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5 ways to preserve your national identity

Phan Sophie, 27, teacher's assistant at Future Leader School
“Every nation has her specialty; the specialty of that nation shapes and forms her national identity. Working as a teacher’s assistant, I often show and teach young children about our national identity and the morality behind aspects of our culture, such as the way we dress, salute – and especially, sing our national anthem. Educating the children like that could make them love our nation and develop ideas of how to maintain our national identity, since they are kids.”

Chhe Lida, 19, student at Royal University of Law and Economics
“We can shape and preserve our national identity through literature, art, culture, tradition, religion, clothes, song and more. To maintain our Cambodian identity, young people need to learn about these things – and also love to learn about it. We should stop foreign cultures from influencing our own and we should implement more about our own national identity in the education system. As Cambodians, we should support and encourage all cultural activities and also products made in our country.”

Kea Sopheany, 28, student at National University of Management
“With the rise of technology and social networking, foreign culture has become increasingly popular in Cambodia over the past few years. Because of this, some young Cambodians have little understanding of their own culture. I think what young Cambodians need to do, then, is learn about our culture, traditions and history in order to develop a sense of national identity. If we don’t know about it, it will disappear forever. Learning about nationalism and our culture also shows that we’re developing as a country.”

Ek Chanpanharith, 22, student at Pannasastra University of Cambodia
“It’s very important that young Cambodians learn about our culture and nationality. In my opinion, I think developing our national identity is key to developing our nation. As Cambodian youth, we play a vital role in shaping the country’s future. With activities that involve our language, song, dance, music and other cultural activities, we can show how great our culture is to other nations.”

Chea Sotheavy, 21, student at Economics and Finance Institute

“When I went to university, I never heard students sing our national anthem. I think that university committees should encourage students to hoist up our flag and sing national songs. Also, many young Cambodians mix Cambodian and English language when they’re writing to one another. Instead, I think it would help develop our national identity if we kept the languages separate. Finally, clothes really affect our sense of national identity. Of course, it’s fine to follow other countries’ styles; however, we need to keep in mind the right place and time to wear foreign styles.”



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