Cambodia won a place in the Guinness book of World Records Sunday for a 1,100-metre (3,600-foot) long version of the country’s popular krama scarf.
Supported by a youth movement with links to the nation’s ruling party, more than 23,000 people took part in the six-month weaving marathon outside Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace.
Thousands of young people then rolled out the krama along a street in the capital Sunday for a visiting Guinness official to measure the garment.
“With 1,149.8 metres, you have set a new Guinness World Record!” Swapnil Dangarikar, a Guinness adjudicator, told a large cheering crowd.
Long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen earlier gave his own blessing to the campaign by weaving a few strands of thread into the scarf.
Youngest son Hun Many, a fast-rising potential successor to his father, represented the 65-year-old premier at Sunday’s event.
“This Guinness World Record is for all Cambodians,” he said at the event.
In recent years Hun Sen has tried hard to court the nation’s youth, launching a Facebook page and displaying a lighter, more approachable side in public.
The Guinness event comes just weeks before a highly controversial election that Hun Sen, who has ruled for 33 years, is poised to win after backing the dissolution of the opposition party last year.
Analysts say the prime minister is also trying to build a political dynasty by priming his three sons in leadership positions.
His eldest son Hun Manet was on Saturday promoted to two senior and powerful military posts while his second son Hun Manit is the head of a powerful military intelligence unit.