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Sanskrit shlokas set the tone in Phnom Penh as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations begin

The Embassy of India in Phnom Penh, in collaboration with the Royal University of Fine Arts, organised ‘Sanskrit Day 2022’ with the Ambassador of India Devyani Khobragade also in attendance (Images courtesy: Indian Embassy in Cambodia)

Chants of Sanskrit verses reverberated across the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) in Chey Chumneas as the iconic Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav week celebrations continue in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh.

The Embassy of India in Phnom Penh, in collaboration with the university, had organised ‘Sanskrit Day 2022’ with the Ambassador of India Devyani Khobragade also in attendance.

A contract with Heng Sophady, Rector of RUFA and renowned Sanskrit scholar Chhom Kunthea for the publication of the book 'Sanskrit Loanwords in the Khmer Language' was also signed on the occasion.

Sophady appreciated the long partnership with the Indian embassy for the benefit of Cambodian students and hoped for enhanced cooperation in other fields, such as classes on Indian classical dance and yoga.


Khobragade highlighted the richness of the Sanskrit language – also known as 'God's language' and 'mother of all languages' – that is believed to have originated in India around 3500 years ago.

In her address, the Ambassador mentioned that the word Sanskrit has been derived from the conjoining of the prefix 'Sam' meaning 'Samyak' which indicates 'entirely' and 'krit' indicating 'done'.

She underlined the need for the protection and propagation of the most scientific language in the world for the benefit of the next generation and the celebration of Sanskrit Day every year to be aimed to spread awareness in this direction.

Noting the adoption of a significant number of Sanskrit words in the Khmer language in day-to-day life, the Ambassador expressed happiness over ongoing Sanskrit language classes being conducted as part of the academic curriculum in RUFA and assured all cooperation to further strengthen the embassy’s partnership with the university.

She encouraged the students to further enhance their language skills as well as avail various scholarship projects being sponsored by the Indian government for Cambodian students under ITEC programmes for higher studies in India.

It was followed by chanting of Sanskrit verses by students of the Archaeology Faculty of RUFA and presentation of 'A Glimpse on Sanskrit Literary Inscriptions of Ancient Cambodia' by Pi Khatana and '100 years of Sanskrit Learning in Cambodia' by Chhom Kunthea.

The events are being undertaken as part of Iconic Week celebrations of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) of the Embassy of India in Cambodia from August 8 to 16 leading to the culmination of the 76th Independence day of India.

The AKAM is an initiative of the government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of it’s people, culture, and achievements.

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