There are countless differences between America and Cambodia. There are the daily routine differences, cultural differences, religious differences, and so on. For example, in my day to day I now view the fridge in a whole new light. The fridge is no longer a kitchen appliance, it is a ant defense machine. It is now habit for me to put anything food related in the fridge. You open anything and instead of leaving it on the counter you put it directly into the fridge. Peanut butter, trail mix, coffee beans, onions, bread, cereal...I think you get the picture. It has become habit to place anything I want to eat and not have it ant infested in to the fridge. It became so much of a habit that I was freaked out multiple times while at home for Christmas. I would wake up in the morning and see the cookies from the night before still on the counter. I panicked, thinking now we will have to blow the ants off or put the cookies in the freezer and just eat them with frozen ants. I would quietly laugh at myself and realize I could enjoy the cookies ant free.
This is just one day to day difference that we face. But we do face many cultural differences. Friday night was a new cultural experience for us. We went to our first Cambodian wedding.
We arrived at the wedding and it was building after building with different weddings going on. We found building D and entered feeling like a movie stars. We entered through the extravagant heart shaped arch. The bride and groom and some family members lined a red carpet with bright lights and a photographer while guests entered and performed a traditional bow to everyone. Once inside we were greeted by loud Khmer music and tables filled with people.
Once your table was full they would begin the three course dinner. The food was delicious and the company was wonderful. It then came time to throw flowers at the bride and groom as they walked down a line of people and around the table.
My favorite part of the night was the Khmer dancing. I watch it on TV when I am bored and always
wanted to try. I was just having fun when this old Khmer lady was very upset that I did not know what I was doing. She decided to pull me aside from the group I was dancing with and teach me the steps. Then a man took her spot and continued to show me the moves. I think I was really good! I had fun at least. When I started doing the running man I may have insulted a few people but it was a blast.
The bride and groom looked beautiful and I had so much fun eating different foods and dancing foreign dances with friendly Cambodians. Some of the girls from work were also invited and they looked absolutely beautiful. I am used to seeing them in their uniforms but seeing them all dolled up embarrassed them but they looked gorgeous.
I am grateful for the ants and for elaborate Khmer weddings. They are the not so subdue reminders that this is not home but it is where God has made our home for now.