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
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
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
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.
Event under development, wait for updates…
The Cambodian hot news this week was the 30 hours Hostage crisis in an Acleda Bank branch in Kampong Cham, 124 kilometers east of Phnom Penh. The event attracted all the national attention and it showed once more that cell phone companies are living a golden age since news on the spot in Cambodia are reaching a national public by SMS and we could say SMS is the Khmer Twitter so far. The news that two bank robbers took the Acleda branch office at the Stung Treng district in Kampong Cham last Tuesday (22nd January) was followed with interest and attracted security forces that surrounded the bank at the best way of a Hollywood movie. Continue reading
Another case of child sexual abuse and I want to talk about it, because the victim is just 17 years old. Making comparisons will not help if the victim is older or not. Probably a child of 10 or 15 has more probabilities to fight back, but it stills shocking the victim is so young. DAP News reported yesterday that a construction worker, Niegn Sol, 21, was arrested by the police for abusing a 17 months old girl, the daughter of two constructor workers also. They let their girl under the care of an aunt. As the aunt got absent to take water from a nearby well, the man attacked the child. A boy, who saw the crime ran to call some adults who chased Sol, who was arrested by the police hours after the incident. The man did not accept the charges against him. Continue reading
Rochum Thit explained to his companions in Kep that Rochum is not his grandfather’s name, as Khmer people use in their personal names, but it was the name of his own clan. Then there are four clans of the Jarai people: Rochum, Seuv, Klieng and Sol. You cannot married a person of your own clan, because it will bring you misfortune. Thit said that some persons that have done it in the past, have suffered strain illness and the children they had, did not grow enough. Continue reading
Kol Said Dona, 18, is a Cambodian student of journalism at Don Bosco Kep. His mother, Kol Syvong, 36, works as a farmer in Kompong Trach District, Kampot Province. He was born on 18 February 1994, one year after the United Nations Transition Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) finished its mandate. It was the first time that UN established a direct administration on an independent State. It came from the Paris Peace Accords of October 1991 where UNTAC became the government from 1992 to 1993 with the mission to prepare democratic elections. It included 15,900 military, 3,600 civilian policemen, 2,000 civilians and 450 UN volunteers from 33 nations. Continue reading
On 8th March 2009 I got the privilege to visit Mr. Vann Nath, the famous S-21′s painter survivor in his house of Phnom Penh. He would pass away two years after, on 5th September 2011. I got this opportunity thanks to a team of television journalists that were doing a kind of show and requested me to be their journalist guide throughout the Khmer Rouge regime history. To be frank, it was a very superficial approach and it is not even worthy to mention who they were, so the only thing I appreciate is the opportunity to meet persons like Vann Nath, Bou Men, the chief of the S-21′s prison and many other activities. Continue reading
The report of an European Union Delegation to Cambodia, says that ‘environmental and natural resources in Cambodia are threatened by short-sighted over-exploitation on an increasing and threatening scale. This reduces the Country’s overall natural capital, yet whilst great benefits flow to the few; equally great burdens fall on the many.’
Actually, there are thousands of pages on issues like this about Cambodia, mostly produced in English and French with some Khmer translations that few read or analyses. Most of those reports are true, of course, but they remain in archives and, in many occasions, are overlooked or despised by Cambodian leaders as arrogant meddling of Westerns. Continue reading
In 2012 Cambodia reached 14 million 952 thousand 665 persons, following the statistics of Index Mundo, which prevents that this estimate takes into account ‘the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS.’ Most Cambodians are by now 22 years old, being males younger the women. 32.2 percent of Cambodians are under 15 years old and 3.8 percent are older than 65. Cambodia continues to be a country with a very young population that is growing, though the unemployment rate is low with 0,2 percent as January 2012. In 2012 there was an estimate of 20% of Cambodians living in cities, but it is probably that such percent grew very much during the last year if we see how Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang and Sihanoukville are growing so fast. Continue reading
The official opening of a residence for young women studying at the Don Bosco Vocational Center in Kep City was the opportunity to remember that the tiniest Cambodian province was few decades ago a scenery of violence under the action of the Khmer Rouge guerrilla. ‘Our province was sadly a place of violence. We remember for example the regrettable fate of three foreign young men kidnapped and murdered by people without mercy in 1994, not far from this place, where now we see the growing of this technical school for a more peaceful and progressive future of our nation,’ said Kep Province‘s governor Ken Satha during a ceremony at the school last Wednesday 7th November. Continue reading
The government expected more than 10 thousand persons to wait the funeral convoy bringing the body of late King Norodom Sihanouk to Cambodia. It is possible to say that almost all the Phnom Penh inhabitants, a city of near 2 million people, went out to the streets, under the tropical sun and wait for their king’s remains to make his last journey to the Royal Palace. Continue reading
I want to share this story I got by email about the big value to support the dreams of the young people. Support children and youth is always a great hope, not only for them, not only for a nation like Cambodia, but also a hope for yourself.
This is a true story that had happened in 1892 at Stanford University.
An 18-year-old student was struggling to pay his fees. He was an orphan, and not knowing where to turn for money, he came up with a bright idea.
In the beginning was the Kbal Romeas Cave. Nobody knows for how long it was inhabited. Archaeologists found marine shells and ceramics at the site dated 5370 BC. Carbonnel and Delibrias dated the place to the New Stone Age in 3420 BC, corresponding to the Neolithic Revolution. The amazement of the Angkorian temples makes to neglect other historical – and pre-historical – times of the Khmers. The grandeur of Angkor did not come from night to day – Phnom Penh wasn’t built in a night. It is actually the result of a long historical process. The lovers of Angkor must study the previous date with careful attention to understand the process. Continue reading