Oct 18 2012

Mourning King Father Norodom Sihanouk: A photo essay

Published by at 12:05 pm under Culture


When the news first broke that the former king of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk had died, many Cambodians were in the countryside provinces marking the Pchum Ben festival. As the word spread, Facebook statuses and profile pictures were updated.

Digital mourning

Mourning in 2012.

Many who had remained in the capital made their way to the Royal Palace to pay their respects under the large portrait swathed in black fabric, lit up all night.

King Father's portrait outside the Royal Palace

King Father’s portrait outside the Royal Palace.

Chanting from candle-lit books outside the palace has continued throughout the nights since the death was announced.

A layman reads aloud outside the Royal Palace

A layman reads aloud outside the Royal Palace.

On October 17, when the body returned from China, tens of thousands of people lined the streets of Phnom Penh to get a glimpse.

Monks wait for the cortege to pass

Monks wait for the cortege to pass.

Families, dressed in white clothes of mourning with a twist of black ribbon, waited patiently in the sun for the ‘Grandaddy King’.

It's a family affair

It’s a family affair.

Nuns and laypeople, wearing all-white outfits and with shaved heads, prayed as the monks’ chanted.

Shaved heads for devotion and mourning

Shaved heads for devotion and mourning.

The love and respect for the former king, who reigned until 2004, was evident.

A mourner shades her eyes with the royal flag

A mourner shades her eyes with the royal flag.

Once the casket had been taken inside the Royal Palace, the crowds dispersed. During the evening, those still returning to Phnom Penh went to light candles and offer incense.

Late night mourners outside the Royal Palace

Late night mourners outside the Royal Palace.

By midnight, a small group of Cambodians were still paying their respects on the red carpet opposite the King Father’s portrait.

A candle for the Norodom

A candle for Norodom.

In accordance with the official week of mourning, there is no loud music to be heard on the streets of Phnom Penh. Some entertainment venues such as cinemas are closed for a few days.

More still
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2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Mourning King Father Norodom Sihanouk: A photo essay”

  1. [...] Mourning King Father Norodom Sihanouk: a photo essay [...]

  2. […] happening? Given the packed streets to witness the return of Sihanouk’s body from China in 2012 and the elaborate funeral procession in 2013, it’s reasonable to expect crowds, […]

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