Monday, January 05, 2009

Where Elephants Weep: Head monks offended, High-ranking gov't officials enjoyed the show

Ministry of Information does not ban “Where Elephants Weep” show in Cambodia

04 Jan 2009
By Duong Sokha
Unofficial translation from French by Luc Sâr
Click here to read the article in French
Click here to read the article in Khmer

On 04 January, the minister of Information clarified the fact that his ministry did not ban the “Where Elephants Weep” show – “which allows the world to know about Cambodia” – but the ban is only held against the TV broadcast on this show in the kingdom.

The rock opera, the music of which is composed by Cambodian composer Him Sophy, received large media coverage that went well beyond Cambodia’s border, and John Burt, its US producer, plans to present the show in a world tour. Following sold out shows in Phnom Penh a few weeks ago, the show is still being discussed … by monks.

In fact, Cambodia’s head monks are offended by some scenes in the show which was broadcasted by a Cambodian TV channel on 25 December. These head monks said that the saffron robe is insulted and they let this issue be known to the ministry involved. In the complaints sent to the ministry of Cult, these monks demanded that these shows be banned, and they succeeded in canceling the second broadcast of “Where Elephants Weep” on CTN on 01 January.

The head monks blame the young hero of the show for his lack of rigor because he abandoned the monkhood robe as quick as he is ready to pick it up again, following a long love story with a pop singer, the whole scene was performed around some dance steps and singing.

Khieu Kanharith defended this work [that several Cambodian government officials went to watch without ever criticizing this social satire], explaining that the show watchers are better informed than Cambodian spectators are about the rock opera genre which is “different from the ayay” (a form of Khmer traditional theater).

“What these head monks raised was not wrong ... But this does not justify asking apologies from the producer and artists. The latter were creators first of all!” Khieu Kanharith then indicated that the ministry of Culture will closely examine the show and it will identify elements that need to be corrected. He then went on to congratulate the rock opera producer who chose to “work with Khmer and foreign artists.”


Anonymous said...

There is nothing to apologise for. The head monks are speaking without their head.

It is a world class production. It is artistically creative with a nice twist from legendary Tum Teav.


Anonymous said...

That's the problem when we have the uneducated Head Monk who names Tep Vong.
On the top we have a lot of the uneducated ruling tyrannies who have Pig-HD degrees.

Anonymous said...

Tep Vong should turn off that TV and be in meditation. Tep Vong should not possess any TV in his pagoda because TV can show many programs that are not suitable for any monks to watch. Tep Vong should not be in decision making what show to allow or which is not to allow. What is Buddhism to Tep Vong? A place to rest and enjoy life in secret before going to hell? What a terrible shame, tep vong.

Anonymous said...

​អ្នក​រាល់​គ្នា​ជេរ​សម្ដេច​ព្រះសង្ឃរាជ​ទេព វង្ស តាម​ពិត​​ទៅសម្ដេច​មិន​មែន​ជា​អ្នក​ដែល​មាន​ប្រតិកម្ន​ទី ១ ទេ។ ប្រតិកម្ម​នេះ​ចេញ​មក​ពី​គណៈសង្ឃនាយក​តែ​ប៉ុណ្ណុះ ដែល​មាន​សម្ដេច​ នន្ទ ង៉ែត និង​ខុទ្ទកាល័យ​របស់​ទ្រង់។ នេះ​ជា​អ្វី​ដែល​ខ្ញុំ​បាន​ដឹង​ដោយ​សារ​ចូល​ប្រជុំ​ក្នុង​ក្រសួង​ជា​ច្រើន​ដង ។
Judge yourself

Anonymous said...

some high ranking officials are
soo ignorrant about buddhism.they just go to the temples for getting their votes not to be blessed by the knowledges of the dharma of the
buddha.that's why they always behave soo badly ,see the problems
in our khmerland?
dum daiv was written by the monk and it is good,but some scence that just added is not is differant from the original one.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Monks nowadays are way way out of line.They should not interfere with public affair.In fact monks should not own phone, money,tv,dvd etc....

Anonymous said...

Let's make a deal with the monks. At the same time, the show is banned from broadcast and elements of the show will be discussed to change, can the monk council make sure that there are no private TVs for monks to own? ALso, make sure monks have no handphones that are good enough to play movies and songs. And many more misdeeds to ban the monks from...

The monks care so much about being insulted, but they should pay more attention to the improper behaviors by a large number of monks.

Art is a smart weapon to criticize and when it touches you, you start to yell at people. That is because you have that problem. Walk around on the street if something like that happens in the pagoda, you will discover the true answer.

When you have the wound, the thing to clean it is the alcohol. Of course we know the alcohol really makes it hurt so much, but it cures well. That is also true to our life. The show is like the alcohol. The wound is the improper behaviours done by the monks.

Anonymous said...

Anything that offended our monk must be banned, period.

Anonymous said...

to 4:35 PM ,when you said :"anything that offended our monk must be banned,period " , then stop fucking 'cause monk don't fuck , period.
Get that ,pal

Anonymous said...

Lakoun basack should ban to make king look like chinese!