Category Archives: cambodia culture

2016 – The Khmer440 year in review

michael-ryan

  2016 has been a hell of a year, with the underdog, the anti-establishment figures and the disaffected finding themselves the people’s champions. Whether it was Leicester City winning the EPL, or the Chicago Cubs winning something in American cricket, or plucky Scotsman…

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Back on track in Cambodia

nite-train

For me, the sight that most encapsulated the rebirth of passenger services in Cambodia was the two young children, travelling on a train for the very first time, accompanied by their grandfather or great-grandfather. The looks of awe and excitement…

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Encyclopedia Cambodiana

collection of old hardcover books

Let’s be honest; Cambodia isn’t the most literary country on the planet, and it’s rare to find genuine scholarly works on the country.  As far as we are aware, there is no definitive encyclopedia on Cambodia and Cambodian culture.  The…

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The Fairytale Complex: 419s in Cambodia

African-Internet-cafe

As the western target market has become more aware, with only the really, really stupid and old folk with Alzheimer’s responding to African princes, new markets and opportunities are emerging where uneducated folk are given access to the internet without a crash course on who roams cyberspace looking to make a fraudulent buck or three. Word is slowly getting out, thanks to community phone in programmes on ABC Radio, but when I get asked whether a 6 headed naga caught in Kampong Cham going viral on Facebook is real, or if the Zika virus had been really been sprayed over Phnom Penh by Vietnamese agents, then it’s pretty safe to bet that safe internet safety steps are still in their infancy in Cambodia. Continue reading

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Dying to get to work

Takeo-office-workers-edit

The most lethal challenge to Cambodian workers comes not from poor ventilation or industrial machinery, but the challenge of getting to and from the sweatshops 6 days a week. It’s kinda a case of hard work never killed anyone, but the commute might just be deadly. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, Commentary, factories, Phnom Penh, provinces |

The pastor and the monster

lapel-with-duch-rdg-bible

Christopher LaPel’s father was a Brahman priest serving Cambodia’s king in his role as the earthly incarnation of the god Vishnu. Imagine the shock and horror, therefore, when one evening at dinner he saw a cross hanging around his son’s…

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Cambodia’s national symbols

Kouprey_at_Vincennes_Zoo_in_Paris_by_Georges_Broihanne_1937

The flora and fauna of Cambodia has suffered a fair bit over the past few decades. After the fall of the Khmer Rouge in 1979, Pol Pot and his cronies fled to sanctuary in the vast swathes of forested mountains…

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, conservation, Food, khmer superstition, religion, village life | Tagged , , , , ,

Charlie Chaplin’s Cambodia

charles-300x225

Charlie and Paulette were big news, the reporters descended, and Charlie entertained them “with much courtesy and charm” in the hotel bar (presumably the Elephant Bar). Phnom Penh, he said, was charming, the palaces and pagodas delightful, the Cambodian houses picturesque. He felt he had to question whether French Colonial villas (the ones the Europeans lived in) were perhaps a little suburban and uncomfortable, but the wide boulevards, built over newly-reclaimed canals, were the equal of those in Paris. Asked if he might consider making a movie in Cambodia, he didn’t rule it out, but also didn’t see it happening in the immediate future. He would, however, undertake to publicise Indochina as a tourist destination on his return home. Continue reading

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Plagiarism, phonyism and buffoonery at the Khmer Times: Part 2 – The fake letters to the editor

fake

The Khmer Times fabricated these letters in an apparent campaign to manipulate public opinion, by deceiving its readers about what other members of the community were really saying about Cambodia’s most important political issues of the day. This scheme demonstrated a blatant disregard for journalistic ethics, which are based on telling readers the truth about what is happening around them, rather than trying to hoodwink them. The fact that Mr. Mohan actually thought his clumsy campaign of deceit would work is a profound insult to the intelligence of the Khmer Times’ readers. Continue reading

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King Norodom’s Head – a book review

King_Norodom_s_Head_Cover_grande

I want to make one thing perfectly clear: under no circumstances will I mention Cholon Duck. Never. I know why you’re reading this, and I’m not going to give you the satisfaction. You’ll get not a word about Cholon Duck…

Posted in Book review, cambodia culture, history, Khmer Rouge, khmer superstition, Phnom Penh, Reviews | Tagged , , , , ,