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Cultural uppercut

Cambodian men practice the Khmer martial art Bokator in October of this  year.
Members of an inter-ministerial taskforce are scheduled to meet today
to discuss plans to nominate traditional Khmer boxing for inclusion in
UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Tem Moeun, president of the Cambodian Amateur Boxing Federation, said officials planned to nominate the martial art, known as Kbach Kun Boran Khmer, for inclusion in the list next year.
“We have almost completed the research about Kbach Kun Boran Khmer for submission to the list,” he said.
“We have many reference documents related to our boxing, and we expect that we will be able to register it by 2011.”
UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list is designed to help
preserve and raise awareness of a wide range of international
traditional practices and includes Peruvian scissor dancing, Tibetan
opera and the Mediterranean diet.
Taem Moeun said Kbach Kun Boran Khmer deserved to be listed
because there was evidence – in the form of carvings found on Angkor
Wat and temples in Kampong Thom province – that the martial art dated
back at least to the Angkorian period.
 
He said the practice of Khmer boxing had been abandoned during
decades of civil war but began experiencing a rebirth after the fall of
the Khmer Rouge in 1979, and estimated that more than 1,000 people are
practising the martial art in Cambodia.
 
Phnom Penh Post
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Categories: Local News
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