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Book Fair in Phnom Penh 2018

Books are attracting more and more Cambodians !

The 7th Cambodian book fair was a great success ! On 7th, 8th and 9th December, the fair welcomed more than 131 000 visitors, which is almost three times the number of last year (51 000 visitors in 2017)!

Salon du livre  Phnom Penhsalon du livre stand Sipar  Phnom Penh

The book fair has come a long way since it began in 2011 when 700 visitors and 7 editors gathered together…. This year there were more than 115 Cambodian editors. As well as the editors’ stands, numerous activities were on offer during the three days: games, quizzes, storytelling for the youngest visitors, book exchanges, shows and dramatization of traditional tales, plays with Cambodian masks – Lakhon Khol which has recently been classified by UNESCO as part of its world heritage patrimony. A reading garden was even set up in the middle of the stands so visitors could settle down comfortably with a good book.

As every year, the Cambodian Book Fair was presided over by the Ministry of Culture. Two active structures are responsible for the general organization of the event: the Cambodian National Library and the Association of Cambodian Librarians of which Sothik Hok, the director of Sipar, is the president. Next year the Association of Cambodian editors which is currently being formed, will join the duo. The event also brings together partners active in the field of reading in Cambodia: l’Institut Français, UNESCO, the NGOs SVA, Room to Read, Save the Children, private companies ….

While every year the fair welcomes more and more visitors, it is particularly high school pupils and students who come in great numbers to buy the latest innovations. The lightning success of books for children and those on personal development "How to gain self-confidence? ", "How to succeed? " …, these are important subjects which are not always covered on traditional Cambodian university courses.

This real enthusiasm for the Fair is also in great part thanks to the mobilization of a team of more than 200 extremely motivated young volunteers, who, having been carefully selected (there are more than 2000 candidates!), benefit from training by outside contributors on various themes such as leadership, communication, fundraising, administration, responsibility, …

In short, the new generation of Cambodians is coming together and participating actively in the development of reading in Cambodia !

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