I visited the Mennonite Heritage Center in Harleysville, Pennsylvania before we left North America to find special gifts that speak to the Anabaptist identity. As globalization and consumerism have spread, it’s become harder to bring gifts from North America* that can’t be found here and harking back to older traditions is a way to ensure that gifts are meaningful.
*Think about it like this… Where are the majority of items on many North America store shelves made? China, Vietnam, Thailand, etc.
The Mennonite Historians of Eastern Pennsylvania, who run the Heritage Center, suggested that we bring fracturs. This is an American folk art practiced primarily in Pennsylvania (especially by the Pennsylvania ‘Dutch’). You can learn a more about fractur at http://frakturweb.org/ One great advantage of bringing fractur to Cambodia is that they are on paper and easily fit into our tightly packed suitcases and storage tubs. We brought a large stack of prints of four fracturs.
A few weeks ago, as I began to recover from Dengue, I set out to get a few of the fractur prints framed as a test run. I hope to give some individuals and organizations here framed fracturs in the near future.
Google alerted me to the សេង វណ្ណៈ Picture Frame Shop just across the dike road from our house. They were surprised when I showed up but were friendly and easy to work with. I only spoke Khmer during my first visit but learned later than the younger man speaks English well. He was just shy when I first came.
Before we left North America, Plains Mennonite Church gave us a piece of collaborative artwork to bless our new home and remind us of them. I took this to be framed after the test batch of fracturs. As it was a larger piece it cost $12 USD to frame.