This is a trailer a documentary “Gang Rape” was showed in my TV Production class. The documentary was filmed in Cambodia in the last few months. Gang rape is quite an issue in India as many cases happened have been spread on Social Media. It was a surprise to see this documentary produced, instead of in India, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The information in this documentary is presented in an accusing and exagerating way toward Cambodia. What is the so-called balance in journalistic work? It is a wonder that foreigners know Cambodia clearer than Cambodian themselves. I am not saying gang rape doesn’t happen in Cambodia, but a few fixable errors shall not be used to paint the whole nation as a dangerous place for there is a high rate of men sexual desire. Shame on you that you don’t accept your own problem, instead turning it to others.
Sometimes in life, you just had no clue how and when you involved yourself in something, until long enough that the result of that something reveals itself. In late 2011 and early 2012, I worked in a team joining in a local business competition. All I could remember is that I could work in team indeed! Team work is not my favorite task either in the classroom or workplace. When I work, I do not talk a lot. I listen and generate ideas. That is called “Silent Period” in the sense of language acquisition, but well it can be used in any aspect. So, it was quite a surprise that it was not a one time serious group work, but a few more followed.
Recently, with the same team mates (only some of them), we are competition in Challenge Future Competition in the category of Make.It.Work (CF:Make.It.Work). We have proposed a project that aim to combat Youth Unemployment in Cambodia. At the mean time, we are seeking for votes on our project under a titled “Anti Youth Unemployment” organization (AYU).
Please you are interested in the our idea and the competition as a whole, please go to www.challengefuture.org
If you want to show your support for our team, then check out the instruction below:
Please go to www.challengefurture.org
Click on Join CF (Sign up) at the top right corner.
and create an account and verify it in ur email.
Then log in with your newly made account, and go to The Competition section.
Click on Make.It.Work, and below find my team name Anti-Youth Unemployment.
then click on Vote Now and I Like It!
What kind of literacy shall Cambodian government apply on education system today? It was the topic for my class debate a few days ago, but it has been kept at the back of my head till now.
In the class, we are introduced to four kinds of literacy: Conventional, Functional, Cultural and Critical literacy. These were the only four choices we had to choose for the debate, and the restriction was that we could not combine two or three into one system. So, I had to say ‘Functional Literacy’.
To me, functional literacy refers to the ability to perform certain tasks so that people are capable of function in completing a job in the society. In response to the question, I think the conventional literacy has been using by the government in Cambodia for centuries, for crying out loud! All people can do is to read and write in a basis level. That doesn’t guarantee to make their life possible in such a demanding job market. However, to improve the life of those who live under the poverty line, functional literacy could be one of the tools. It can be said that functional literacy provides survival skills to people. It is somehow like vocational school. People are trained or taught to be able to do some particular tasks, so when they complete the course, they can find a job to make the ends meet.
Although people are equipped with some skills to make a living, there is one main limitation of functional literacy. The thing is that a significant example was raised from the industrialized period in which Marxism was used as an ideology to combat the capitalists. If people are only skillful doing a certain job — blue collar job, then those on the top will rip the reward more than the workers while they work less, indeed. Though this happened in the past, it still continues exist in today society. Like people say, the past may reflect the present.
Therefore, it seems complicated in Cambodian education system. The foreign donors suggest to build more vocational schools so that the poor can spend only some times and financial resource, but acquire skills to make their life possible. It may appears to be a pleasant image for the short-term run, as apposed by another team which favored critical literacy. For the long-term goal, those in the lower rank of social class still remain in their position while those on the top still can maintain their power easily. So they recommend ” Critical Literacy” in stead. It simple means that people are offered a kind of education that enable them to think critically. Using the “why” question to ask about things happening around them so they can make a better decision for their life. They do not only think about today, but also tomorrow.
Both perspectives have their own merits. The bottom line is that whether we would have the authority to make changes and betterment for our society.
News media has recently covered story about Lim Pisith’s death on Everest Mountain, Nepal. Now I would like to share my personal feelings and experience of having this man in my life.
The news of his death caught me off guard. I was shocked to my core. Never had I wanted to have a bad dream in my life, but I wished so hard that Bong (Brother) Pisith passed away was just a dream, a very very bad one. Days have gone by, only now that Bong Pisith’s death is an ongoing reality.
The first time I met him was in 2010. He was one of the committee of Cambodia-Thai Exchange Program (CTEP), which I applied for and got selected. He was loved and respected by his colleagues. That was the first impression I saw. Sometimes, I also judge a person by the reactions of other people around him since I hadn’t known him well personally. CTEP lasted approximately one week at a resort in Kompong Som province. Spending a full week at the program, I learnt more about Bong Pisith. He was a bright soul during the program. He was a dynamic and dedicated committee as I observed. At the end of the program, there was an evaluation session. As a committee, one of Bong Pisith’s responsibilities was in charge of food and location. Many participants complained about the food on the evaluation form, and that was the time Bong Pisith’s tears dropped, unexpectedly.
“I asked you guys how the food was during our meal times,” Bong Pisith sobbed, “and everyone said it was good. Now look! You guys all complained about the food!” Starting to cry louder, Bong Pisith asked, “Why didn’t you guys tell me? WHY!”
That was one of the times I felt very guilty about myself.
The second most memorable experience I had with him was in April 2012. Because of the strong bond we had created with Thai friends during the program, Bong Pisith organized a trip to Thailand for a week. It was one of the best times in my life. It was not the place itself, but the people I went with. Bong Pisith was our care taker. He sacrificed for the youngers and the weakers. I remembered the night we all had to travel by bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. As there was only some seats left for our group, Bong Pisith decided to take a later bus alone.
I was like ‘Come on, you can’t do that. It’s Thailand, not Cambodia!’ Bong Pisith just shook his head and said, “It’s okay. Just wait for me at the bus stop in Chiang Mai.”
He loves traveling. He has been to many places around world through international programs, scholarship and sometimes self-fund. Although he worked and saved a lot, he never had much money with him. He always used it to help community works and those who were in needs. He spent on other good causes rather than his own food. I remembered the small package of rice and dried fish he bought for his meal while he had such a chubby body.
A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from him. He was asking if I could host an American student coming to Cambodia in January. Anyway, I couldn’t. So, all I had for him was a ‘No’. That was the last time I contacted him before he went off to Nepal.
Climbing Everest Mountain was his ultimate goal. He once said proudly at a gathering that, “Someday, I will bring Cambodia flag to put on the Everest, the highest mountain in the world!” You know what, he did. He did bring the flag and climb mount Everest although he was very ill! Because of health condition, he passed away at a traditional clinic nearby the mountain.
I found it hard to accept the truth. Many people blamed him for the decision he mad. Deep down inside, I never ever wanted to lose him like that, but I bit my lips hard before said, “As his dream came true, and he is not resting in peace. I am happy for him, somehow.”
It is the table where the officials and families of a nation torn in two sit down to discuss matters of mutual importance.
South Korea sits on one side of this basic bit of furniture, North Korea on the other. They never swap sides, as one is for the North, the other for the South.
And no-one sits at the head of the table, as UN officers monitor the meetings, with soldiers from both sides lurking in the background.
This is where the best-known demilitarised zone hosts meetings between one people of two opposing regimes – communism in the north and democracy in the south.
Although the Cold War between East and West is over, it has not ended in the north and south of Korea. Communism has evolved in China and Vietnam, but North Korea’s leadership has remained a sustained dynasty that modern vernacular calls a dictatorship.
Although communism was ultimately rejected by Cambodians after 1979, when Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge were sent on the run – ironically, by Vietnamese forces – the north and south of Korea have remained in a civil war where battles are few but animosity is intense.
It’s a psychological civil cold war.
To get a closer perspective about the history of this bitter divide, a trip to the demilitarised zone, or DMZ, is essential.
It’s perhaps the most historically interesting place to visit in Korea: a strip of land 257km long and 4km wide that cuts across the Korean peninsula and serves as a buffer zone between the North and the South.
But there are areas along the DMZ where the two sides face off within metres of each other.
The DMZ centres on an area known as the Joint Security Area (JSA).
At the front of the JSA is Camp Bonifas, home of the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission, where Republic of Korea (ROK, informally South Korea) troops, US soldiers and delegates of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission from Sweden and Switzerland are stationed.
This is the home of the table.
On the way to the DMZ, our tour guide, Lee, introduces a female North Korean defector named Park who fled to South Korea via China three years ago.
“In North Korea, when girls want to be successful, they have to join the army,’’ Park says of her various reasons for leaving.
“I served in the army for seven years, and also had to teach at a school without any payment. They gave me a piece of land to grow crops, but no matter what I did, we couldn’t make a living. So I decided to escape.”
There are around 28,000 defectors living in South Korea. The southern government welcomes all defectors and supports them for three months, providing education and support for them to earn a living.
Park was dropped at a tourist site halfway to the DMZ, as she is not permitted to visit the area.
According to Lee, only foreign tourists are allowed to enter the DMZ. Individual trips are banned.
It is quite tough for local visitors, as they have to apply six months in advance for a trip to the area.
Once I entered the DMZ, I was told that taking photos was also banned. There are no exceptions.
The bus stopped at a building where we watched a 20-minute film about the DMZ, then we all had to sign a waiver absolving the UN of all responsibility should a firefight break out.
Again, our guide Lee reminded us about the dress code: no flip-flops, high heels, mini-skirts or shorts. She laughed as she said:
“We don’t want North Korean soldiers to see us wearing something short and think we have no money to afford for proper clothes.”
We eventually ended up at a place called Freedom House, where the table is located.
It stands at the centre of the room, a long, dark wooden meeting table with microphone cables bisecting its – a table with a border.
If we step to the other side of the table, technically we are on North Korean soil.
Inside the room, we are allowed to take pictures, and everyone is snapping away.
“Ladies, please,” our guide warns, “You can take photos with the North Korean soldiers, but don’t touch them or stand too close to them . . . at least six centimetres away, everyone!”
It is intense to be a civilian inside this enclosure. North Korean soldiers watch us from every direction through windows. They watch every step we make. If anything was going to happen, it would take only seconds. It was nerve-racking.
Visiting the DMZ was an overbearing experience.
Online news websites in Cambodia have rarely hired professional reporters to write their own articles, excepting the news breaking Dap or Sabay. But Cambodiacircles, a new-born news and social networking site, has stepped out and seized the chance to be the first to produce lengthy feature stories.
Cambodiacircles was founded in 2011 and its aim is to be an interactive platform gathering of people who share the same interests, activities, or careers – professionals, civil servants, NGOs, academics, business owners, and others.
There also ads for jobs, discussion forums, and of course, features articles. More than that, the site allows people sign up creating a profile page and networking with other registered members.
Not of all the categories are successful. The only real stand-out section is “Articles’’ a detailed archive of feature stories written by young reporters.
Most of the published stories focus on youth and social issues such as one entitled ‘New Way of Cheating — LINE and WhatsApp”, reporting how Cambodian year 12 students use mobile and smart phones to cheat during their final high school. It has had more than four hundred unique views.
The site also carries advertising. But, the factor distinguishing Cambodiancircles from other news websites is the empty space without eye-distractions such as company logos or flashing advertisements.
They are stored in ‘Sponsor’ section so browsers can choose to look at an ad or not – which could become a revenue issue as they don’t pop up.
Even though the website aims for active interaction among its members and visitors, it has not quite been the success it hoped to be.
Almost all of the articles published on Cambodiacircles have been viewed and shared to other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This can result in both advantage and disadvantage to the website.
A website is like a store — it wants people to do real shopping at the store, not window shop it at other platforms.
Ros Sophy – AKA DJ Buffy – has many fans Ros Sophy is also known as 25-year-old DJ Buffy on 97.5 Love FM, and is the standout presenter on Cambodia’s only English radio station.
She is ear-candy to both local and foreign listeners and is best known for the first show she hosted called ‘Rise and Shine’. Now she has two other programs – the love chat show, every Tuesday and Thursday evenings and the Rock School show every Saturday afternoon.
DJ Buffy has now been invited to do radio and TV commercials for clients like the Advanced Bank of Asia. She also DJ’d at the Naga World New Year party in 2010.
1. How did you become a radio presenter?
I didn’t want to be a DJ when I was young. I didn’t want that at all. I didn’t imagine I could be like that now. My dad is German and my mom is Cambodian. They always played English songs and that’s what I grew up listening to. When Love FM started to open, it was late 1990s and early 2000s, it was the best time of pop music and boy bands. I kept listening to Love FM until 2004 when Alex, a DJ there, and I became friends and that’s how I got a chance to be a DJ in 2007. You have to make sure why you want to do it. I knew it myself that I liked it and I could do it.
2. What are the challenges you have encountered doing your job as a DJ?
The first show was called ‘Rise and Shine’. It was from 6am to 7am from Monday to Friday. Then I got a chance to do Studio L, love chat show. That was a talk show. It was really hard for me at first to do a talk show as I had to change my style from the request show. On the request show you just talk about whatever you want to. You read emails and phone messages from listeners requesting the songs, but at talk show, you need to interact with people and you need to maintain the conversations and keep the people talking. I was kind of scared to do it at first, but I think I’m OK now.
3. The third show you host is Rock School. What distinguishes it from the others you do?
The Rock School show is every Saturday afternoon from 1pm to 3pm. The show was kind of special. Not every DJ can do the show. You have to know rock songs and love them. You can’t host a show like that when you don’t like the music. To me, I love rock music. I believe I do the show well. That’s what makes it unique.
4. How do you compare your English show with others in the Khmer language?
It’s s not like I try to preach about westernised stuff. No. I just want them to know what’s happening there and what’s happening here. Which one is better? My Tuesday love chat show is harder because I have to bring up questions regarding love, and a problem with Cambodian listeners is that they don’t call you to tell what’s going on until you ask them on the air to call in.
However, I also have to be careful with my questions as they cover two cultures. For example, what do you think of couples staying together before marriage? Some people say it’s wrong while others think it is OK they love each other. I’m pretty sure that some other Khmer radio show have the same theme.
5. What kind of personality do you need to become a DJ?
You have to be able to talk and understand. For example in Studio L, you have to have your mind set into the show, and not get involved. People are emotional, and if you just broke up, you can’t tell people on the radio show what to do. People can spark rumours about you because you are on the radio all the time. They know you. It’s also about the tone of your voice, what kind of tone you should use at the show. If it’s the love show, you can’t shout. Another thing is you have to be able to speak English well and know what you are talking about. If you talk about Michael Jackson, you have to know about him.
You don’t have to speak great English, just good English. I’m not a native, but I can try. I want proud Cambodian listeners who are able to communicate like everyone else does.
6. What kind of education or training would you recommend for people who want to be a DJ?
I had no training at all. We don’t even have school to train us to be a DJ here, but how do you learn? First of all, you have to practise yourself at home. Just pretend to record your voice as you are on the radio. That’s what I did. I wrote scripts to practise speaking as you would on radio. Everybody has to start somewhere. In the radio, people don’t see you, but they hear you. They can tell by your voice if you’re not up to it. So just practise and practise.
7. What would be some insider tips to landing a job like this?
Again, being able to speak English well. And having a belief in yourself to do the job. You need to know lots of music. Some general knowledge about music, movies, film stars and anything pop culture.