Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The view from outside the city

The view from outside the city

Ever since urban centres were formed in Cambodia, usually around centres of trade and industrythere has been an understanding gap between people living in the rural areas and people who became accustomed to life in the city.

Ethnic groups tended to stay in the rural areas, and because they have been separated from places like Phnom Penh, they are seen, and often see themselves as foreigners in their own country when they come to the capital city.

In order to facilitate a greater sense of understanding and community between rural and urban populations, Khmer Community Development, officially established in 2005, invited 750 youth from 7 minority groups in Cambodia to join each other for a weekend of dialogue, activities and developing relationships.

Ngach Pheaktra, a tenth grader from Mondulkiri province, took part in the camping activity and said that, because this was his first trip to Phnom Penh, he sometimes felt like an outsider.

“I feel strange walking along the buildings and houses here. They are all made of brick, while our houses back in our villages are made of wood,” he said, adding that his home doesn’t have too many mosquitoes and he rarely goes on difficult journeys, but his homeland does have mountains, trees and wild animals.

Ngach Pheaktra says Phnom Penh seems much more dangerous, with all of the vehicles moving around the city. “I do not feel secure at all when I am in Phnom Penh. I heard of robbery and rape,” he said. “Compared to Phnom Penh, my village is much better off and safer,” he added.

For Kham Sopheap, a 17-year-old and twelfth grader from Rattanakiri province who is part of one of the ethic minorities in the area, told Lift that she can hardly breathe in Phnom Penh, unlike here village where there are plenty of trees and therefore lots of fresh ait.  As a child, she faced a discrimination from students who asked her why she even came to school when she could not speak any Khmer. By the time she was eight, however, she was able to speak Khmer well enough to converse with her classmates.

“There are some things I like about Phnom Penh and other things I don’t like,” she said. “I like it for its amusement parks and the Royal Palace, but I certainly do not like when Phnom Penh is too crowded.”
Lat Bunart, an eleventh grader from Ratanakiri, said that she feels like Phnom Penh is a place only for wealthy people, whereas her village doesn’t require people to be rich. “People in my village are so friendly and welcome the poor and the rich, but people here seem so busy with their businesses and work,” she said. “In our village we spend the day  farming and have much more free time to enjoy life.”

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Bodies of Cambodian peacekeepers returned to Kingdom

The bodies of four Cambodian peacekeepers killed by a Christian militia in Central African Republic were repatriated to the Kingdom and honoured in an airport ceremony on May 21.

Phnom Penh eats: Ptas Nak Battambang

As the name suggests, Ptsa Nak Battambang – which in English means Battambang's house – is the right place for those who want to try some of the province's typical dishes in Phnom Penh.

People drive past an advertisement for beer.

Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a directive on Friday banning the sale and consumption of alcohol on June 3 and 4 to prevent unrest during commune el

Military police stand guard outside a polling station that was allegedly prematurely closed to eligible voters during the 2013 general election in Kandal province. Photo supplied

The Ministry of Defence on Friday lashed out at civil society and election monitoring groups, claiming a