay will still unhesitatingly enjoy roti canai, the Indian his steaming hot plate of char kuay teow and the Chinese ordering nasi lemak without thinking twice.

Malaysia's cuisine does not only consists of Malay, Chinese, Indian and the lesser-known Dayak, but Nyonya food as well. Nyonya food is a fusion of Chinese and Malay recipes and styles of cooking as the community itself is a result of intermarriages between the Chinese and Malays in olden times. Local cuisines can be widely found in hawker stalls (sometimes called mamak for those serving Indian food), kopitiams (coffee shops) and restaurants as well; although the more popular places for enjoying local food would be at the former two. In fact, it is not uncommon to see people of varied financial and social status eating next to each other under the din of coffee shop chatter or clouded by sweet-smelling smoke and steam arising from the hawkers' humble woks.

Of course, as Malaysia moves alongside other nations of this world, foreign cuisine makes its way to the country and into the welcoming stomachs of eager Malaysians. In fact, foreign cuisine is enjoyed as much as local cuisine is and both exist harmoniously on the menu. Examples of common foreign cuisine available in this country are Western and other Asian varieties, such as Japanese, Thai, Middle Eastern and others. Popular franchises such as KFC, McDonald, Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks are also easily found and softens the impact of cultural shock. However it is also not uncommon to see these fast-food outlets offering local twists to their menu.

Malaysia has an active food scene, with new eating hang-outs popping up every now and then. This topic aims to introduce Malaysia's inimitable food scene - from what's good to eat, to where as well as various good food blogs - which while eagerly embracing foreign tastes also takes fierce pride in its local gastronomic heritage.

Nasi Lemak
Nasi lemak basically means 'rice in cream', as the rice is first soaked in coconut cream and then steamed. This gives the rice its distinctive light, creamy flavour. Sometimes pandan (screwpine) leaves will be added as the rice steams to give it some fragrance.

Nasi lemak usually comes with accompaniments such as a slice or two of hard-boiled egg, sambal ikan bilis (spicy anchovy condiment), cucumbers slices and salted fish. It is traditionally served on banana leaf or oil-absorbing brown paper, but nowadays you can find it in a polysterene lunchbox or simply wrapped in plastic. You may also have it served on a plate.

Nasi Dagang
Means 'trader's rice' in Malay. Also known as Nasi Dagae in the Kelantanese dialect. It is a popular dish of the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia, especially in Kelantan and Terengganu. Consists of reddish-brown rice cooked in coconut milk and accompaniments like kerisik (toasted grated coconut), acar (pickled vegetables, pronounced 'achar'), hard-boiled egg and fish curry.

Nasi Kerabu
Yes, the rice is blue! A concise description from flickr:
This rice dish is a regional specialty from Kelantan and the rice is tinted blue from petals of flowers called bunga telang (clitoria).

The blue rice is then served with a combination of fresh aromatic herbs, or known as ulam, hence the other name for this rice dish - Nasi Ulam. The Ulam here consists of local mint, basil, lemongrass, kaffir lime/ turmeric leaves, bunga kantan (torch ginger flower buds) etc and is served with raw vegetables (bean sprouts, long beans etc), salted egg, kerisik (grated coconut), tumis (pounded chilli paste) and a good serving of ground black pepper.

Nasi Paprik (also known as Nasi Goreng Paprik)
While Nasi Paprik is considered part of the Malay cuisine in Malaysia, it is actually Thai in origin. It is also known as Nasi Pad Prik, with Pad Prik being a Thai phrase (I looked up somewhere and it said pad = stir-fried, prik = chilli). It is rice fried in chilli or tomato sauce with a topping of stir-fried chicken and vegetables. This picture features sambal belacan (shrimp paste condiment) in the background.

Nasi Paprik
Nasi Goreng Kampung
Means 'Village-Style Fried Rice'. A simple but delicious consisting of rice fried with anchovies, shallots and vegetables. There are several versions, but the fried anchovies and shallots are what makes it a nasi goreng kampung. This dish can also be fried with soy sauce, which would give it a dark colour.

Ketupat is basically rice wrapped in woven palm leaf. Uncooked rice is first filled into the woven pouch and then boiled. The grains will then expand and the rice becomes compressed. Usually served during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, a Muslim festival also known as Eid ul-Fitr in other countries. It is eaten with curry or rendang, or served as an accompaniment to satay. To eat the ketupat, simply slice the pouch into half. Traditional ketupat is usually plain, but nowadays other varieties are made by adding spices, corn, etc.

Kangkung Belacan
One of the popular dishes in Malay cuisine that is also a common household dish due to the simplicity of its nature. Consists of kangkung (water spinach) stir-fried in belacan (shrimp paste). Chilli is commonly added in the wok as well for extra oomph, although one can opt out of it. Kangkung can be quite a challenge to chew due to its stringy (and some say rubbery) characteristic for the uninitiated, but once you get over that this simple dish is a delight to eat.

Ayam Percik
Spicy barbequed chicken and easily found in roadside stalls in Kelantan. The chicken is marinated with salt, sugar, chilli powder and turmeric powder. The spice paste on the other hand is made of candlenuts, garlic, dried chillies, red chillies, ginger and shallots. The paste is then fried with tamarind (for the sourness) and lemon grass (for flavour and fragrance), after which water, coconut milk, sugar and salt are added to make a spicy gravy. The chicken is then barbequed over 'a low charcoal fire or under a grill, basting frequently with the gravy, until the chicken is cooked' (

Beef Rendang
A dish brought to Malaysia by Minangkabau settlers, it is a popular serving at Malay feasts and festivals. It takes around 3 hours to cook, during which it boils until it is almost dry, moist only with the thick gravy that is left behind. The meat is also tenderised during this period and absorbs the spicy condiments, which makes this dish such a burst of flavours. It is in a nutshell, a spicy beef stew cooked in coconut milk.

Serunding is basically the dry, floss version of rendang and has a long shelf life. I LOVE serunding. One can munch on it as a snack or eat it with a steaming hot plate of rice.

Ikan Bakar
Fish barbequed/grilled with turmeric, chilli or a spicy sauce.

Keropok Lekor
A specialty of Terengganu and other east coast states of Peninsular Malaysia. A recipe borne out of the largely fishing communities there. It is basically shredded fish and batter deep-fried, and usually eaten as a snack with chilli sauce.

Disclaimer: text and photos is taken from ... The thread is posted by member by the sn "Crystalized Dream" Thus these photos and texts are not in our possessions.


The Legendary "Tomb of The White Elephant" at Koh Ker

Prasat Thom pyramid standing 40 meters high without the ligham! At it's peak would have been 50 meters high!

Builder of Koh ker is King Jayavarman 6th! Here's a portrait of the King on the last section showing the first three pictures!

In the Northern Cambodian province of Preah Vihear, the eponymous temple acquired some international fame with its listing in July 2008 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and because of the border dispute with neighbouring Thailand around the area. However, another highly sacred place in the same province, which deserves some attention: the Koh Ker archaeological group, located 50 miles northeast of the Angkor complex, has long been inaccessible. A week ago, the Phnom Penh branch of the French Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO) launched a campaign to excavate this exceptional site.

The particularity of Koh Ker
To this day, only Henri Parmentier carried out an important study of Koh Ker, back at the beginning of last century and as part of research at the EFEO . Since then, a few archaeological soundings have been made by archaeologists from Apsara (the authority in charge of the site management) but no important excavation was carried out, thus leaving the site surrounded by mystery. The site used to be a temporary capital founded by Jayavarman IV – he later settled there in 921AD. That period of time was short but crucial in the history of the Khmer empire, the epicentre of which revolved around the Angkorian era in the present-day Siem Reap province.

A few sculptures from Koh Ker found their way to the Phnom Penh National Museum: here, a giant Garuda is on display at the entrance, welcoming visitors and there, a dancing Shiva is the evidence of a true revolution in Angkorian art.

To Eric Bourdonneau, a lecturer at the EFEO and a professor at the Phnom Penh Faculty of Archaeology, the site is a remarkable group for many reasons, whether it be in terms of architecture, with its mount-temple culminating at 115ft, a record height, or in terms of iconography, as it introduces “narrative scenes via the staging of sculpture in the round [three-dimension sculpture] when up until then, temple iconography was limited to a few divine representations displayed in the narrow frame of the lintels and pediments of the structure.

Having a small artificial hill talk…
In Koh Ker, non-believers might not detect the presence, in a straight line with the main temple (Prasat Thom) – the development of a plan controlled by lines had never been observed previously and conveyed the expansion of the divine here below –, of an artificial hill, named the “Tomb of the White Elephant” as a reference to a Khmer legend. The hill is indeed the centre of Eric Bourdonneau’s research and he intends, with two excavation campaigns, to find out about the secrets of that place: which part did the hill play in the layout of the ritual of Prasat Thom?

The historian and archaeologist, who specialised his research in the study of great sacred sites in Cambodia, seems to have his own theory, even though he wishes to remain cautious on the topic for the time being. What he can tell us at least, is that “the erecting of that hill – which is unique, or nearly unique in the field of archaeology relating to ancient Cambodia – is to be classified among the many innovations which come together with the ‘exploit’ of King Jayavarman IV, i.e. the transformation of the King’s place of activity (the capital and its Royal sanctuary) into a ‘natural’ sacred place, just like Wat Phou”. The latter, the EFEO expert details, is located on the western bank of the Mekong in the far South of Laos and was probably the most important of all sacred places in ancient Cambodia. The successive Kings were always intent on placing their reign under the protection of the divinities present in those places, which stood out due to their sacred worth.

“The Tomb of the White Elephant”: the legend
The tale, as it has been handed down throughout the centuries, is that of a white elephant, then King of all elephants. His daughter, Eric Bourdonneau recounts, “Had great beauty; she was descended from the gods and was taken away by the King of Cambodia who empowered her as first Queen in the Kingdom. The white elephant – well-identified in ethnological literature as both the sign and the source of Royal power – desperately tried to find his daughter but died of exhaustion before succeeding in weakening the compound of the Royal palace built by Jayavarman IV. A mausoleum was constructed nearby in his honour: this mausoleum is the hill located to the West of Prasat Thom”. And today, at the top of that hill, a small structure shelters the image of the white elephant.

Excavations will lead to more digging
The excavation campaign is part of a wider research project about the great sacred places of ancient Cambodia, and was started in 2007 by the Phnom Penh archaeological branch of the EFEO. It comes after more than a decade of efforts to constitute, under the direction of Bruno Bruguier, an inventory of the odd 3,000 sites and a series of archaeological maps covering the whole of Cambodia. “The idea is to study the different ways in which the divine is present”, Eric Bourdonneau explains. “And I call ‘sacred’ places where the divine was not erected by devout followers but appears in a natural way. Man only makes this presence more obvious, but it is already there.”

It would be bad manners to disturb a place that is somewhat “inhabited” and where cult is of high importance. On Tuesday February 17th, a ceremony was organised on the site of Koh Ker, as if to obtain consent to start digging and opening up the ground to divide it into two so-called diagnostic trenches. The ground was cleared of mines prior to the operation. The digging work required some thirty workers supervised by Eric Bourdonneau and an archeologist who is not part of the EFEO, and was carried out in collaboration with two young archeologists from Apsara. The first campaign should last for about 6 weeks and will be followed by a second digging mission during the next dry season, in March/April 2010.

Quoted from a thread of an AsiaFinest member by the sn: Intradaka1.

Original thread posted on 13th Oct 2009.