PHNOM PENH, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia on Friday night celebrated the inclusion of Lkhon Khol, a masked dance-theater, in the UNESCO's prestigious world heritage list.
At the instruction of Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, drums were beaten simultaneously at 10:00 pm at ministries and institutions, public venues and pagodas across the kingdom to celebrate the listing.
In capital Phnom Penh, Governor Khuong Sreng attended the celebration at the municipal hall, and a troupe of Lkhon Khol artists was also invite to perform at the event.
"It's our Cambodian national pride that Lkhon Khol was registered in the UNESCO's world heritage list, and this reflects the richness in cultural legacies left from our ancestors," Sreng said.
"I'm very happy to learn about the listing of our Khmer heritage and very proud to be born as a Cambodian," 21-year-old female-reveler Soy Monica told Xinhua.
Cambodia requested the registration of Lkhon Khol Wat Svay Andet, better known as Lkhon Khol, on the UNESCO's world heritage list in March 2017, and the UNESCO committee decided to inscribe it on the list of intangible cultural heritage in need of urgent safeguarding on Wednesday during its annual session in Mauritius.
Lkhon Khol is practised in one community surrounding a Buddhist monastery, Wat Svay Andet, located about 10 km east of Phnom Penh on the Mekong River, and is performed by men wearing masks to the accompaniment of a traditional orchestra and melodious recitation, said a UNESCO press release.
The specific aim is to propitiate the Neak Ta (guardian spirits of a place and its people), thereby protecting and bringing prosperity to the community, its lands and harvest, the release said.
According to bas-reliefs on the walls of the famed Angkor Wat Temple, it is thought that the Lkhon Khol was first performed in the ninth century.