I want to share some recommendations for those who are teaching English to Cambodians without speaking Khmer. Probably professional language teachers have gone already to the characteristics of Khmer language in order to understand the linguistic logics of the Cambodian people and to elaborate a proper English language master plan. But we can see several foreigners without an education title and even from non-English-speaking countries, teaching English in Cambodia as volunteers in organizations or looking for a job to do while they live here. Many of them became occasional English teachers to their Cambodian friends, who urged them to teach them English. Continue reading
Cambodia is a great case for study topics such as technologies appropriation and social change. We have a country that was few decades ago the scenery of violent tensions and now is struggling to recover its lost time by joining globalization. Even we have several objections, it is true that its economy is growing and much has been done in the last ten years in Cambodia. Therefore, we need a constant flow of analysis that any policy maker shouldn’t refuse, not inscribing in any monolithic conception of development. When we talk about growth and social change, we must know the distinction behind these two terms, used as synonyms by certain sources. M. Gillis, D.H. Perkins, M. Roemer and D.R. Snodgrass (1983) give us a good definition of it: Continue reading
Jean arrives in the last flight to the Siem Reap International Airport coming from Bangkok. At his 64 he is alone and free to travel everywhere in this planet thanks to his pension and globalization. ‘Cambodia is a place to see’, said that Australian lady in the bar of a Thai bar. He remembers how she described Cambodia, as a wonder that combines colorful views with cute people. Chloe, yes, it was her name, blond 70 years old grand mother of a seven distributed around the world. Jean asked her to come with him to Cambodia and to show such wonders. She laughed. Certainly no way. Continue reading
Living in a country with too many holidays like Cambodia can make us reflect in the culture of work we dream. I don’t believe Cambodians are the most lazy people on earth (Mark, 2010). I believe there are some elements in the culture we should challenge, for example, too many Cambodians like to have money, live in comfort and get it with the less effort as possible – let us blame in part the Cambodian aid dependency created by the international community throughout the last decades (see Sophal Ear, AID Dependency in Cambodia. How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy.) There is an authentic happiness when many of them notice holidays ahead in the calendar. A great activity to prepare themselves for feasts, carnivals and tours (ដើលើង Dae Lean), but boring to get back to work or to classes, a slow reaction to responsibilities and commitment in many. If we want a sustainable development, we need to change such holidays’ culture for an authentic culture of work. Continue reading
Visiting the Central World Plaza, the sixth largest shopping center of the planet at the Bangkok downtown, you cannot skip to admire the bronze elephants’ sculpture at the side of the Ratchadamri Avenue. It is not possible to see who’s the artist, but it seems to keep an influence by Colombian international recognized sculptor Fernando Botero. Thinking on it, I looked for the author and it is not a Boteros’ work, but it is named Elephants recovery from global warming, a gift by Central Pattana and Thai Beverage Public Company on December 2009 (2552 in Thailand.) It is made by three elephants: mother, father and a baby searching for water, represented in the beautiful fountains at the site. The art calls the attention on global warming and the need to preserve our planet. The elephant is a national symbol in Thailand.
Walking a tropical country under a sun can be tiresome for any kind of persons, even those coming from other tropical countries. It can make you to reduce attention to a very interesting tour in a great site as the Angkorian temples in Siem Reap. Prepare, thus yourself to protect from the sun. I bought an inexpensive Asian conical hat in Bangkok last week – it is called in Cambodia ដួន do’un. As I came back to the hotel, the lady laughed very much as soon as she noticed my hat. She said I was resembling a Vietnamese farmer. ‘Actually I don’t mind to resemblance a Vietnamese farmer,’ I replied, ‘I find it very practical to walk under the sun and even if it is raining is like having a small umbrella attached to your head.’ Continue reading
This month I got one of the most beautiful evidences of the importance of the internet in our time and how it is about inclusion. New technologies are changing the human history and it is not created for the power and enjoyment of minoritarian groups, but information and communication technologies are a human patrimony we must promote to reduce the global digital gap. Continue reading
To illustrate what I call the overpopulation informal fallacy, we can make a short comparison of two countries: Japan as one industrialized and Colombia as one in development. We have enough information about the Japanese profile as a global economic power. The Colombian profile is more confusing, leading very often to misconceptions and several speculations due to its fame of violence, drug cartels and guerrilla fighting for decades. I think these two very interesting countries are a good sample to demonstrate that overpopulation is a concept intended to manipulate the planet from an egocentric perspective from a privileged minority. Continue reading
The overpopulation concern is an informal fallacy to manipulate. By sure, several organizations and scholars could be genuinely concern about disastrous consequences for the survival of humanity in the case we overpopulate our planet. According to UN, it is likely possible to reach 9.3 billion of persons in 2050 and 10.1 billion in 2100, while some experts argue that the planet can hold 1 thousand billion persons, of course, with much objections. The certain is that the 7 billion humans we have this 2013 in Planet Earth, all could stand together in the Phnom Penh territory if we should gather all humanity for any type of global meeting. Continue reading
Definitely we should fight this idea that nature is a big restaurant and that we humans are the leading predators. It is just because we are in a high stage of technological development and in the exploration of the stars that our responsibility for the care of our planet should honor such advances. We should not be depredators any more if we can dominate the forces of production in a sustainable environment. Continue reading
This is definitely a good news for the reduction of the digital gap in Cambodia: the Google Translate, has released the Khmer translation option that would make the Cambodian language accessible to 65 other global language. It is good to congratulate all persons and organizations working to make computers and Internet accessible to Cambodians in their own language, as well as Khmer language, the main modern branch of the Mon-Khmer linguistic family and a relative to Sanskrit and Pali accessible to the international community. It will be a benefit to students, teachers, journalists, economist, officials and everybody involved in the digital development of Cambodia. Continue reading
The upcoming Kep Expo Project is speaking very good about preservation of historical remnants in Kep Province and Cambodia. In this short documentary by Radio Australia we can see that there are people who worry about the protection of the national historical heritage. For me it would not be exaggerated to request the inclusion of Kep Town and Bokorville, as well as many other French colonial places around the country, as Unesco World Heritage Sites and there are many reasons why. But in order to do so, it is needed an urgent plan of protection before some other groups of people without any historical conscience and the hurry for dollars, will end with the demolition of most colonial old villas of Kep. One thing we have to understand is that the Cambodian past does not end in the Angkorean period. Contrary to it, there are several remnants before and after the Angkor period that fit the complete historical picture of Cambodia. Continue reading
Kep City. Although Don Bosco was an Italian Catholic priest of the 19th century, it is also true that several of his schools around the planet are located in the cultural environment of other faiths and thus many of the Don Bosco students. In Cambodian, a Buddhist country that follows Theravada doctrines, Shunni Muslims made the main minority in a proportion of 1.25 percent of the national population. The Islam is followed in Cambodia by the Cham ethnic group, the descendants of the ancient Malay kingdom of Champa, located at the center of modern Vietnam. During the Khhmer Rouge regime there was a particular persecution against the Cham minority. Today there are Cham communities in most of Cambodian provinces. Along the sea, from Sihanoukville to Kep, Cham towns can be distinguished by their traditional mosques. Yesterday the Cham religious authorities of Kep Province visited the new Don Bosco Vocational Center to lead a blessing according to their traditions. The reason is that some students of the Center belong to the Cham communities of Kep.
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Battambang. It is common to see several constructions sites in modern Cambodia. It is as the former war destruction is already over and everyone is building something to recover the lost time. Unfortunately, the building of schools, hospitals and community areas is much less than the fever for hotels, restaurants, casinos and resorts. Unemployed young people find easily jobs in construction this time, but in many occasions many of those workers are as young as 7 and 10 years old. In Battambang it can be also a norm to see children in construction sites and the brick factories. Continue reading
The country is now following the development of a horrific accident in the streets of Phnom Penh that kills at least two children and let ten other persons with serious injures this weekend. It is not yet satisfactory the explanations of the family of Miss Bised Marita, 22, who was driving her Camery car number ‘Phnom Penh 2R:5008′ at about 2PM of Friday. Marita is a student of medicine and it seems that she was bringing two young brothers with her. The mother said this morning to the press that her daughter has mental problems. Nine motorbikes, 4 bicycles, 3 children killed and ten persons in the hospital is the result of what first published as a woman that lost control of her car in the busy streets of the capital. A Camery coming from the Independence Monument hit first two motorbikes in front to the Thai Embassy, along the Preah Norodom Boulevard in the Chamkamom District. Other four motorbikes followed by the uncontrolled car. When she seemed to realized what was happening at the corner of the 466′s street, in front to he Ministry of Interior, witnesses say she tried to escape, then she hit other six motorbikes and then 6 child students in bicycles, two of them dying at the spot.
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Kep City - The children of Phnom Sorsir had a special Sunday. The small program conducted by Cambodian volunteers of Don Bosco Vocational Center Kep in the region, got today a great motivation from Mr. Chin Sokkea and his organization Komphea Koma (Care for Children.)
The literacy program of Don Bosco Kep consisted in sending volunteer students to different villages of the Kep Province area during weekends to meet children. Mr. Bin Pich of the hotel management school, Seng Narong and Em Phorn of the social communication department chose Phnom Sorsir, a beautiful hill with a pagoda at its top, inside the Kep Province territory, not far from the sea. Continue reading