At the Eastern Transit

Anonymous said: Thai was never a country everything was Cambodia our king fuck us over. Thai stoled history from us.

drunkasianhistory:

I think I understand your discontent, and I’m not here to be bias towards any ethnicity or country.

From the very beginning, the Tai speaking people (Ancestors of the Thai, Lao, Shan, Tai Lu, Tai Dam, Tai Khum, etc. etc.) were all from the relatives of the Nanzhao Kingdom of the Yunnan province.

After the fall of the kingdom to the Chinese Dynasty, many would migrate southward and become apart of the Khmer Kingdom. They essentially adopted into Khmer & Pali Indian cultural influences. The Thai went south, and the Lao went east. Of course, the Khmer and the Chams were rivals, rivaling one another. The Khmer Empire would of course be successful, and thus creating the Angkor Wat from 800-1400’s.

However, like all empires, declines. The Lan Xang Kingdom of the Lao, the Ayuthaya, Lanna, etc. would eventually grow to become prosperous in the 1300’s-1700’s.

Then of course, the Thai and Burmese rivalry, the Thai would eventually conquer parts of Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia to become “Siam” in the 1700’s, until European reclaimed them back.

In my opinion, I think that it’s a shared history of Indochina.

Remember that it was the Khmer/Cambodians who gave the cultural brilliance to the Ancient Tai speaking people (Thai, Lao, Tai people, etc.) and the Burmese. It would be unfortunate that the Thai would be the last rulers of the once ago established Khmer Empire in the 1700’s, until the Europeans reclaimed the partial lands back from the Siamese.

But you have to understand that it was the Nationalism of the 1950’s~, and the effects of it today, when Thailand banned all non-Thai culture, language and writing, to assimilate others to essentially become Thai and boasted that “Thai people” are the best in Indochina, despite their adopted mother is Cambodian and their sister is Laotian. This has caused the Isan region of both Lao & Cambodians to switch their writings into Thai, the Tai Lu of the formal Lanna Kingdom of Northern Thailand to adopt to Thai writing styles, etc. etc.

I am very aware about the Nationalism that is going on in Thailand, and the conflicts between Thailand and Cambodia. So, it is wrong for some people to claim that “Angkor Wat” or that “Thai culture” is better than any others, particularly against Cambodian, Burmese and Lao culture, when the birth of those civilizations was thanks to the ancient Khmer Empire.

As someone of Cambodian background, first of all our culture is neither better not worse than anyone else’s culture. Especially to our neighbours, the Thais, Laotians and the Vietnamese.

What has happened has happened, and holding onto the past will keep our country in the past and prevent us from growing and being merely a tiny country.

Take a step into Thailand and Vietnam and mention that you are Khmer, and they will shrug their shoulders. They do not care about taking our land anymore. Worry about our growth as Cambodians. We have bigger issues to worry about than historically nationalistic dilemmas.

Sep 29
As sleep time overcomes us, it is the music of our childhood that tends to be the final sound we hear before we start dreaming. There was nothing quite like hearing my mother sing the Cambodian songs of the 50’s and 60’s that translated well into lullabies. They remind many of us Cambodians the musicality in our culture, and is a common thread that keeps us united. What songs remind you of your childhood? #cambodia #music #sinnsisamouth #panron #rossereysothea #plengkhmai #khmer
Jun 4

As sleep time overcomes us, it is the music of our childhood that tends to be the final sound we hear before we start dreaming. There was nothing quite like hearing my mother sing the Cambodian songs of the 50’s and 60’s that translated well into lullabies. They remind many of us Cambodians the musicality in our culture, and is a common thread that keeps us united. What songs remind you of your childhood? #cambodia #music #sinnsisamouth #panron #rossereysothea #plengkhmai #khmer

"Isn’t Cambodian a democracy?"

- Misinformed tourists

Apr 2
Khmer cemetery. Contrary to Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhism, Cambodians cremate their dead. It is said if one is not cremated, one’s soul cannot properly achieve a rebirth and become an angered spirit roaming the earth. #vietnam #khmer #temples #wat #buddhism #asia #travels
Feb 25

Khmer cemetery. Contrary to Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhism, Cambodians cremate their dead. It is said if one is not cremated, one’s soul cannot properly achieve a rebirth and become an angered spirit roaming the earth. #vietnam #khmer #temples #wat #buddhism #asia #travels

Buddhist temple ceiling in Cambodia are painted with stories of Buddha and his ascension into enlightenment. Within these temple walls, children from an early age are taught the Khmer script from the monks, in return alms are given to the monks. #cambodia #khmer #temples #battambang #buddhism
Feb 13

Buddhist temple ceiling in Cambodia are painted with stories of Buddha and his ascension into enlightenment. Within these temple walls, children from an early age are taught the Khmer script from the monks, in return alms are given to the monks. #cambodia #khmer #temples #battambang #buddhism

Feb 7

elizabethklee:

Apsara Dancers

01.17.2014
Koulen, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Khmer classical dance, the indigenous ballet-like performance art of Cambodia, is called “Apsara Dance.” An Apsara is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythologyApsaras are thought to be beautiful, supernatural female beings - youthful, elegant, and superb in the art of dancing. 

(via fckyeahcambodia)

This is my Cambodia
Palm trees and palm sugar
The kuyteav brewed in the morning for all
Mee kadang for late night binges with friends
A karaoke set is never too far away
Oh we miss you Sinn Sisamouth, Ros Sereysothea, Pan Ron
Romvuong, apsara and soksabbay
This is my Cambodia

This is my Cambodia
I dream of us playing in the river
We fish, we bathe, we sing
The heat drains us
The night surprised us
I hear my parents call me
They sing lullabies that all us children know
In the hammock while the shopkeepers close up
This is my Cambodia

This is my Cambodia
Where our past is a memory
Our present is a future we fought for
Our name is represented among the stars
We are korn khmai
Klung nah, jumuy na oh kneer
This is my Cambodia

Jan 6
This is my Cambodia
Now how to extend this tattoo…
Nov 13

Now how to extend this tattoo…

There’s something about having a heritage that few people know about. As a Chinese-Cambodian there is this certain phenomenon that seems to have people apologise to me about the Khmer Rouge when they find out of my heritage; worst yet they may not even know of this country and assume it is in Thailand or Vietnam. The former makes me want to backhand people, the latter just leaves me speechless.


What we need is Cambodians of varying origins to be role-models. Not half naked models that do not pertain to intelligence and rather a visual aid for a man’s late night desires. We need a range of role models to show that we are taking control of ourselves and that we can grow from the hell we have experienced.

I believe we need to celebrate the beauty in our culture, respect the horror, and celebrate our potential. We need to unite as a whole community, with the realisation of our plurality as a global community that have discovered ourselves in intriguing parts of the world. We have the luck to now mesh our cultures and teach others so much.

As a first generation child of parents who experienced the regime; it is important as a first generation child to remind our parents that their fight has not been forgotten. It is our responsibility that we give others to option should they feel it is within their identity to grasp onto their Khmer roots. We need to show the elders that we thank their tenacity and their prowess; we need to show the youth how the blood of survivors are running through our veins, hence my tattoo ‘We the Survivors’.

Each migrant culture has different roles to play in breathing fresh new life into our pasts. There is so much fascination for us to taste; a world to enjoy. We need to open ourselves, cast aside our judgments and preconceived notions and delve a little deeper.

Oct 31
Colourful Child
Banh hoi! Vermicelli noodles, fish and vinegar sauce, Chilli, pork belly, mint, lettuce! #khmer #cambodian #food #eat
Sep 7

Banh hoi! Vermicelli noodles, fish and vinegar sauce, Chilli, pork belly, mint, lettuce! #khmer #cambodian #food #eat