Cambodians Upset over Use of National Flower in Thai Movie

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A Thai film poster depicting Cambodia's national flower causes consternation among Cambodians.

Cambodians are upset about a new Thai film poster depicting the Rumduol, Cambodia’s national flower.

The GDH movie poster depicts the two protagonists, Ranee “Bella” Campen and Tanawat “Pope” Wattanaputi, against a backdrop of Rumduol flowers (Melodorum fruticosum Lour), with the message “Rumduol flowers represent sustainable love,” Bangkok Post reports

The romantic comedy is based on the author’s novel of the same name, written under the pen name “Romphaeng.”

The period film follows the adventures of a young archaeologist who wakes up in the body of a woman named Karakket living in Ayutthaya during the reign of King Narai the Great, who was in power from 1632 to 1688.

It aired on Channel 3 in 2018 and has since become a hugely popular Thai drama that has also aired in many Asian countries, including Laos.

Following that success, Thai production studio GDH 559 Company produced a feature-length film, which will be released in Thailand on Thursday.

A new ‘Love Destiny’ film poster features Chongko flowers after the old poster, with Rumduol flowers, was replaced.

By releasing a new poster that instead features Chongko flowers (Bauhinia purpurea), which are believed to symbolize “indomitable love,” GDH has attempted to put an end to the dispute.

A similar controversy has erupted among Cambodian sports fans over the decision to combine ‘Kun Khmer,’ the Cambodian national martial art, with Muay, the Thai/Lao kickboxing martial art, in the upcoming 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).