When we were staying in the Seven Candles Guest House we decided to go to the circus. It is run by an organization that has been going for about 20 who is trying to bring almost extinct Cambodian traditions back. They took extremely poor children and gave them food and a performing education; for free! They are learning to tell their stories through art and performance and the old Cambodian traditions. It is amazing what they have done and how they have helped.
We rode a tuk-tuk there and went into the grounds. When we were walking into the tent, we were given fans and when we were seated, we were given water and gift bags. I was given a star mobile. Once everybody was present and seated the lights dimmed and the musicians came out. Then a lady announced what we would be watching. We were told that it was a depiction of the circus founder’s time while the Khmer Rouge were in power, when he was a boy. He wrote the script and everything. It was really amazing. I loved it. The photos here show how the girl is slowly overcoming the demons of the Khmer Rouge, that are threatening to suffocate her. In the end, she shoots an arrow upside down with her feet at a Khmer ghost to stop him tormenting her.
Let me introduce the main performer. I don’t know her name but I will tell you some things about her. She is a very beautiful, amazing Cambodian girl, but she didn’t always have a very good life. She used to be a trash picker and had to sort through and pick up trash to earn money. Her father abused her and all of her family by beating them and yelling at them and when he earned money he would spend it on getting drunk. It was awful for her. Whilst her family is still really, really poor and has lots of troubles, she has progressed a lot and is now performing in many circuses for this organization while also finishing school.
They also had a great band, who had learned to play traditional Cambodian music at the school, and an artist who did really quick, amazing paintings about what was going on in the story. If you knew what it was like you would be dying to see it. All of the people were so incredibly amazing! We would have gone back but it was the same show again on the only day we could see it again.