Battambang, End Of May 2014
It was a wonderful morning in Battambang in one of the hot months in Cambodia. Unfortunately I had to go back to Phnom Penh because my holiday was over. So after having my breakfast and of course, also with a coffee, I walked to the lobby of my hotel and took a seat. The sofa was so comfortable, made me relax to wait for the van that would bring me back to Phnom Penh.
The lobby was a little bit cool, maybe because of the air-conditioned of the hotel. I still had around ten minutes before the van came. Looking around, I took some photos of interesting traditional subjects that were displayed in the lobby. Minutes passed by, the van hadn’t arrived yet. Perhaps the other passengers caused the delayed. So I went back to the comfortable sofa, waiting again. While waiting I took the English newspaper among the other Khmer ones on the table. I read and turn it page by page and suddenly my eyes were attracted to the news on below part of the newspaper. I took my camera and capture it.
It’s about the update news of the Late King Norodom Sihanouk, the King Father. The one who was filled the nation news in the last two years.
As we knew, on October 15, 2012, as King Father of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, died after a heart attack in Beijing, after midnight of Cambodian time, at the age of 89. Although receiving a very good medical treatment in Beijing since January 2012, it was the time for the former king to leave this world, all the people and country he loved after suffering many health issues like cancer, diabetes and hypertension. The body of the one who brought independence to Cambodia, was brought back to his homeland just two days after his death. Cambodia was on mourning period for seven days with the flags flew at half mast.
The body of the late King was in the royal coffin which was adorned with gold and draped with the Royal Standard of the King of Cambodia and reposed in the Royal Palace until 4 February 2013, the date for his royal cremation. But on the 1st February 2013, the monks and the people of Cambodia could join together along the boulevards, streets and roads of Phnom Penh to bid one last farewell to their beloved King Father.
On 4th February 2013, more than ten thousands of Cambodian in black and white as a symbol of mourning, -many of them came from the rural areas-, lined together and have paid their respects at the cremation site next to the Royal Palace. Finally, at evening of that day, the funeral pyre were lit by the King Norodom Sihamoni, who gave the posthumous title to the late King as “Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk Preah Borom Ratanakkot“, which literally means “The King Who Lies in the Diamond Urn”).
Not only the local Cambodian TV channels, some of the well-known international TV channels took part to broadcast the royal cremation live. A number of foreign dignitaries, from the Europe, Asia and ASEAN countries were attended the event.
After that royal event, there was no further news about the other remains of the late King which was reposed in Royal Palace. And when I was in Battambang, waiting for my van to go back to Phnom Penh, I got the latest news about the King’s ashes and his final resting place. It’s so touchy to know that the ashes of the King Father would be put together with his daughter, Princess Kantha Bopha who died in 1952 at the age of 4 from leukemia, as per his wishes.
This post was written in response to the weekly challenge from Celina’s Blog, Srei’s Notes, Cerita Riyanti, and also A Rhyme In My Heart, which is the 50th week of 2020 has the theme of News, so we are encouraged ourselves to write articles weekly. If you are interested to take part in this challenge, we welcome you… and of course we will be very happy!