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Nak Chambang music shows off culture of Bokator

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One of the Bokator scenes from the Nak Chambang music video, which will be used during the 2023 Sea Games in Cambodia. Photo supplied

Nak Chambang music shows off culture of Bokator

The song Nak Chambang, or Warrior – produced to express the deep meaning and great values of Khmer Bokator – was officially launched on Saturday and will be the song the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) officially use for the first time when Cambodia hosts the historic 32nd SEA Games in 2023.

A unique production, the accompanying video for Nak Chambang was filmed at significant locations across Cambodia, especially the Angkor area. The video aims to reproduce the true history of when Bokator was used as a martial art by the army of the glorious Angkorian era. The inauguration of the song and its video was held successfully on Prey Sar Road.

Ou Dara, deputy secretary general of the Cambodian Boxing Federation and the director of the production, told the Post: “The release of the song was a great success, thanks to the large number of participants and the excellent reception from the public. The video is a combination of modern and ancient art, which combine to become a spectacle that is like nothing you have ever seen. The content of the song is dedicated to our ancestors and the traditions and customs of martial arts practitioners and will inspire young people with the spirit of fighters who will preserve our unique heritage.”

With the performances of the Bokator Federation being filmed carefully by Ream Productions, the video reveals the deep meaning and values of Khmer Bokator – an invaluable asset which Khmer ancestors left to the next generation of Cambodians. Cambodia has eagerly submitted Bokator for registration with UNESCO’s World Heritage, in order to include the ancient Khmer martial art on the Intangible Heritage of Humanity list.

Seng Chamnan, general director of Ream Productions, said: “The production of this video is built from loyalty to the spirit of Bokator – a masterpiece created by our Khmer ancestors – so the production must be very careful to get the best outcome. This song was made for the purpose of promoting the potential and greatness of Khmer Bokator to the international community.”

Sung by Bali and Tom, the 50 second teaser video has attracted great interest because of the skilful performances of the Bokator artists. The high quality of the production and the lively action has left fans wanting more – with many saying the vido looks as if it was produced by international experts.

Nak Chambang was produced to be used as the official theme song to the 2023 SEA Games. At the December 2021 inauguration of the Moradok Techo National Stadium – under the presidency of Prime Minister Hun Sen – teams from the Bokator Federation performed some of the main scenes from the video, prompting great excitement from the audience, who saw the performances as declarations of their pride in their rich cultural heritage.

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