An invitation to originality at the National Pop Music and Song Festival 2011

‘We should not let the music sector suffer from negative actions and copy almost everything from abroad which has become a bad habit that makes us lose our national spirit and become dependent on foreigners.’ (PM Hun Sen)

Kep City. The words of the Cambodian Premier are meaningful of what we all expect from this kind of events like the National Pop Music and Song Festival 2011 that gathers this year more than 30 groups. Cambodia is, first of all, a nation with a long and standing culture and civilization. One way to underline it is precisely by art. I expect to create soon a school of fine arts at the side of this inspiring national park, just because we have to awake the ancient spirits of the Cambodian sensitivity for beauty and harmony.

After years of violence and conflicts, it is natural that new generations want to imitate what is foreigner. There is then a kind of feeling that our talents and cultural values are inferior to those of other countries. Education and mass media must work together in order to put things in order. The tsunami of foreign love stories (South Koreans, Thai, Chinese), action movies from Hollywood and others, create their impact in new generations. It is also impossible to distinguish the Cambodian ethos in TV commercials that show most of the time an almost white Chinese family living in an American flat selling a complete Western style of life.

It is good to admire the values and progress of foreign nations, even more if those nations are supporting our own development. But it is better to look in our own history the values of our own identity. If we have to copy something from foreign nations, it is precisely the example of some peoples to be able to stand in their identity, assuming the advances of science and technology, without selling their cultures. For example, the Japanese, the same Chinese or the Germans, to cite just some of them. All the countries of the earth are exposed to foreign influences, but only those that know very well who they are, from where they come and what they really want, can survive as an authentic nations.

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