Long holidays, slow development

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.

Culture of work has to see with production and production must be constant. In production, breaks mean lost and decline. Now well, in so many holidays, the only sector to get a benefit is tourism, but we should not depend from the tourist industry only. Cambodia should not become a big thematic park for the international community only. We don’t need that all our young people finish to become altogether tourist guides or goods of consume (sexual tourism?) but we need scientists, economists, sociologists, philosophers, archaeologists and many other professionals and skills to give form to a real national development.

There is already a common idea that Cambodia, unlike countries such as Germany and Japan, did not develop the same after its disaster due to laziness. To this point of view, Germany and Japan were devastated during the II War World, but managed to recovery in the span of few decades, while Cambodia, similarly devastated, shows little self empowerment.

To me the comparison is imperfect. There are some elements you have to consider before doing such comparison. Not Germany or Japan were colonies of an European power like Cambodia. I think this fact has much to see of how Cambodia behave today. The damage of European colonialism can be traced around the five continents (see the African case.) Former European colonies tend to depend very much from international aid. Germany and Japan have been masters for all their histories.

When it was about to recover Germany and Japan, the international community helped those nations assuming a different attitude toward them, too different to what it has assumed in Cambodia. To Germany and Japan, the international community blamed them for the damage and, although there was help, they were asked to clean the mess they produced. So Germans and Japanese people, even today, feel a little shame for that chapter of their history and they feel they have to contribute with something to others and to themselves. In the Cambodian case no. There was a big feeling of consideration and shame. The international community felt guilty to ignore the Cambodian case for so many years, while there was a great violence inside the country. The international community saw Cambodians as poor guys and then came in to give a lot help, starting with the doubtless democratic transition of UNTAC that spent billions of dollars to nothing useful and the Khmer Rouge UN-Cambodian tribunal spending much money to prosecute a couple of elders, letting behind too many other much responsible of war crimes. A circle of scapegoats to assume our responsibility, certainly. Pol Pot became a perfect excuse to attract thousands of dollars to sustain a culture of corruption  eager to organize big carnivals, but slow to think in a real sustainable and responsible development. Let’s build hotels and resorts everywhere… forget universities and polytechnics… it’s not need of it, we can design colorful diplomas in our printing presses…

Don’t blame Cambodians to show lazy. Those lazy Cambodians are the result of what the French colony and the international community have done through the years. In this case, we need to work on education and it must be a great change.

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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X39xwdGtVXI) and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (http://www.colombia.co/en/culture/colombians-that-are-making-this-a-better-world.html).

20 responses to “Long holidays, slow development”

  1. Hennecke-Bauernfeind says :

    Dear Albeiro, I agree with your main demands in your article “Long Holidays, slow developement.” Tourism is not the only business, in contrary, it` s important to develop education for many and different professions.(As you said:: scientists, economists, sociologists a.s.o.).. You didn`t blame the cambodian people, but you tried to understand the situation in considering the history of the country. The history is not a reason, to do nothing, History and the understanding of history is like in Germany or Japan, a challenge for development. In this context your last sentence is very important: “”In this case, we need work on education and it must be a great change” .By the way, “radio” is a very important tool, to encourage the people to go forward. Wolfgang Bauernfeind

  2. Chrann Riem says :

    I don’t agree this tactile that say “Cambodians are the most lazy people on earth ” because the people Cambodia gentle , active hart study hart work ,
    but I believe the people of Cambodia maybe 5% of 100% lazy .

  3. romdourlponews says :

    For me I do not agree with the idea that the above“Cambodia is the most lazy nation in the world “, because not only lazy people are all the same.
    When you see them sitting on a motorcycle. How do you think?
    Also you said that he was lazy, but what you are seeing is Occupation of them does not mean They are not waiting for a gift from excellency or somes president. Ask that if they do not do what they can eat and For livelihood?
    Cambodia from the war, and is currently developing ask whether there is a very easy thing to lose almost completely And start the message. I want to say young people work to life, to develop the country. No one is correct all the time and can do everything. you can do like this they can do like that. As the speaking of Duch Chanthou Say”The kingdom of Wonder not “the kingdom Laziest” please try to think again don’t look down the Cambodian people like this is not don’t forget the word “no one’s perfect”.

  4. chantha says :

    I don’t agree all the word when you said that”Cambodia are the most lazy people on the earth”I think that Cambodia people want to show all of us about everything that they do by their self.And they can do a lot of work. However they want to join developing the countries .Any way Cambodian people tries to work hard everyday.

  5. sengnarong says :

    I don’t agree with Cambodian , because the people don’t work and study .i think that have problem Cambodian , so we take apart together in Cambodian do very good ,
    i am very sorry when i saw Cambodian corruption and don’t have to work group .
    i request we take apart work together very good , and develop country very good for the Cambodian live very nice , for me i try heard study good and help Cambodian .
    Now i saw khmer kill khmer yourseft so difficult in Cambodia .

  6. inrathanak says :

    I think this article very important for khmer people, Because this article can make khmer people wake up what they have ever done before. And I’m agree with what they said that” some of people are laziest” but I don’t agree, what they said that “Cambodian are the most lazy people on the earth” I don’t know why they said that? Because the people in Cambodia they are different each other it’s not that all. And some of people they didn’t understand about advantage and disadvantage in the country, they just make something by them self, the Cambodia is developing country , so everything is not improve yet. Even though in Cambodia It’s has many gangsters, many useless people and they have not enough ability, have not enough knowledge they can help the country. But at least some of people in Cambodia they can do what they can for the country. And I don’t understand why they said that” Cambodia are the most lazy people in the world “Why they know? Why they can said that? They are just only foreigners they come to visit Cambodia for vacation day. Why? Why?

  7. phangborey says :

    For me i think that Cambodia people is not the laziest in the world,because all Cambodian people always work hard and do everything for develop their country and develop their life all the time. but Small number people in Cambodia lazy and don’t have a job ,They is very poor because they don’t have knowledge or idea in for work . i agree whit what they said that “some people in Cambodia laziest ” . the people don’t understand about advantage and disadvantage in country . they work for them self ,for them life . the small number people no choose and don’t have work , after they get lazy idea and they just make something by them self . please try to think again don’t look down the Cambodian people like this is very unfair for khmer people.

  8. Anonymous says :

    I don’t agree about foreigner’s idea. why they sad that Cambodia is the most lazy in the world.Cambodia country is the developing country so everything is very poor.The Cambodian people always work hard every day. they don’t laziest, some people work as farmers and some people try to hard study for find a good job.
    Cambodia country is developing human resource and developing country. so Cambodia is not lazy in the world.

    • sunnchantha says :

      I don’t agree about foreigner’s idea. why they sad that Cambodia is the most lazy in the world.Cambodia country is the developing country so everything is very poor.The Cambodian people always work hard every day. they don’t laziest, some people work as farmers and some people try to hard study for find a good job.
      Cambodia country is developing human resource and developing country. so Cambodia is not lazy in the world.

  9. bolratana says :

    I don’t agree of the word “Cambodians are the most lazy people on the earth”, But the long holidays, slow development it is true for all the countries, especially in the developing countries. In Cambodia there are many traditional ceremony that have a lot of holidays in every years for workers and make the Cambodians people can’t work as well as the Other development countries in the world. some time happy cause people lazy and forget to work.

  10. momsreynuon says :

    I don’t agree with Cambodian are the most lazy people on the earth because all Cambodian people always work hard and do everything for develop their country and develop their life all the time. You don’t think the Cambodian people in a bad way like this the Khmer people are smart altogether and very cleaver

  11. KhmerReporter says :

    Yes, it really Cambodia has a lot nation ceremony, but it is the traditional of Cambodian People, It was happened for long time. For development in Cambodia I think that it not so slow. We can see another countries in the world especially the countries in Africa those countries develop so slowly and living condition of the people too. I don’t agree with the word” Cambodia people is lazy “. Why? because in Cambodia, German, Japan…..
    There have the lazy people also, so I think that it is of the head of state. In the mane of Cambodian I promise that I will stop the people around the world to say” Cambodia People is lazy” and show them Cambodia is empire in the world. I am the son empire of Cambodia like Khmer empire 1000 years ago. I love my golden land Cambodia so much. Cambodia was the Khmer empire, It was very well-know in the world. Cambodian people always work hand in the field and especially the Cambodian people along the river word harder than other people in Cambodia. Where is the rice come from? It is not come from . It come from Japan or German? It is not possible, It really from Cambodian agriculture, so Cambodia people very active. Cambodian people very strong and active. I don’t want to know about the another countries look dome my nation. I love my nation. (Social communication and journalism section second years Don Bosco Kep, Cambodia)

  12. Thon Chanrit says :

    I don’t agree this article because I think that the people of Cambodia active he away hart study and hart work . But I have idea that if the people lazy is they don’t have work .

  13. newskep says :

    I don’t agree with” Cambodia is the most lazy nation in the world”.
    Because all Cambodian people always try to study, work hard and do everything for develop their country and help their life all the time. I’m a Cambodian people also want Cambodian are the most lazy people on the earth think again and say again for correct this text to be good and please try to look Khmer people that they always work hard, Study hard because I don’t want you see a little bit people and say like this.

    You know in the world no one’s perfect so I think that have some people lazy and some people try to work hard and don’t say together like this. In Cambodia have the slogan “The kingdom of Wonder” So, please try to think again don’t look down the Cambodian people like this is not true . Don’t forget one word said that “No One’s Perfect” such as Cambodian are the most lazy people on the earth also that always said complain the Cambodian people like this. Thank before hand for Cambodian are the most lazy people on the earth I please you correct your text and think again please try to know the Cambodian people in a good way.

    Please don’t forget the word “No One Is Perfect”.

  14. ខ្ញុំស្រលាញ់ក្រុងកំពត says :

    I don’t agree with “cambodia is the most lazies nation in the world”
    that idea isn’t true at all because he living in cambodia short time,
    he see people do not do anything when they go on holidays.

  15. Thon Chanrit says :

    I agree with some text in this article and I don’t agree with Cambodians are the most lazy people on earth I don’t want to hear that Cambodians are the most lazy people on earth said the Cambodian people laziest in the earth because the Cambodia is the developing country so all the people in Cambodia always try to work hard every day for develop their country. You don’t think the Cambodian people in a bad way like this the Khmer people are smart altogether and very cleaver. I hope that you’ll think again about this article “Cambodians are the most lazy people on earth ”.

  16. Duch Chanthou says :

    I don’t agree with Cambodian are the most lazy people on the earth because all Cambodian people always work hard and do everything for develop their country and develop their life all the time. I’m a Cambodian people also want Cambodian are the most lazy people on the earth think again and say again for correct this text to be good and please try to look Khmer people that they always work hard, Study hard because I don’t want you see a little bit people and say like this. You know in the world no one’s perfect so I think that have some people lazy and some try to work hard and don’t say together like this. The kingdom of Wonder not “the kingdom Laziest” please try to think again don’t look down the Cambodian people like this is not don’t forget the word “no one’s perfect” such as Cambodian are the most lazy people on the earth also that always said complain the Cambodian people like this. Thank before hand for Cambodian are the most lazy people on the earth I wish you’ll correct your text and think again please try to know the Cambodian people in a good way. The last one if you try to look down anyone around like you look down you are!!!

  17. dona says :

    Yes, I agree with this article.
    Because it is very true that A small number of people are Lazy.
    But a large number of people are hard work by themselves.
    And Cambodia today is Developing country which this depend on agriculture,
    even though it is Slow to enhance.

    Cambodia has strong desire to develop but still in bad
    situation because of (war, lack of human resource and population ).
    Cambodia cares a bout money and power more than developing country.

  18. លឹម សុជាតិ says :

    I don’t agree with this idea that “Cambodia is the most lazy nation in the world”.
    I am a Cambodian and I don´t consider i am not the laziest guy in the world.
    Everyday I try to study and work hard, from sunrise to sunset.

    If they think that Cambodian people are the laziest guys in the world, it is a very wrong opinion.

    Anyway, although Cambodia is a developing country but, Cambodia is not the poorest country in the world.
    It means that Cambodians are not as lazy as they like to think.

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