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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12:0: White House Press Briefing
2:25: The President hosts the Second-Annual White House Student Film Festival; East Room
@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