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You da man

The You’re The Man! National Challenge, which took place at Angkor Gyeongju Park in Siem reap, has been deemed a big success by its organisers.

About 5000 people attended the four day event ending Sunday, July 18, and 967 men applied to partake in the challenge. This was shortlisted to 200 men who auditioned over the first three days.

Ten men were then selected to compete in the final game challenge on Sunday evening and, ultimately, three winners were selected to appear at the grand finale of the challenge in Phnom Penh from August 12-15.

Siem Reap winners were 23-year-old university student Sorn Ravy, 20-year-old student Deum Sovanda, and 36-year-old married tuk-tuk driver Yem Seyhak.

Winners were selected based on who was the most clever, the most healthy, and the most collaborative, and who stood out during the organised debates. Tests were based on physical, mental, personality and talent criteria, but it was the notion of what makes a “real man” itself that was the real challenge.

An important part of the challenges were the debates, which focused on proposals such as “real men have to support what women say and listen to their ideas and opinions”, and “real men don’t have to drink to keep their friendships”.

These sparked much animated intervention from the audiences according to Sokhon Sea, from Family Health International, an organisation that is behind the show with funding from USAID. He said, “People went crazy after the debates; there was lots of fun, lots of interaction with the audience. Most of them were for the proposition.”

Contestants were also encouraged to take part in “women’s work”. Sokhon Sea said, “Khmer culture traditionally says that men mustn’t do housework. We want to change that negative norm into a positive norm and say that this is work for everybody, not just for women.”

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