U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is in Cambodia where she spoke Saturday at a Peace Corps training event in the city of Siem Reap, home to Cambodia’s famed Angkor Wat temple complex. The visit is part of a two-nation trip meant to highlight a new global women’s education initiative.
Obama thanked the Peace Corps volunteers for the work that they are doing to educate and empower girls in Cambodia. She called the volunteers the “living, breathing” embodiment of what her program, “Let Girls Learn,” is all about.
Earlier in the day, Obama met with a group of girls at a school on the outskirts of the city.
Accompanied by Bun Rany, the wife of Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen, Obama told the schoolgirls to stay in school and take advantage of their education to demand greater freedoms in their impoverished country.
“Let girls learn’ is about giving girls like you here, all the girls who are here, giving you a voice in your communities and in your country,” she said.
The trip is the first time that the wife of a sitting U.S. president has visited the Southeast Asian country.
First Lady Michelle Obama hugs Manaka Hirose after playing the Taiko with the Akutagawa high school Taiko (Japanese traditional drum) Club at the Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto
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@FLOTUS: Flying over Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan, on the way to Kyoto.
AP: First Lady gets taste of Japan’s ancient culture in Kyoto
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama was treated to a serene classical Noh performance and then tried the taiko drums as she ended her visit to Japan on Friday with a taste of traditional culture in Kyoto, one of the country’s ancient capitals.
Mrs Obama viewed the Noh performance at Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple founded in 780 that is one of the most famous sights in Japan, sitting on a forested hill overlooking the city.
Local college students in kimono performed a brief piece of Noh, a classical Japanese musical drama that usually employs elaborate costumes and stylized masks to symbolize roles of women, ghosts and other characters.
While at Kiyomizu-dera, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whose name means “clear water,” Mrs. Obama observed a traditional tea ceremony. She then traveled across town to the 1,300-year-old Fushimi Inari shrine, a place of worship for Japan’s other major religion, Shinto….
There she watched a rousing performance by the award-winning Akutagawa High School Taiko Club, who drummed, jumped and gesticulated with all their might…. The students then invited Mrs. Obama to join them, and performed a number as she and a student drummed on a big, round taiko drum.
Soon after, Mrs Obama left Japan, one of Asia’s richest nations, for Cambodia, one of Asia’s poorest.
@FLOTUS: Taking in a beautiful view of Kyoto from the Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist Temple with Ambassador @CarolineKennedy
First Lady Michelle Obama & Jack Schlossberg, son of Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, visit the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto
First Lady Michelle Obama, US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, Kennedy’s son John Schlossberg and Buddhist monk Eigen Onishi watch a Noh performance, a form of classical Japanese musical drama, on the main temple stage as they visit at Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple in Kyoto, western Japan
First Lady Michelle Obama watches a student perform a Noh play during a visit to the Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto
On This Day: President Obama walks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff following the arrival of First Lady Michelle Obama, and daughters Sasha and Malia, at the Palacio do Alvorada in Brasilia, Brazil, March 19, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Today (all times Eastern)
11:15: The President attends an event at the Department of Energy
12:0: White House Press Briefing
2:05: The President meets with Charlie and Camilla Windsor of England
The First Lady in Japan
@FLOTUS: Say cheese! All smiles with kids at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
First Lady Michelle Obama meets with Akie Abe, wife of Japanese PM
First Lady, US Ambassador Caroline Kennedy & Akie Abe, wife of Japanese PM, at a Joint Girls Education Event in Tokyo
First Lady Michelle Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe share a chuckle
On This Day
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President Obama talks with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and L.A. Mayor Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa prior to an event at the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama gestures while speaking at the Miguel Contreras Learning Center in Los Angeles, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama shares a moment with Jay Leno off set of the Tonight Show at NBC Studios, Burbank, Calif., March 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama talks to a Member of Congress while en route to George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., to deliver remarks on health insurance reform, March 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama speaks on health insurance reform at George Mason University’s Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia on March 19, 2010
President Obama calls a Member of Congress to discuss health care reform in the Oval Office, March 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
President Obama calls a Member of Congress about health care reform from the Oval Office, March 19, 2010 (Photo by Pete Souza)
Arriving at Brasilia Air Base, Brazil, March 19, 2011
President Obama talks on the phone with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office, March 19, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)
First Lady Michelle Obama is interviewed during a taping of the “Late Show with David Letterman” at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York, N.Y., March 19, 2012 (Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
President Obama speaks during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in the Oval Office of the White House, March 19, 2013