Cambodian Thanksgiving Day

The Khmer New Year celebrations mean also the national Thanksgiving Day, but also the Day of the Parents (Mom and Dad,) although it is not expressed that way. The thanksgiving ceremony consists in the respect to parents, elders, teachers and tutors that each Cambodia should do during the new year’s eve. The rite is called “Reawakened”, in Khmer Katinnuo (កត្តញ្ញូ). As our parents provided a lot of care for us when we were babies and defenseless, now every son and daughter should recognize their lacks in showing respect and obedience to their parents. They wash the feet and hands of the parents – in some cases it is a full bath, while the parent is sitting. Khmer people use to bow down three times before their parents, sometime on the floor, before their feet. During the ceremony some children cry in repentance for the mistakes done against their parents, sometimes in full conscious, sometimes by omissions and many times without realizing. The ceremony is done during the first day of the Khmer New Year that in this 2015 starts on April 14, but schools do the ceremony of the previous week, as they close for holidays. The King of Cambodia is also center of respect as the lovely representation of the nation and his fatherly figure.  Buddhist monks or other religious leaders, teachers and elderly in general are included in this moving ceremony.


Cambodia ranks 50 in HP visa restriction index

  • The Cambodian passport is among of the weakest of the planet. Cambodians can enter freely to only 50 countries.
  • The strongest Southeast Asian passport is the one of Brunei, entering 150 countries, 100 more than Cambodia.
  • The Cambodian passport is the 5th strongest Southeast Asian passport after Brunei, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. Cambodia wins to Vietnam, Burma and even China.  

Henley & Partners puts Cambodia in the 50th place on its visa restriction index for 2014. It means that a Cambodian citizen can enter to just 50 countries of the world without a previous visa. The index is a global ranking of countries according to the travel freedom that their citizens enjoy. Cambodia wins for one place to Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Madagascar, Nigeria and Turkmenistan, whose citizens don’t need previous visa to enter to 49 countries of the planet, and it is behind for one place to Bhutan, Mongolia and Mozambique that do not need visa for 51 countries.  Continue reading

Better traffic in Cambodia

Let us promote this new campaign to prevent traffic accidents in Cambodia. Cambodia has one of the highest road traffic injury rates and one of the highest death rates caused by traffic casualties. And it gets worse every year. With this group, we want to try to stop this tendency. Join and share the group to create awareness!

Khmer New Year on the spot

The Khmer New Year is on the move right now and Cambodia is on parties everywhere. Here some facts and recommendations.

Although the proper Khmer New Year is on April 13 this 2015, actually celebrations start one week before. Children and young people gather on night time in villages to play traditional games. The celebration marks also the beginning of the raining season, so people through flour and water on the streets as a way to express happiness and friendship – well, as for friendship, every year there are many quarrels around the country for this game, because not everyone understands it as a friendship act…

Children wash their parents – as you washed me when I was a kid, now I wash you to pay respect to you. It includes the washing of the King in Phnom Penh. It is a way to thanks the love of our parents. Then Cambodians visit the pagodas and bring a lot food offering to the monks. Most pagodas have cultural and traditional programs. During the Khmer New Year to visit pagodas is the most recommended action to do, especially during the night. Pagodas profit this time to gather funds to finish constructions or to provide some help for the same community, so to make contributions to the monks is always good.

More about Cambodian mentality

Dear volunteers, I would like to give you some recommendations and notes to work with Cambodian people, especially with students and staff.

The Cambodian culture and traditions is difficult to understand for Western people, so it is necessary to know some principles that would help you to coordinate your work with them.

I appreciate very much your contribution and I am sure that Cambodia need the transference of knowledge, skill and ethics if it wants to develop its society. At the same time, we need to protect and promote the best of the Cambodian culture and traditions. Continue reading

Growing in a No Reading Culture

  • It is not that people stop to read books… it is that they are reading books in digital forms. 
  • In Cambodia there is not a culture of reading and the process must start by supporting schools and creating a national campaign on education. 

In Cambodia there is not a decline in the culture of reading books, as it is the case in many countries. They can say that during the last decade new generations read less and less books, but it is not the same in Cambodia. After the troublesome decades of wars and conflicts, there is not a culture of reading books and, frankly, there are very little efforts to promote reading. It comes especially in a time of crisis for the paper book before the advance of digitization. According to a report by Spanish blog Ser Escritor, only in Spain two bookstores are closed everyday, a phenomenon that happens in industrialized countries, while developing nations increase their consumption of books (Ordoñana, Merino y Mayoz, 2015.)

Continue reading

Accident and people around just taking videos

Too many casinos in Cambodia, too many phones, motorbikes and cars… too few schools, too few teachers, too few campaigns to educate people on what really matters. The most shocking of this video is to see a young man dying in front to an iPhone camera and the guy recording doing nothing, just getting his image to post in his Facebook!