Search

Search form

Nget Sarom: Finding a new life selling Chinese dumplings on a pushcart

Nget Sarom: Finding a new life selling Chinese dumplings on a pushcart

130423 06c

A dark, tall, thin man pushes his Chinese dumplings cart silently at midnight. In the dark of night, you can only see his bread lit by a small lamp in a glass case. He sells to the few hungry people who venture out at night, mostly travellers. Although a difficult job, this is the career of Chinese dumplings vendor Nget Sarom.

In order to provide for his food, rent and family in the countryside, Sarom, 31, never wastes a day. With his pitiful little cart, he starts selling dumplings at 2pm each afternoon at his house near Samrong Andet Pagoda and Pochentong Market. By the time he gets back home from his daily routine, it is 2am.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Because he makes little money selling Chinese dumplings (a dome-shaped Chinese cake filled with pork), Sarom, 31, always struggles to stay afloat.

An impoverished background and lack of education has prevented Sarom from taking higher paying jobs. Sarom, who says he is a poor farmer’s son from Kampong Speu, never finished school beyond grade four.

“Due to poverty and not having money for studying, I’m not well-educated. Sometimes, my family has nothing to eat.”

He said that unemployment in his homeland led him to emigrate to the city 10 years ago to find jobs.

In the past decade, Sarom has faced many obstacles as he has worked jobs ranging from garment factory worker to construction worker. But because these jobs could not support his life in the city, he decided to sell Chinese dumplings, which he said makes him enough money to send a little cash back home.

Having worked the job for five years, Sarom has met some problems selling bread at night. With an unhappy face, the struggling but patient man recalled some of his unfortunate experiences.

“I have been threatened and beaten for money several times. If I don’t give them money, those gangsters always beat me.”

Even when he is not robbed, Sarom also faces people looking down on him. He said on one occasion, a motorbike driver shouted to him: “Eh, Chinese dumpling seller, how untidy you are.”

Sarom said that he is irritated by such blatant public displays of discrimination.

“I would like them not to look down on me and other poor people. I am also a human being, and I don’t do anything wrong or ask for something from them.”

Despite the hardships and lack of respect, Sarom said that he values his job.

Nget Sarom has some suggestions for youths.

“As citizens in society, we should not do things that will have bad effects on others. No matter how difficult things are, we should avoid stealing and work hard according to our abilities.”

Any career has value if it avoids illegal activities, and we should not look down on poor people. We should instead, pity, help and admire their struggle as they live their lives as good citizens.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all