Silver Bow Kiwanis

Silver Bow Kiwanis Kiwanis Club Meeting, Jun 21, '11

12:00-1:00 Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Larger map and driving directions

Butte Perkins
2900 Harrison Ave.
Butte, MT 59701

Roger announced that the Tombstone Kiwanis Club is having a raffle to raise funds. Tickets are $20 each, or six for $100. The drawing will be August 20 during the Kiwanis District Convention. You could win a $500 gift card, a Kindle, or a hands-free phone system for your car. Talk to Roger to get tickets.

Tim introduced Justin Ringsak, a member of the band Deal Breakers. The band tours Cambodia once a year to help stimulate cultural exchange.

Cambodia is a primary producer of rice in Southeast Asia, and the Mekong river is a defining characteristic of the geography and culture of Cambodia.

Cambodia has been inhabited since 6,000 BC, but the culture really dates back to around 200-500 AD. Initially the culture was influenced by people coming in from both India and China, but Cambodia had its own distinctive culture by the time of the Khmer Empire which ruled much of the peninsula and many of the islands to the south from the 9th to the 17th century. Angkor Wat was a major cultural center for much of this time, though it was abandoned by 1430.

Later Cambodia was a French colony, gaining independence from France in 1953. Because of a number of factors, including collateral damage during the Vietnam war, Cambodia fell into civil war in the 1970s, with the Khmer Rouge gaining control in 1975. This government abolished external culture to the point of killing people who could speak another language or who had significant education. Conflict continued with their neighbors, leaving many Cambodians as refugees. In 1993, the UN came in and was able to stabilize the country again, and reinstated the king.

It takes 18 hours of flight to get from Butte to Cambodia, and traveling with multiple musical instruments - particularly a tube, can be difficult. Many people in Cambodia have never seen or heard western instruments like those that Deal Breakers play, and they were fascinated with the tuba and trombone in particular.

Some communities in Cambodia, like Kampot, are like Butte. Kampot was a thriving tourist destination in the early to mid 20th century when Cambodia was a French colony, but between the devastation of the Vietnam war and the further devastation of the Khmer Rouge, the structure and the economy were in ruins. However, the communities are building again, restoring old buildings for new businesses and building new buildings. Some of the changes are amazing - within 5 days, one old building was mostly refurbished from the outside, getting ready for new businesses to move in. Just outside of Kampot, a French colonial casino and resort that heavily damaged when it was the last holdout for the Khmer Rouge when Vietnam drove them out of Cambodia is a stunning and fascinating ruin, and investors are building a new, modern resort casino in the same location with views from massive cliffs overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

Justin Ringsak, Traveling in Cambodia
Open-Face Turkey Dinner
Event Updated
4:57 Tuesday, June 21, 2011