25th Day of German Unity Celebrations in Phnom Penh

25th day of German Unity Enlarge image (© Deutsche Botschaft)

On the occasion of the 25th Day of German Unity, the Ambassador for the Federal Republic of Germany, Baron Joachim von Marschall together with his wife, Mrs. Catrione Garrett, and the staff of the German Embassy in Phnom Penh welcomed around 350 guests to a reception on 5th October 2015 in Raffles Hotel Le Royal. H.E. Hor Namhong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of the Royal Government of Cambodia, was the guest of honour.

In his opening remarks, the Ambassador spoke about the 25th anniversary of Germany‘s reunification. Just as, after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, countless refugees had streamed from East to West Germany, so today, reunified Germany has become a sought-after destination for hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Near and Middle East. While this presents Germany with a huge challenge, it also offers opportunities, the Ambassador said. In his speech, the Ambassador also welcomed the continuing strengthening of German-Cambodian relations which had been demonstrated recently by the visit to Cambodia of a seven-member delegation from the German Federal Parliament.

This year’s musical accompaniment was provided by a trio comprising the visiting conductor of the Düsseldorf Youth Symphony Orchestra and members of his family. The trio also accompanied the singing of the national anthems of Cambodia and Germany and the anthem of the European Union.  A small exhibition provided guests with information about the German-Cambodian development cooperation work of the GIZ (the German agency for international cooperation) and the German KfW Banking Group, and the opportunities provided by the Goethe Institute for German language study at the Language Centre in Phnom Penh. Traditional German food and drink was served alongside Cambodian delicacies. Instead of sending flowers, this year most guests kindly donated  to “Operation Unchain”, a volunteer project of Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation, Cambodia (TPO).

At the reception, the Ambassador and staff at the Embassy wore traditional scarves specially designed for the occasion and hand woven by members of the La Eun Kraen indigenous minority community, Ratanakiri.