I don’t know, if there is many better things to do during Christmas time than actually organizing a KIDS CHRISTMAS PARTY for hundreds of Cambodian Kids. Another event we’ve never done before. And the first biiig event on our Campus. I love pioneering. Challenges keep my life running 😉
For Khmers, Christmas might be just another ordinary day. However, for us it’s a great opportunity to spread LOVE, JOY, FUN, …..
Read here how you can add your own part to the this year’s Christmas story:
go to GIFT IDEAS
Yesterday evening, I hit upon the bright idea to create a film of already existing material. For many hours, I was working and totally forgot about the time. Tiredness came, but motivation stayed. As I finished the first draft, I had three hours left to sleep.
Over the whole film I went today again – with filled energy and concentration tanks. It’s purpose is mostly to show the beauty of Cambodia. I tried, to capture the cambodian daily life. A big challenge was to make an end. I could easily expand it to three hours, however, that would cause one or the other eye from you to be tired and my computer to crash. But who knows, there might be another creative night and another sequel …?
All situations are no fake. Nothing was prepared or discussed (apart from the water buffalo which I tried to convince to walk into the water which sadly didn’t help).
It’s said that silence is golden.
Well then, I just want to say:
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Needless to say, that the culture of Cambodia is totally different to those from outside Asia. Even within Asia itself, it varies a lot. Like in any other countries, it originates in a mix of other nations influence, history (read it here), religion, regimes and their rules. Additionally, positive and negative experiences as well as new trends can change habits in a process which takes years, decades, centuries. Cambodia’s culture is extremely complex and consequently not always easy to understand. I’ve heard, seen, experienced, read already a lot and now I want to try to give you a general idea. Furthermore, I will try to explain some backgrounds, most of those will be my personal view. Please understand, that all in all everybody is different, thus there are people matching these descriptions but also some who are in some parts visibly different.
How some characteristics are
They don’t shout at each other. The more important something is, the quieter they speak. For example, when you’re haggling over a price on the market, you’d rather lower your voice. In that way they’ll show much more respect towards you and you’ll have more success. I can easily imagine that this comes from the past: Cambodians had experienced so many different, cruel regimes and wars during which they probably always got shouted at (e.g. orders). And now, this has turned 180° – as if to set an example for seeking the opposite.
Also helpful is being patient and not in a rush. The more you wait and hesitate the more they discount for you. Time has another significance here than in the business world in the west. What you can’t finish today, do tomorrow. Or the day after. Or the week after. I love these two characteristics, they make life so relaxed. However, it also means that they don’t really care about punctuality and that’s a thing which Swiss people are famous for …
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The past of Cambodia is full of tragedy, war, cruelty, murder, fight. It is a true story about people slaughtering their own neighbours, about kings and their pursuit of keeping together a chaotic and restless country. Sadly, they don’t teach a lot in school even though there is a lot worth knowing. Read here the most important milestones in a summary.
Very little is known about the early years Before Christ and Anno Domini. It is likely, that there were various smaller and bigger settlements and kingdoms scattered around South East Asia. Each was fighting against others and intermarrying with other tribes in order to enlarge its territory. Thus it more and more became cohesive. That time, India not only influenced the trade but also the religion; beside Buddhism was Hinduism widespread. Due to the development of wet-rice agriculture, the population gradually concentrated along the Mekong and Tonlé Sap banks.
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First of all, I hope you’ve read the entry “my first time travelling” as this has to do with it. As you might remember, I spent some time in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Matter-of-factly, I visited there the NGO and Church ICF Cambodia. The Swiss family “Strupler” has been there since summer 2013 and was starting ICF Cambodia. Wondering what was happening there I met their still small team on a Sunday morning during an input from ND. I felt immediately comfortable and since I didn’t have a tight plan – or rather not a plan at all – I asked them whether I could help in any way for a few days. ND, the team leader, went he wouldn’t know yet, but tell me if there came something into his mind.
Two days later, he called me and set this task: Print the Khmer (Cambodian language) numbers 0 – 100 and go into the city and take either a photo or a short video of each number hold by a local person. Afterwards intercut between the different scenes and create a Countdown. He didn’t mention more details, trusting on my creativity. Positively surprised, that I got such an interesting project to do even though he didn’t even know me well nor if I would like such thing or not. Well, I did love the idea!
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In my last year of regular school, we got the task to do a project about anything. Firstly, I struggled a lot. I hadn’t the slightest idea which theme to choose… Until I remembered having seen Ayers Rock in a small booklet. I did some research about itself and the country it belongs to. Thus I ended up writing a detailed journey of a family travelling around that huge continent, country and island AUSTRALIA. For the practical part I made a jigsaw out of wood. Since I had known nothing about Australia, I had to do heaps of research. The more I found out, the more I wanted to know. That’s how I got to know this country. That’s how I fell in love with it. And that’s how a big dream got born.
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