New Year Celebration
9 April 2011


The Khmer New Year (this year April 14-16) is the biggest holiday and most exciting time of the year for Cambodian people.  Everyone abandons Phnom Penh to head back to their home provinces to be with their families and friends.  The DDP Deaf Community Center had a new year celebration for the local deaf people on April 9th, to provide an opportunity to gather before many of them also departed Phnom Penh.

This sign over the gateway to the Deaf Community Center welcomed everyone and noted that this is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac calendar.
Khmer New Year celebration
The numbers of deaf people participating on this Saturday were less than expected but the crowd was perfect for comfortable conversations and games throughout the day.
Activities for the group
The DDP field workers in the Deaf Community Development Project spent many hours thinking of games and making arrangements for non-stop activities during the day.  They also organized a new year celebration in Kampot and Kampong Cham Provinces.
Instructions for a game
Here a field worker gives instruction on the rules of a simple game.  Balloons under the arms add an extra element of difficulty and challenge.
Instructions for a game
There were lots of conversations going on all day long.  These are two of the DDP staff.
Two DDP staff
Deaf people are greatly isolated in society, at work, even in their homes, so when they come together, the chance to speak to another deaf person using sign language is often more attractive than the games.
Deaf people conversing
For some the celebration was just a time to hang out and relax and just to be with friends, even if they weren't talking all day.  It was good just to be in a place where they were accepted and understood.
A time to hang out

Go to Activities page on DDP website
Go to Charlie Dittmeier's home page