Conversation of Cambodian Webloggers

According to a research report released recently by Pew Internet, most webloggers don’t consider themselves doing journalism. In most cases they are not up to what a journalist does. In Cambodian blogosphere, there exists a series of interviews done by digital citizens playing the role of citizen’s media.

Chan Bopha, a Cambodian woman in Japan, does a self-interview to tell a story about herself. One among many other questions Chan Bopha asks: “did you have boyfriend?” In her response, she lets us know that Cambodian conservation culturally does not allow woman having boyfriend before getting married, unlike people in Europe.

In August, media student Vanndeth spoke to Cambodian native Lim Borey, who currently is pursuing higher education in Malaysia. The interview provides an insight into Borey’s life as an outstanding university student. That is something that you cannot find frequently in local newspapers.

Learning from reports that Cambodian young citizens are ignorant tof their own history, in particular about the Khmer Rouge regime that murdered several millions, PR at Forver in Trasit tries to find out the fact through an email interview with a Cambodian young blogger. That said, PR is a Cambodian living in the U.S, and he is using the power of the Internet to interview Kalyan, who is an student in Cambodia speaking fluent English.

There are many reports that said that Cambodian youths are complacent, ignorant of Khmer history (especially the Khmer Rough Era), and too materialistic. Despite all these claims, I find the opposite with the Cambodian youth I meet. I’m often struck by the talent, enthusiasm, hard work, vision, and patriotism Cambodian youths have. Their sense of optimism for a better Cambodia and a better tomorrow are infectious. They display their patriotism and their pride of their culture on their sleeves.

Phil Lees, an Australian national and editor of Cambodian food weblog Phnomenon, posted an account of conversation he had with his counterpart, Mylinh Nakry Danh, who maintains Khmer Krom Recipes site. Phnomenon is the only Cambodian food weblog, and it was recently shorlisted in Best Asian Food Blog at AsiaPundit.

Last but not least, long-time expat weblogger Jinja at ‘webbed feet, web log‘ has more links on the interviews previously conducted with Cambodia webloggers.

This weblog post was first published on Global Voices Online on August 20th, 2006.

Back to School

In the second week of this August I will go back to life as a student once again. I restart school after my university graduation in mid 2004. I have been quite fascinating in some amazing things, enjoying and experimenting so many curiosities, in this long period of time. Well, from now my free time beyond my job comes to its end. But I am starting fresh. I am going to spend my available time attending Diploma in Buddhism, a Buddhist Studies Program, at Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University.
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In Which Google Conquer the World of the Web

by defeating arch-rival Amazon, an American electronic commerce company based in Seattle, and online auction and shopping eBay, at least in fiction in a magazine in the next couple of years.

The very first paragraph of the overview of Google mission is simply: Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google did not came out of nothing, but a small start-up. For most people, how the online company dominate the web is something exciting, when we see the pace of growing and how steps have been taken, particularly in these last few years — after the Internet gold rush was gone. The development surprises us all, let alone well and long time established Microsoft en Yahoo!. But how Google came to existence is more interesting. Paul Ford wrote “August 2009: How Google beat Amazon and Ebay to the Semantic Web“.

South Korea and Japan Tourists to Cambodia Made the Top List

In the first six months of this year South Korea tourists to Cambodia are on the top of the list, followed by Japan and the United States.
However the numbers of tourists from the United Kingdom and France declined. In other news, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia launched e-Visa that enables travellers from around the world to apply for a Cambodia travel visa via the web. Surprisingly to see the development of the whole world going paperless and that I am sometimes left a bit behind. It was in late 2005 that I realized that electronic flight ticket available in our real world.
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London T-shirt

According to the free encyclopedia Wikipedia:

The idea of the T-shirt came to the USA during WWI when US soldiers noticed the light cotton undershirts European soldiers were using while the US soldiers sweated in their wool uniforms. Since they were so much more comfortable they quickly became popular among the Americans, and because of their design they got the name T-shirt.

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Miss Beauty of Cambodia

After its absence for a decade, in this new millennium Cambodia sets to organize its first Miss Beauty competition. The nominated contestant will participate in next year’s Miss Universe contest. However, in an effort to preserve Cambodian culture, as suggested by the Ministry of Culture, swimsuit is not allowed, at least in domestic pageant.It was in 1993 and 1995 that the country organized the Miss Beauty competitions. And the skimpy attire was also banned from the earlier contests. Socially conservative, largest population of the country is predominantly Buddhist.The Culture Ministry said contestants cannot take to the stage in swimsuits.

Contestants must be properly attired at all times “to preserve Cambodian culture,” said Sim Sarak, a director-general of Cambodia’s Culture Ministry. “There will be no section for a swimsuit parade in the event because our country has not yet advanced to that level.”

Knowing that the presence of Miss Cambodia in the upcoming contest will make the Cambodians proud, a Cambodian native writes:

Her present in the contest will map our country to the world. If she could make it to the top ten she could possibly use the situation to increase the world’s awareness to Cambodia’s present situation, highlight the need for better health care and the much needed help for the deprived children back home. But whether she can make it into the top ten or not we are already a winner.

For people who travel the world, modesty is natural. But, from one society to another, it is yet a point of debate. Guy at SweetCucumber writes:

The bikini was invented 60 years ago. Time to move on, guys…
Or like Garrison Keillor, the American humourist, said: “Looking at a girl in a bikini is like have a loaded revolver on the table: there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s difficult to think of anything else.”

But a Singaporean hopes that:
“Given the recent success of Kurara Chibana in this year’s Miss Universe pageant, Miss Cambodia should hopefully stand a good chance of doing well in next year’s competition!”

This weblog post was first published on Global Voices Online on August 7th, 2006.

The Web Is Part of the World

Rushing into the digital age, embracing technology trend…

In other parts of the world people live with technology, in digital lifestlye. In most rural areas of Cambodia, for most countrymen, computer machine is yet widely unknown. When people in urban areas have more chances to breath the proliferation, the spark of the digital technology revolution has also made its presence for a number of years in Siem Reap, Cambodia’s largest tourist destination. Since then at least for some people, though not most, can breath and look at the outside world through a magical window of the Internet superhighway. Continue reading →