This week’s Lift is about confidence and independence among Cambodian youth. We know it can be difficult to present your ideas with confidence and believe in your abilities when you have less experience than the adults around you, but there are plenty of examples of young people in the Kingdom who are making their voice heard.
“Ignoring the expression of the youth is a phenomenon which does not only occur in Cambodia but the world over,” said Ros Chantraboth, vice president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia. “The older people believe they know more than the young.”
Despite this widespread belief in Cambodian society, it is also true that the ideas of young people are crucial to the development of a country where 60 percent of the population is under the age of 20, and many of Cambodia’s youths are better educated that their parents, who did not have access to the same academic resources.
Regardless of your age, the way that people perceive you and your ideas is dependent on your ability to present yourself with confidence and support your ideas with facts and evidence. “We can improve the way we are perceived by speaking confidently in a clear tone and having exact examples to back up our words,” said Ting Malinnet, who is the president of the Pannasastra University Toastmaster club, which aims to give students a chance to develop their public-speaking skills.
“It is a stereotype that old people take our ideas for granted,” said Pen Dalen, a 22-year-old member of the debate club at the Institute of Foreign Languages. “They believe that youth have less experience on social issues, but I don’t really believe that. We can have just as much experience with these issues. In conversations with older people, my ideas are accepted when I deliver them along with exact reasons.”
We hope that after reading this issue you will be ready to stand up and let the world know what you think. -Chan Sovannara