Prumsodun Ok – The new beat of khmer in the LGBTQ Community

Before I narrate the story of who Prumsodun is and how this very person is single handedly bringing about a change in the way people perceive an ancient form of gender based dancing.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about this ancient, almost a thousand-year old dance form KHMER pronounced as ”kuh-meuh”. This dance form has been very closely enumerated with the Khmer court as it perpetuates the legends associated with the origins of the Khmer people. Khmer classical dance is derived from the Indian court dance and traces its origins to the apsaras of Hindu mythology .

Back in those days it was believed to be performed by female nymphs who were born to dance for Gods. Though its adoption as classical dance form of Cambodia made it a folk court dance and was widely known as Royal Ballet of Cambodia . Since late 18th century it was performed both by men and women and was known for its graceful hand gestures and stunning costumes .He beautifully described what khmer is in his very episode of TED talks .

According to him “It was developed as a praying movement by people for rain and fertility and prosperity it brought to agricultural society. Dancers who were both men and women were offered in the temple who served as a living bridges between heaven and earth. Their dancing bodies carried the prayers of the people up to the God and will of the deity was delivered back through them to the people and the land. There are several curves in Khmer dance that which represents peoples belief in serpents as serpents mimics the flow of water.”

I believe that is more than enough about this mesmerizing dance form. Now let’s talk about this extraordinary person named Prumsodun Ok who is not only an amazing choreographer but also a proud owner and founder of Cambodia’s first gay dance company, PrumsodunOk & NATYARASA. He was born to refugees who fled the Cambodian genocide and was brought up in the US. He now lives and teaches full-time in Cambodia. He wants to depict that not only men but also gay people and LGBTQ community have an important place in Khmer dance and society. Knowing they can also contribute to Khmer society and culture will provide them with a sense of belonging.

In his conversation with Sophia Smith Galer he said ” The gay community in America can be often a very white space. I feel safer as a gay man here in Cambodia. Buddhism tends to be more open so for example my mum used to explain homosexuality as:

You are tied to people by karma and whether you’re born in your next life as a man or as a woman or as a tree or as a fish you know, those karmic bonds remain. Who is to judge you for these karmic bonds that you have no control over?

Well according to him ,”What’s been happening in Cambodia is that the people are adopting this label of LGBTQ but with that adoption comes visibility and community and power. All of a sudden being gay means listening to American pop music, assuming this very consumerist nature of American pop culture. It’s fine, it’s nice but there has to be more than that. we don’t have to look to the outside to empower ourselves. we have a responsibility to create the most open and respectful and dignified and equitable community possible.

All he aims to do here is to make people of all genders see what it is to be a gay or a person of LGBTQ community in today’s world. And how they can forge a community where people can evolve and be themselves and achieve all that they ever wanted instead of making their existence a realm of misery based on some gender identification others don’t approve of.

Through Khmer dance he is liberating the souls and making people see beyond their gender. He talks about the co existence and believes in karmic relationships above all. He believes seeking your true self is indeed your life’s primary purpose.

YOUR SWORD IN THE FIGHT AGAINST DEPRESSION

Fight against depression is never easy because we all love to live in denial rather than accepting what is actually happening with us. The most ironic part is that there are several ways of monitoring your depression out in the world and yet there is no distinct evaluation of who is depressed and to what extent. I know the psychology and certain doctors would disagree with me may be because not knowing something seems scarier than knowing something no matter how worst it is. But every individual is different as so is their intensity and adoption rate of depression. Since there is not enough awareness about the emotional health, certain issues such as anxiety and depression are still not taken into consideration. Even today if you have a fever and you didn’t show up for work will be more understandable and considered authentic as compared to you going through some mental and emotional stress. But we can’t sit and blame how things are we must do something about it. This is my first blog and I am no professional or commercial writer though I have been helping several people in their fight against depression through a social media platform, INSTAGRAM (you can always go and check my page @shinewithshandilya). I don’t charge anyone anything and I will tell you why, it’s because I have been there myself some 5 years back when I was only 17 and for so long I didn’t know what I was going through which made me to keep things to myself and soon I went into isolation struggling with all kinds of emotions that I failed to understand . I came out of it alone and I know every individual out there can but all I intend to do is make their journey a little easier. The first step towards fighting something is accepting that something is happening with you, something that shouldn’t but it is and it’s not your fault, not everything in this world is your fault. Ease up and let go a little. ACCEPTANCE and FORGIVENESS is all that I ask from you in order to make this little trick of mine to work.

So, there are several ways you can fight your depression and come out as a whole new and a better individual and I will be writing about those very soon. The question is what is that one simplest thing that trumps all of it. That one thing that will provide you with perspective while healing you and your soul is LIGHT. But before I tell you what kind of light, I want you to know something about the power of light. Once I was travelling from my native city to Delhi by train because I adore train journey, it helps me in reliving the moments of my childhood. so, while travelling I met a man whose area of expertise was to know the places in and out from the mythological and historical point of view. Seeing my love for fairy lights he said “do you know they are the soul healers?” I was astonished but keen to know how so he told me about the people living in the jungles of Amazon who strongly believed in the power of light. Yes, in their culture when a baby is born, the mother and the child with it’s family stays near the river every night for 14 days in order to obtain the moonlight that can heal the soul of the child from the pain of past life memories and can bring him peace and acceptance of this new blessed life. I found it intriguing so I decided to put my newly cooked theory to test. As soon as I reached my new home situated in Greater Noida, I decided to decorate my room with different fairy lights in different rooms in order to find out which light soothes me. My peace is always restored with the golden lights, some days when I am too much engrossed in things to make time for myself, the blue lights are what gives me a subtle and calm experience combined with my favorite meal and tv series.

I thankfully had enough time to try my light theory on different people and I made different discoveries based on the same. We have seven chakras in our body and every chakra monitors certain aspect, are governed by certain things, are spoiled by certain actions but also regulated by certain actions. The problem we face in our lives is also associated with certain chakra and since our topic of concern is depression so let us discuss that. so, the sixth chakra which is third eye chakra deals with depression and the color associated with it is indigo. Finding the light of this color might be a task but it really works. you being in that light for few hours daily will work miracles for you. Though you can always eat blue berries and black berries, brinjals etc. anything that has resemblance to violet color but with the light all of these things will be the cherry on the top. You can always go and see a good doctor but if you are trying to do something effortless and doesn’t want to invest more money then this is it. Go find your soul light and the violet one just in case you think you are dealing with depression because even if you diagnosed yourself wrong it will bring you no harm. So, allow yourself to explore more aspects of who you are and what you’re capable of. This technique has worked for many and I want it to work for more people out there. There are other ways you can do things, you can meditate, go out for a morning and evening walk, eat healthy, think healthy, exercise a little, do what makes you happy etc. etc. but with doing all of this why not try to indulge yourself in some beauty of light. There is a reason why people adore moon, love the moonlight its because of its healing power. In early times people used to keep water outside in the moonlight and drink it the next day believing that by now the water has transformed into AMRIT which contains the power to heal all physical, mental and emotional wounds. These fairy lights will not only act as a healer but will also make your room look beautiful. People these days are not willing to open up about their emotional conditions because they assume that opening up will reveal their vulnerable side to the world, so by using the above-mentioned light tactic you might not have to open up about anything to anyone. You can keep your secrecy about your emotional condition though I would advise you to open up at least to someone or start keeping a journal because you never know when things can take a turn for worse. So, it’s better if someone knew. HAPPY HEALING!

 

There are several things to discuss and to talk about. I will try to post as soon as I can. Thank you for being such a patient reader and apologies for any mistake. In case you would like to connect with me. drop a mail at shandilyasanskriti12596@gmail.com or you can also connect with me through Instagram @shinewithshandilya

If peace was a human with gender unknown …

Ever thought how easy our lives would be if peace was not just a thought or an idea to seek but a real ,breathing ,walking and talking person…well how imaginative of me. People out there reading this will ask me to get a reality check but why should I ? Isn’t everything in our lives is only about attaining peace no matter what ? I’ve been there when people keep blabbering about do what you find your peace in and search peace and what not but at that time all I wanted to do was to tell people to shut up because they have no idea how hard it is to keep on with my kind of fight . We all always assume our fights to be the most difficult one ..difficult than the fights that other people around us are into . Let’s not stray from what the topic is .. Sometimes the things that make no sense gives us immense peace if we are lucky enough to find it . I am very high on not letting people ruin my peace . I found my peace in lot of things may be because I could see it in myself after I searched and searched every possible corner of my known places ..I even searched it in the people I love ..I couldn’t find it …not finding it made me more annoyed and irritated and somehow anxious ..I started blaming my life ,god that I believe in …and then my mom told me that “you are not going to find it anywhere no matter for how many years you search because it’s in you ..it’s in the things you make ..it’s in the things you do …it’s in the things you try hard to set right ..” I somehow changed my ways of looking towards this anonymous thing that I so eagerly wanted to experience … one late evening I was gazing the mirror and somehow I found myself more beautiful than usual ..it triggered something ..I felt calm and nice .I think somewhere that was my beginning of the list of the peace I’m going to discover And experience .. I found it in holding on to my favourite pillow ..I found it in spending time with my best friend.. and this morning I decorated the corner of my room with some plants which mostly had peace lily and cactus and my forever favourite fairy lights ..that was something that made me so happy that I decided on writing about finding your peace ..there is no definition of PEACE ..you can have a millions of them ..you might have few favourites too amongst the list of PEACE’s you have .. just for an instance I would like to remind you that peace is indeed a human ..because it’s you ..and I certainly believe you are human enough to be called a HUMAN … my peace doesn’t have a gender ..I could never categorise the peace in me ..I and my peace are completely different beings ..I have a gender that somehow is very important for the society I breath in ..but my peace is different it has nothing to worry about since I’m not binding it with the things I’m bound with ..I just know that my peace exists within me and it’s important for me to know it ..to understand it and most importantly to embrace it ….we all have different outlooks of our lives ..just imagine how many PEACE’s actually exist if a single person can own a million .. beautiful right ? It’s hard to smudge emotions and things around us …but we somehow are capable of the hard part and incapable of the easiest one which is to keep the emotion separated from one another …as I said peace is something we all might fail to describe but it’s something beautiful and it’s here to make your things easier and worthy of it’s being ..you can count yourself ..you can count on the peace who lives and breathe inside of you just like your soul ….

Sanskriti vandana shandilya(Sunshine)

 

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