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Paint Firm Funds Exorcism Ritual

Friday, April 11, 2014

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An ancient Cambodian dance believed to ward off evil spirits is getting a budget boost from a paint company, just in time to save the country's fading New Year tradition.

News outlet PhnomPenhPost.com says Cam-Paint Manufacturing, Cambodia's leading paint manufacturer and supplier, has stepped in to fund "troddi" dancers, whose movements are said to chase off evil spirits and bad luck from the previous year, as well as usher in good luck for the new year.

Cambodian New Year lasts for three days starting on New Year's Day, which usually falls on April 13 or 14. Troddi dances, also called "Robam Trot," have been a popular part of the festivities for centuries, and the tradition is embraced by many, including top government officials.

Funding Fortune

Way back when, dancers would travel from village to village, surviving off donations from locals. However, many people can't afford to pay for the dancers' travel expenses now that modern transportation allows them to hit multiple cities per day, according to PhnomPenhPost.com.

Troddi dance
Photos: AKP.gov.kh / Hun Yuthkun

A generous Cambodian paint company is helping troddi dancers fend off evil across the country.

While the number of dancers can vary, there are usually our main dancers; one dancer representing an evil force; one with a musical instrument; four people who "clowns here and there," two giants; two monsters; two drummers; a hunter and others, according to Cambodian TV Times.

In order to keep the tradition alive and spread good luck, Cam-Paint decided to donate money to help the dancers visit as many people as possible throughout the country.

After years of inviting the dancers to perform at all of its branches, the company decided to fund the troupes across the country so others could have access to them.

PhnomPenhPost.com talked to Cam-Paint's executive director, Soum Sambath, about why this tradition was important to the company.

Even Cambodia's top government officials take part in the dance to kick off New Year celebrations.

"I believe that trod[d]i can drive out all bad luck and bring happiness and prosperity to our business in the coming year," Sambath said. 

"Trod[d]i is a dance that brings success. We created these dance groups to help promote Khmer culture, as trod[d]i is so meaningful to me, to my company and especially to our customers."

Colorful Inspiration

Sambath said his company has funded three troddi groups over the last three years to perform in different parts of the country. This year, they are supporting 100 performers.

At Cam-Paint, troddi dances are not only bringing good fortune, but also bring some inspiration to the business end of things.

"For me, trod[d]i is not only meaningful because it brings good luck, it is also beautiful and attractive because of its dancers, their colorful clothing and their remarkable dancing," Sambath said.

"They are the root of a lot of good colours of our paint products!"

   

Tagged categories: Business matters; Coatings manufacturers; Economy; Personnel

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