Bhopal, June 8 : A Cambodian theatre group enacted 'Ramayana', a mythological drama depicting the life of Lord Rama, at International Ramlila fair in Bhopal organised by the State Government.
The nine-day long International Ramlila fair was held at the ancient Ujjain temple in Bhopal for the first time. The fair began on June 6 and will conclude on June 14.
"People from different religions, different cultures, countries are staging Ramlila but in a manner that is prevalent in their culture. There are similarities but there are certain differences as well," said Pawan Shrivastava, Organiser.
Cambodian theatre group named 'Classical troupe of Kingdom Group' enacted the Cambodian version of the epic Ramayana known as 'Reamker.'
In Reamker, Lord Rama is known as 'Preah Ream' and Ravana is known as 'Krong Reap.' Sita is called 'Neang Seda' and Lakshman brother of Ram is called 'Preah Leak.' The name of Hanuman is the same but with a slightly different pronunciation.
Cambodian group artists enacted the entire epic in a ballet; there were no dialogues in the play. Mostly women performed all the roles in the epic. A woman played the role of Lord Rama.
"In our country, Ramayana is very popular, even the children know the main characters like Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman," said Hun Tha, a troupe artiste.
Cambodian culture has references of Hindu epic Ramayana from the 10th century AD.
It is believed that Ramayana might have reached Cambodia through the contact with the South Indian kingdoms. Ancient Hindu temples there provide the earliest references of Ramayana and the world famous Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia depicts various episodes from the epic.
The fair will showcase different forms of Ramlila traditions of India and styles of staging the story of Lord Rama in south Asian countries.
Apart from Cambodia, groups from, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, Java, Laos, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh will be performing in the fair.