Cham Youth Cultural Group organized the “Cham Cake Festival 2023” at the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre on Sunday to promote the cultural diversity of Cambodia.
Peat Pulla, representative of Cham Youth Cultural Group, said that this is the second such cake festival and it featured six varieties of Cham traditional cakes for the public to visit, understand and taste for free.
Pulla said that the cakes displayed include Har Pak, Tpei Jial, Tpei Kras, Har Kram, Har Pom and Ladram which are prepared with traditional Cham recipes and are brought from Kampong Chhnang and Kratie provinces.
“These cakes are exclusive to Cham community. For example, the embroidered cake or flower cake, which looks like the dome of a temple, represents the Cham architecture. This cake is unique because it is available in 80 designs and all are hand-made.”
“These traditional cakes are popular only in some parts of Battambang, Kampong Chhnang and Pursat provinces. It is not widely sold in the market, but if anyone want those cakes, they can be ordered from our community,” he said.
About 300 people, mostly students, took part in the festival which also included a procession of Cham youth, dressed in traditional costumes, playing Rebana drums and carrying cakes.
The festival was organized to strengthen the friendship between the Cham people, Khmers and other ethnic groups, and to make the public understand and preserve Cham culture which is also part of Cambodia’s Phalla, a resident, said that this was the first time she attended the Cham Cake Festival and she has tasted the cakes.
“They are made from modern rice flour and taste like Khmer gingerbread. As for the music, drums and songs, some of them are similar to Khmer music and songs. So, Chams might have a similar culture,” she said.
Leb Ke, a researcher of the Cham language and community in Cambodia, said that Cham cultural heritage is part of Cambodian culture and events like the cake festival helps in promoting Cambodia’s rich cultural diversity.
He said that the festival also gave an opportunity for the Cham youth to meet and exchange their cultural heritage with other groups, promoting harmony among communities in Cambodia.
“We rarely have the opportunity to learn about Cambodian Cham culture, except from those around the Cham community,” he said.
He noted that sculptures of the ancient temples of Champa display floral designs similar to the Cham flower cake.
“Therefore, research should be done to document it for future generations,” he added.
He also said that the government should officially organise this day, so that other ethnic groups will be able to express their culture.
“The display of ethnic cultures raises the cultural profile of Cambodia, especially in strengthening national harmony,” he said.
Cr: Khmer Time