Robaim Tep Monorom

I recently went on a stamp-shopping spree and this is one of the incredible stamps I purchased that day:

First Day Cover featuring one of the Khmer Classical Dances, Robaim Tep Monorom

It shows one of the classical Khmer dances, called robaim Tep Monorom, and is one of the most popular dances in the Khmer court dance repertoire. The dance depicts the gods and goddesses, dressed elegantly in silk phamoung (a traditional Khmer pants for men) and sampot (traidtional skirt for women) and adorned with golden headdresses, dancing gloriously.

The origins of Khmer classical dances could be traced back to the Indian court dances, to the mystical apsaras of Hindu mythology. Apsaras are, in Buddhist and Hindu cultures, angels who are born to dance for the gods. The dances are usually performed in a slow but graceful moves. I have seen dances performed in weddings, big social gatherings but I want to see it on stage, a real stage, and a big production!

In the olden times, the women performed all the roles in the dances, a tradition that is still being held up to now, except for the role of monkey and demons (in Ramayana, for example), which are now given to men. If you look at the stamps, it shows two women, and you could tell them apart - which one is playing the female role from the one playing the male role just by looking at their clothing. Apart from the costumes, the headdresses, masks, and especially the movements identify each of the dance's characters.

Anyways, while it does have enough postage for registration, I expect the staff at the post office in  Phnom Penh is still going to charge me like they did whenever I send FDC. It pisses me off because I know I already paid more for the FDC and still charging me extra for postage. That's pricing overkill!

I hope the gods of philately hears our pleas and intervene, and lessen the woes of hobbyists and collectors like me. AMEN.