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Federal Funds Shrinking for ‘Community Day’: Organizers

Tep Sophia, deputy head of the Community Day’s organizing committee in Maryland.

Cambodians living in the Washington area say they are getting less federal funding for cultural programs and have now begun looking into local support to hold the annual Cambodian Community Day.

Organizers are holding a fundraiser on May 5, in hopes of earning enough money to put on the event in August. Plans for the event, to be held in a public park in Alexandria, Va., include an Angkorean fashion show.

“We have encountered many difficulties,” said Tep Sophia, deputy head of the Community Day’s organizing committee. The event lacks both funding and human resources, she said.

The event aims to integrate Cambodian culture into American society, giving an opportunity for Cambodians born in the US to be proud of their heritage, she said.

“Our culture is glorious, and we have Angkor Wat, which no other country in Southeast Asia has,” Tep Sophia said. “If we Khmers do not show or promote it, who else will do it for us?”