My day with Khmer manuscript restoration team

by: Dara Saoyuth

by: Dara Saoyuth

I would say that I was very lucky to have chance going with a Khmer manuscript restoration team to Takeo province searching for the remaining manuscripts because firstly, I can shoot some wonderful scenes for my documentary video and secondly, I have chance to experience new things.

It’s 7:30 in the morning that I went to Sarawan pagoda, where the team work, waiting for them to take me, and we left Phnom Penh at around 8 o’clock in the morning. Since there was only 1 free space in the car, my partner has to stay in Phnom Penh contacting people and arrange for the next day traveling and shooting in Siem Reap.

I felt less comfortable at first since I alone had to carry a bag of video camera, a tripod, a bag of still camera, mic and headset and some technical equipments. I thought that I could not do the work to level my partner has expected from me because shooting process needs at least two people to assists each other.

However, once I met the manuscript restoration team, I became more comfortable since they all were very friendly and helpful. They helped me a lot, especially with doing white balance for the video camera that I need to do it very often once we change from one location to the others.

Technicality was not a problem anymore; however, I started to feel disappointed after going to some pagodas but cannot find any manuscript left. Fortunately, we at last found some pagodas that remain having manuscripts, and also found people who know how manuscripts were treated during the Khmer rouge regime. Without hesitating, I started shooting and interviewing people there.

I really appreciate what the restoration team is working because I can see that they are working very hard from one pagoda to another without spending much time to relax themselves. At first, I don’t believe when they told me that they never experience sleeping in hotel or guesthouse when they have mission to go to provinces. But, now, I have to believe that pagodas have become their guesthouse and at the same time pagodas are their restaurant.

I have a lot more things to tell “Student Blog” visitors, but I’d like to say sorry that I have to prepare for tomorrow shooting in Siem Reap province. I will leave in the morning and hope to find some interesting things there to show all of you. Wish you all the best!!!

Oh, I also took some photos of pagodas I went this morning for all of you. Cheers,


By: Dara Saoyuth

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Dara Saoyuth

Coming from a simple family in Kampot province of Cambodia, I’ve spent most part of my teenage years in learning and working. Through those experiences, I’ve built myself up from the ground and finally, become an entrepreneur running a media production company with my co-founder.

I believe that no matter situation or position we are in, we can be great at what we are doing and get what we want when we put our heart and soul into that.