Cambodians are fond of condemning western
morality – alcoholism, nudity, premarital sex
and homosexuality often being cited as examples.
But Cambodian do not have a monopoly on morality
and ethic as it comes to see and accept thing as
they are in their true nature.
Everything Cambodian touches, feels, looks,
speaks and loves, makes you Cambodian, because
Cambodian alone choose it. What Cambodian
accepts may be inconceivable. It is not certain;
either Modernization or Khmerization -A term
often times used interchangeably to
differentiate Cambodian from other cultures and
races. IT'S NOT KHMER! THIS IS CAMBODIA!
One lesson in history is that unity is formed from within and is difficult to impose from the outside.
Cambodia-Thailand-Vietnam has a
The US International Trade Commission, Thailand
exported $1.4 billion worth of goods to Cambodia
compared to $49 million exported to Thailand in
India’s exports to Cambodia totaled $31
million in 2007, while Cambodia's exports to
India totaled $500,000. Is it trade deficit?
We are accustomed
to feed ourselves too much of foreign goods, we
begin to feel that those counties are in needs of our
micro-household-economy of fourteen millions
The rhetoric of “Proud to Be Born Khmer” gave birth every time there is a border-conflict between Cambodia-Thai-Vietnam. Again, the rhetoric coincided with the recent Border-Preah Vihear Temple conflicts between the Cambodia-Thai.
If it is not in their interest; it’s not
Cambodia. It is obvious that Cambodian deals and
solves problem base on reality at hand, from
driving to settling traffic depute. But every
good and evil is sanctioned by the custom that
Most Cambodians are self-proud. Criticism has no
room to grow. They do not like people to tell
them any other ways. It has to be done in the
Cambodian context or else. Most like to place
emphasis on value of custom and culture. This is
There are three places to begin: Book Store and
library. It tells you about the author of the
book, who and which nationality and subject of
the book, and which subject is most read.
Private establishments like the restaurant and
Listen to the topic of
conversations, which topic is most talk about.
Last one is the government halls, look, listen
and watch how people work. This will help you
complete your entire thesis on any given subject
Most government and private institutions adopted
and named their institutions after the west,
while most credentials and titles are given
after the French, because it offers and sounds a
much higher in rank. Secretary projects the
lowest in rank much like a person who serves tea
and water in office. President is most preferred
rank in office.
Cambodia is a nation of bargain. At the local
and city shopping outlets you may find Chinese,
American songs and movies, and domestic products
from neighboring Thailand and Vietnamese are
flushed in Cambodian's flee market to the
government halls. Most convinced themselves that
the Thai-Vietnamese are in needs of the
Cambodian-mico-household-economy of fourteen
Cambodia is an agriculture country by nature,
but you won’t find the Chinese farming, only
dark-skin Khmer. Culture invading and Economic
assassin has been a major dispute and defeat war
since anyone could remember. The Chinese has
always dominates the market and city, and
dictates the consumer price index on buy and
The Vietnamese Dong
dominates the east, while the
Thai Baht is on the west. Khmer Riel is good for
domestic exchange, civil servant salary, city beggar and parking attendant. The US Dollar
is everywhere and everything.
The list of French-word is long. Uses by both
intellects and farmers, in the street and in the
government: Relo is an Extension Cord. Tele is a
Remote Control, Om Poul is a Light bulb and
among others. Cambodian is occupied with
everything else more important. Anything
insignificant and cheap is synonymous with
In many aspects, “some invented, other
imported”. Cambodian markets are full of product
pirating, domestically and internationally. Make
Phnom Penh is one convenient city; all in one
place. You may find school and beer garden
sharing the same street in the neighborhood and
pagoda next door to casino. One may find Rue,
St. Street and Plov in Khmer (Road) on the same
street. How’s convenient!
Be Born Khmer:
Rhetoric is everywhere. Ironically, foreign
influence can be felt throughout the country,
some places could be mistaken for US, with only
US$ in uses. European and American pop songs,
and most prices and business transaction are
often quote in US$.
Had a high forehead, a sign of intelligence, and
long ears, indicating longevity. Slim and skinny
and dark-skin person projects an image of poor
from rural and lack of food to eat.
White-Skin Vs. Dark-Skin:
In the street of Phnom Penh, one may spot a
bleached-out girl on a motorbike 100 meters out.
White skin projects an image of an easy life,
never exposes to the scorching heat and
hardship. Having a long-nail is also showing
that a person never experiences manual labor.
Cambodian TVs has adopted the English names for
their TVs programs: Lady Corner, A1 Concert,
Modern Concert, Hit Concert, Morning Reports,
Khmer The Best, Woman Talk, World Concert, Top
Hits and Woman Talks, respectively in English.
In Styles, Beauty, You & I”, Men Magazine,
Ladies, Khmer Celebrity, Top and among others.
All cover magazine spelled out in Khmer words.
Foreigners do not read these magazines or tune
in to Khmer TVs and Radios stations. What and
who do they want to target commercially?
if one listens carefully, one may learn French
and English at the same time. Commercials aired
half-French-half-English. On stage, the host
always instructs the audience to clap if they
like what they see and hear. Comedy show is
about having costume and acts as
look-alike with Adolf Hitler’s mustache and hit
one another with empty water bottle, and calling
each other’s name: A (in French)
By 2010, most theaters in Phnom Penh established
in the 50s and 60s, either closed down or have
converted into Private Clubs. Khmer movies have
no place in Cambodian society. Most Cambodian
prefers western-made over their counterparts. At
home, Cambodians glue their eyes on
inspired by American pop culture: Hollywood made
movies, American Idol and MTVs. Most pop artists
are copycat of Korean, American, Chinese, and
Thai artists. Most songs is about lost love and
One may dedicate a song to all members of the
family by each individual‘s name and to the boss, the
ministry he works for, his rank and the position
he holds. The name of the ministry he works for is important.
Host is most likely repeat the question over to
the guest or panel on the show. It is not quite
certain that callers to the radio station are screened
prior to coming on air, because some callers have
no idea which show or topic is on. The host
never tells callers to turn off the radio, but rather
instructed callers to lower the volume to
prevent the echo (Kon) between phone and radio.
E0 (Ground Floor) Majority of business in
Cambodia start, work and live on the ground
floor. One may never find the right address, if
the owner feels the house number does not bring
them: Hong Suy
(good luck) Speak French? Because E0 is said in
French! –means Ground Floor
It is everything! MSG commercial comes with a full-length of song
about the MSG you use. Imagine if the commercial
air on TV and Radio charges in second like those
in the west, each commercial would have cost 100
times over if not more.
Having your car submerged in rain-flood-water in
city the nigh before, has nothing to do with the
oil you had put into your car engine. But the
commercial dramatized a story that car had
problem staring the next day, because of the
motor oil used.
Some driving schools in Phnom Penh aired their
commercial features the CAMARY-A Slam
(1997-1999) to attract the students with their
late model car. Test drive in A-Slam has nothing
to do with the driving test.
Having a Yellow Temporary Sticker longer on the
windshield means that you just purchased the
vehicle and commercially in resale value. Driving
with US-State license plate still attached to it
is quite common. Preferably, CALIFORNIA!
Cambodian in general is custom-made and loves
number, particularly number 8 and 9, or anything
adds up to 8 or 9. It is a fact of life, people
would pay hundred of dollars, even in thousands
for four repeated number. Phone number is also a
lucrative business. Phone shop auctions off good number
to the highest bidder.
As member of ASAEN Nation, Cambodian license
uses Latin number; not Khmer. With only
four-digit on the plate, most memorize the
number and recognize the vehicle by heart, especially if
it is rare and expensive models. # Square number
is always standout from the crowd. License plate
itself can be custom-made on the side road with styles
and colors, relatively dirt cheap. In Khmer is
called: Ka Lib) roughly means sophisticated or
Number is matter for most Cambodians. Phone
number can be auctioned off for hundreds of dollars or
even in thousands. Phone number in six digit
increment of 8 could be sold for thousands of
dollars. In Khmer it is called: Ka Ray (#
Most Khmer Richie bear the number in # Square:
1111, 2222, 3333, 4444, 5555, 6666, 7777, 8888,
9999, or anything added up to 8 or 9
respectively. # Square Number projects wealth
It is somewhat primitive, but progress. Most
topics are: politics, scams, promotion, land
deal, gossip and drink. One is betting on
another to drink more. Bottom-Up is almost
applied to everyone sharing the table. Driving
is also a favorite topic, one is claiming to
have driven faster than the other, reaching a certain
destination on a certain time; not speed limit.
40 and 50 age group dominates by the war drama
and their struggles under the French and the
Beer Gardens are everywhere ready to serve, eat,
drink and break into song and dance. Alcohol and
liquor can be bought off the streets and at the
local markets. Children are roaming the Nigh
Club selling roses. Don't Worry, Be Happy!
Most sellers will convince you that the
two-size-oversize shoe will fit you. Most
employed scary tactics, if you don’t find in my
store; no one has it. Referral is almost
impossible, because they are afraid of loosing a
sale and show weakness.
There is no doubt that anything foreign
influence Cambodian, from the language we speak
to the products we buy and use. Automobile is one obvious
invention in the twentieth century that has
great impact on Cambodian. It offers such
amenities as comfort and luxury; and everything
else the West-American. Today is the dollar
Simply imagine not having automobile, cell
phone, laptop and the technology. What Cambodian
will leave with?
As we move toward this extraordinary time, the
mythology of the events consciously or not, is
reengaging, the rulebook has been rewritten for
the development of our war-ruin country. Our
rhetoric "Proud to be born Khmer" Are we? -Acts
on it accordingly!
The Rhetoric will continue!..|