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Cambodian Catholic youth expresses faith through Khmer traditional dance

Sophearong Ravy (right) teaches Khmer traditional dance to his students. (Photo supplied)

Sophearong Ravy, a 25-year-old Catholic teacher, expresses his faith through Khmer traditional dance.
He lives at Saint Joseph Church, Phnom Penh City, the capital of Cambodia.
His mother used to take the two children—his sister and Sophearong—to attend church ceremonies and events when they were young. Since those days, his love for faith and church grew solidly. 
While there was no objection from his father, a Buddhist, Sophearong attended catechism classes. He was baptized at Saint Joseph Church in Phnom Penh vicariate.
Sophearong is currently working for a construction company in Phnom Penh. 
As a young boy, he learned Khmer traditional dance at a local church. And now, in his free time, he teaches children at Saint Joseph Parish, because of his love of Khmer traditional dance. 
In his daily life, God motivates him to go on and helps him to face the challenges of life with grit.
"Once I was very upset about school, family, and arguments with my friends, I went to church alone to pray and I remembered the scripture that says, ‘I will give you rest’ (Mathew 11:28). From that, I feel relaxed. Then understand the power of prayer,” he recalled.   

Sophearong Ravy (right) with his wife. (Photo supplied)

As a former student of the Art Office of the Catholic Community, Sophearong is interested in participating in and preserving Khmer culture in the field of dance.
He is ready to help children who are interested in Khmer traditional dance, although it takes a lot of time to practice with them, he said.
He added, "As long as I know how to dance, it took a long process and it is not easy to transfer this knowledge to young people. We need time together and patience.”
“I got many critical words, laughter, ridicule from other people around me. But because God is with me and loves me, I can do it now despite the criticism,” he exclaimed. 
As a Cambodian young people and Catholic, he wants to take part in preserving the Khmer living art and use it to show the Christian faith to others, said Sophearong.  
"I try to show my faith by performing this dance or demonstrating it to people of other faiths about the religion and belief that I practice today,” he said. 
Besides the art, he also joins many activities in the church even if he is busy at work. 
“I am trying to connect myself with the church and her activities in charity and also everyday prayer,” he added.
“In the future, I want to set up my holy family with a partner. If God calls any of our children, we will try to help to move on,” said Sophearong. - With inputs from Lang Chhak


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.