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Robam Chayam- Khmer Heritage Dance

Updated on July 1, 2014
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Chhayam is a traditional Khmer musical dance. It features the long drum called Chhayam, clashing hand held cymbals, and wooden clappers. The performer would show off their comic masks, combination of drumming sounds, and vocal. Robam Chayam is a dance that has been played and passed on from our ancestor for many century. This dance normally being played during Khmer ceremony which is normally being held at temple or pagoda.Robam Chayam is played in the front line of every traditional event to open up the ceremony to bring harmony.

At the very beginning the music will start its intro by hitting the drum. Then you will hear someone hollering and a minute of pause, a man will hit his bell, then the drummer start playing and another will start singing. A young lady would come out and start showing off her dance and sing along with the men.


My dad is a Chayam player and he had been playing this for many years. He played at different Cambodian traditional event with his friends to open up the ceremony. I carried the Chhayam myself and tried to play with it while walking...it gets pretty heavy. And I probably wouldn't want to do it again because I think my shoulder is going to fall off, but it is so much fun!



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    • chanroth profile imageAUTHOR

      chanroth 

      6 years ago from California, USA

      Hello Rajan, your very welcome and thank you! :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Chanroth thanks for this hub and letting know us a bit about the Chayam khymer dance tradition.

      I found this an addition to my knowledge. The pics are beautiful.

    • chanroth profile imageAUTHOR

      chanroth 

      6 years ago from California, USA

      Hi Shamela, thank you! :)

    • shamela profile image

      Shamela 

      6 years ago

      Hi chanroth,

      Your hub is interesting.

      I enjoyed reading your hub.

      I voted your hub useful.

    • chanroth profile imageAUTHOR

      chanroth 

      7 years ago from California, USA

      haha...thanks JSMatthew :)

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thanks for clarifying the numbers on the death toll Chanroth. I will let you know when I go to the Water Festival and publish the Hub about it. I recruited my daughter to be co-photographer so it should be interesting!

      JSMatthew~

    • chanroth profile imageAUTHOR

      chanroth 

      7 years ago from California, USA

      Hi MusicisMyPassion, thanks! It is very interesting! :)

    • chanroth profile imageAUTHOR

      chanroth 

      7 years ago from California, USA

      Hi JSMatthew, 339 people died last year November. A lot have been told that they were electrocuted and some say that the bridge going to collapse. Some jump in the water and some died cause of electrocution but I am not sure if the bridge did collapse. My fiance called his mom and asked what happen and she told us that a lot of people claim they were electrocuted and some got scared and started stepping on each other just to get to safety. Anyway, make sure you take lots of picture for the water festival at where you are, it must be very fun! I'm already excited to read your hub about the festival. Let me know when you get the hub published! :)

    • MusicIsMyPassion profile image

      MusicIsMyPassion 

      7 years ago from Norfolk, Va

      I found this very interesting.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      I didn't hear about people getting electrocuted last year but I remember that a bridge collapsed and some people died in the water. Very sad. The Water Festival in Lowell, MA is pretty big. Many thousands of people and Asians from all Asian cultures show up. There was at least 10,000 people I think last year! There is traditional food, Ahpsrah Dancers, many Buddhist kiosks, and a variety of music. Some people go dressed traditionally, but most wear Saron or jeans. It is a really good time! I can't wait to go this year and then write a Hub about it!

      JSMatthew~

    • chanroth profile imageAUTHOR

      chanroth 

      7 years ago from California, USA

      Not that I know of...but I listen for the phone ring to see which boat win for the race in Cambodia. Last year, it is sad that a lot of people died from being electrocuted in Cambodia. How is the Water Festival at your place? Is it like at Cambodia? I do have few picture from last year Ancestor Ceremony, but I'll take lots of picture this year and post it up. :)

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      When the ancestor ceremony happens, be sure to take a lot of pictures and make a Hub about it! Very cool! Maybe I'll do just that when I go to the Water Festival in a few weeks. Do you have that festival where you live in California?

      JSMatthew~

    • chanroth profile imageAUTHOR

      chanroth 

      7 years ago from California, USA

      Hi JSMatthew, thanks! It is and I just came back the temple for pka prak ceremony. My dad play the drum today. I can't wait for ancestor ceremony. :)

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Very interesting Chanroth! I have seen this when I went to a Water Festival last year. I took some pictures and I can't wait to go again this year! Nice article! Voted Up and a bunch of other things! Keep up the good work!

      JSMatthew~

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