Word of the Week Wednesday 5/17/17

Good morning/afternoon/evening to you!

What a wonderful we this has been. Full of new experiences, new memories, and new words! Today though, I bring in an old word. One that I have known since I first came to Cambodia. Before I could read the Khmer letters for it, and before I even know how to say I was tired or full or busy, I could say this.

សប្បាយ

Language: Khmer

Part of Speech: Noun/adjective

Pronunciation: Sah-bai

Translation: Happy, fun

My day is filled with questions of “Sok sabai dte?” How are you? Although it is easy to just say good or fine in English, I find myself being honest in Khmer. Sabai, or aht sabai. Happy or not happy. Albeit, many of my days here are happy, or fun, or indescribably wonderful, so usually I answer with a simple sabai. I hope your next week is full of fun, and you too can say you are sabai!

Keep Shining,

Ashley

Word of the Week Wednesday 4/5/17

Hello…it’s me…

Welcome to another week! This week is full of anticipation in Cambodia because next week we will have Khmer New Year! And that ties into this week’s word:

កន្សែង

Language: Khmer

Part of Speech: noun

Pronunciation: Gohn-sigh-ng 

Translation: towel

So, yesterday after our all-hostel time, many students decided to play some Khmer New Year traditional games! Of course I excitedly joined in! So I think the night went in about ten parts:

Part 1: Cat and Mouse

This game had a circle of people holding hands with two inside the circle. The middle people have blindfolds and one hits a water bottle in his/her hand. Then the other person tries to find the one hitting with the water bottle. 

Part 2: King/Queen of Love

This game had two teams with one person on a chair between them (the king/queen). Someone from team one would go to the Queen and whisper “who they love” in her ear. This is really just a person from the other team. Then a person from the other team stands to do the same. If the person from team one said the name of the person from team two, that person is out. If not, that person whispers a name of a team one member and play continues. Sadly, the boys won this game. 

Part 3: Coke break

Because none of our parties happen without drinking Coca-Cola.

Part 4: Steal the Bacon

I don’t know what this game is called here, but at camp we called it Steal the Bacon. Two teams, each person had a number and a small piece of rope is between them. The moderator says a number and the player for each team with that number tries to get the rope back to their side. If they do, they get a point. But, if the other team player tags them before they reach their side, the other team gets the point. All about reflexes and strategy. Although we fought valiantly, the boys also won this game. By a super slim margin though. 

Part 5: Baby Powder

I just found out today that this part is actually a Khmer New Year tradition, but we had baby powder everywhere! Clothes, hair, face, all over! 

Part 6: Partner Tag

There are many lines of two in a circle and one runner and one person it. The person that is it tries to tag the runner and tiles switch if they do. The runner avoids being tagged by standing in front of a line of two, forcing a back person in line to now be the runner. This one was really funny when the line suddenly changed directions now and then.

Part 7: Towel- Duck Duck Goose

So, this game is the reason for the word of the week. Almost duck duck goose. With a towel. A person with a wrapped towel round the circle and drops the towel to the left of someone. That person now runs after the person to their right and tries to hit them with the towel as much as they want. Here is the different thing, if you get hit or do not get hit, there is no difference other than you got hit with a towel. The runner gets back to their seat and sits (with sore spots from being hit with a towel or not.) Whoever got the rope then continues and the cycle goes on. 

Part 8: Couple- Duck Duck Goose

This one was all of us standing in a circle holding hands. One couple (also holding hands) runs around the circle and hits one pair of hands. Those two people keep holding hands and run the other way around the circle. Whichever team makes it back to the opening first stays and the other team continues as before. The funniest part of this was if the teams tried to switch partners as they passed outside the circle. It was usually a mess and always left everyone laughing. 

Part 9: Group Pictures

Hot, sweaty, and smiling we took a few group pictures. One with the standard “feeestyle” shot. 

Part 10: Clean up and bed

Sweeping, stacking chairs, and finishing Coke bottles took a very short time and then we were off to bed, happy with the fun night we just had together. 
So, hopefully this gives you some fun games you can play. Or reminds you that sometimes life turns out the same, whether you get hit with the towel or not. 

Keep shining,

Ashley