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Tum Teav alive today

If you want to understand many things of the Cambodian mentality and old traditions that still around, Tum Teav is a film you should watch. Although it is seen as an old story where mothers determine the husband for their daughters upon social and economic considerations, the true is that such practice continues present in modern Cambodia.

You can get the version with English subtitles in this link. Read More…

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Water level of the Mekong Delta

Mekong water level through the years

      I found this this water level measurement in a Cham´s village near Can Tho and it was very much interesting to see how the different floods fluctuate along the years. A good topic within this April drought and the sea level increase that is putting in danger the Mekong Delta. Following this local measurement, I built that diagram that traces the flood level since 1994. It is possible to see that every 5 years there is a big flood, being the most important the one of April 2000 (I remember it very well). The 2000 flood reached 2 meters up (you can see in my own photo). Following this graphic, it is possible to predict that we will get a big flood this or next year, since the last big flood was in 2010.

       I found very wise the policy to adapt people to the sea intrusion, as the Vietnamese government is doing. But it needs also other meaningful adaptations such as the recovery of the jungle and the construction of of very expensive and super-technological floodgates (welcome Dutch people). But this fight against sea intrusion must not be seen as something of individual countries. In the case of the Mekong Delta, it does not affect Vietnam alone, but it includes Cambodia, while all countries along the Mekong basin should join together in a race against time.

Cambodia feels the hottest year on record

Cambodia draught and fires April 16 2016

In the middle of the dessert view, the green spots are consumed by uncontrolled fires caused by plastic garbage or vandals willing to clean the land from vegetation.

       Global warming is here and we caused it. On Friday, April 15, the temperature in Phnom Penh reached 40 degrees Celsius at midday, not so much different from Saigon, Bangkok and Vientiane, marking a Southeast Asian drought that is already concerning the economies of the region.   Read More…

The Westernizers

The concept of Westernization is not so simple like to say “it refers to the conversion to or adoption of Western traditions and customs.” There are many perspectives of what is the West as a cultural archetype in which the main one is to assume social, economic and political ideas of typically associated wealthy countries like North America and Western Europe. In Europe, Westernization is mostly to follow the European models of society and it has been like this since the 15th century and the beginning of a colonial era that was to be for five centuries. At the original base of what defines the West, we find the Greek and Roman civilizations, their philosophy and their ways of thinking. Then the contribution of the Judeo-Christian religions would settle the profile of what was to be the West culture. The Discovery of the Americas, the French and Industrial revolutions and the European colonialism would close down the concept. Read More…

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