Khmer Night: The Naga and The Prince

Cambodian Student Association to put on their 12th annual Khmer Night


By Solomon Myers, OMN Photographer

Karree Lee, president of Oregon State University’s Cambodian Student Association, can be seen in the Memorial Union quad on a sunny Sunday—March 20. CSA is hosting Khmer Night on Feb. 26, 2022, and welcomes the OSU community to experience “The Naga and the Prince.”

Natalie Sharp, Beaver's Digest Contributor

Cambodian Student Association is putting on their 12th annual Khmer Night: The Naga and The Prince this Saturday, Feb. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom. This event is open to all and will showcase Cambodian culture with free authentic food, performances, fashion and a skit. 

Khmer Night is an annual event to highlight Cambodian culture. “It is such a significant event to us because we can share our culture with other people,” said Karree Lee, the president of CSA. Since the Khmer community is so small, Khmer Night provides an opportunity for everyone to connect with their culture. 

Tickets went up on Monday and they sell out fast. It is free for all, but there is limited space so it is recommended to get your ticket early. In addition, vaccination cards are required at the door or a negative COVID-19 test within the last three days. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. to provide plenty of time to get seated. 

The night will feature free Cambodian food prepared in Oregon State University’s Global Community Kitchen. Some of the food to expect includes Cambodian chicken soup, banana coconut sticky rice, vegan and vegetarian spring rolls with peanut sauce and a chili-lime sauce, white rice. After doing a taste test, Lee admits, “they were pretty good, not gonna lie.”

According to Jet Ittihrit the co-event coordinator, the night will be very eventful with a virtual performance from the Khmer Performing Arts crew with a Blessing Dance, an video interview with an inspiring Khmer restaurant owner in Portland, Ore., a monk temple virtual tour, an in-person fashion show highlighting traditional Khmer clothing, and for fun, there will be a CSA officers dance at the event. Ittihrit spent time editing these videos and organizing the performances. 

One of the main events featured at the event is the skit, The Naga and The Prince. This year’s skit is based on a Khmer folktale about a love story between the Naga (Dragon) Princess and Prince Thong, which is the origin story of the Khmer people. Eric Kong, the vice president of CSA, was in charge of outlining and writing the script. 

“We kind of took that tail and added our own little twist,” Kong explained. The skit takes a comedic approach to the love story and explores many themes surrounding Cambodian culture. 

While the event is open to all, the raffle is only available to OSU students. If you are a student, you can enter the raffle with your wristband for a chance to win a Cambodian candle that helps fund a Cambodian primary school, Cambodian jerky, or a Cambodian crew neck sweater all helping to support local Cambodian businesses. 

The CSA has put so much time and effort into this night. The planning began back in September when members from CSA signed up to join different committees to help plan the event, and they have been grinding to get ready over the last month. If you have any need for disability accommodations, you can email Lee at [email protected] and she will help make the night possible for your attendance. 

Lee explains “Khmer culture is very underlooked,” and that often people associate Cambodian culture with the Cambodian genocide, but this night offers a chance to showcase what a beautiful culture it is through fashion, language and performance. 

Again, the event is Saturday, Feb. 26 in the Memorial Union Ballroom from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are available now, so hurry before they sell out. Click here to reserve your ticket.

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