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
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
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
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
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
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
We’ve all heard it. Whether from a coach, a parent or other authority figure, the phrase is often used as encouragement when one is faced with a seemingly insurmountable task. It instructs us to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and do our best, even in the face of possible, or even likely, defeat. Lately, the phrase seems all too apt as post-secondary students worldwide are dropping out of school at alarming rates. In fact, a recent study found that one in four freshman in the U.S. do not complete their first year of school, despite giving college a try. 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
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
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.
If we have to make an updated evaluation on the United Nations Transitional Authority (UNTAC, 1992-1993) legacy to modern Cambodia, researchers probably will conclude that English language is one of them. Saloth Sar (alias Pol Pot) was educated in Paris where he set the conditions to evolve the Khmer Rouge movement. However he was fluent in French language, as many of the middle and high class Cambodians of the French Protectorate of Kampuchea, the eradication of foreign languages was included in the extreme policies of the Khmer Rouge Era (1975-1979). Thus French language became one of the deadly victims of the regime. Although French was widely used during the UNTAC time, it is true that English was used as the official language. It creates the need of several Cambodians to serve as interpreters to UNTAC officials. Continue reading
This Cambodian youtuber identified as Chlat (meaning ‘clever’) uploaded yesterday this hideous video showing how a young man in school uniform hit a young lady. The title of the video is សិស្សខ្មែរវាយគ្នា ស្ទឹងត្រែង (Khmer students fighting in Steng Treng). The 45 seconds video shows how the man hits the girl several times, while she tries to defend herself. A group of young observers, among them other women, seem to enjoy the unequal battle. Chlat seems to film the fight from a motorbike. Some male voices encourage the action. The man dominates the girl taking her from her hair and it ended when she is on the ground and he is up her, then the observers approach and stop it. Neither the face of the aggressor or the victim is shown, as well the faces of the observers. The Chlat’s channel does not provide much information about his owner. Please help to identified the aggressor and his accomplices. I kept a copy of the video if it is removed upon any investigation. We should not tolerate any violence against girls and women in Cambodia. Boys and young men should learn to respect and give dignity to women. Here the video, but it can be deleted on Youtube soon by sure.
Update: The video has been already deleted by Youtube for violation of its terms of conditions. There is already a Khmer media reaction here in KhmerLoads.com. It seems that the Chlat’s channels is linked to that Khmer news website. The article describes also the event saying that the men were encouraging the action and at the end one says ‘the video is over’. The event seems to be located on a bridge in Stung Treng province, northern Cambodia.
Everybody involved in the development and reconstruction of Cambodia, should be reading and studying by now the Statement of the 20th ASEAN Summit hold in Phnom Penh on April 3 and 4. Here you can retrieve the full document. By sure, it will be the inspiration of many policy makers in the country as it is clearly declared : ‘We also agreed to work together based on the priorities to accelerate the building of the ASEAN Community by 2015 and to ensure the achievements of the ASEAN Community beyond 2015‘ (No. 2) It is, therefore, not only the concern of officials and the financial sector, but in a very special way, it must concern all Cambodian sectors, especially education, organizations working for human rights, environment protection, labor and many others. The coming three years must be followed with interest of how a country with so high levels of poverty and other problems, would contribute to the creation of a body such as AEC and how our people will join it. Continue reading