I like to see them wearing short skirts, but I wouldn’t want my sister or my girlfriends to do it
Clothing is used not only to stay warm and preserve privacy but can also be an expression of personal identity and national culture. For example, traditional Cambodian fashion choices helped define our culture of modesty: small shorts, short skirts, and revealing tops used not to be very common.
But changes have begun taking place in recent years, especially among urban dwellers who began sporting more Western clothing styles. Even more recently, Cambodians have adopted styles from Korea and Hong Kong.
It’s now common to see young Cambodians wearing revealing clothes almost anywhere. Take a drive around the city, and you will see teens, some younger than 18, wearing very short, revealing skirts as if they couldn’t care less.
Even when going to school, some students would rather wear stylish shorts and skirts than obey formal Khmer student dress codes. Wearing these types of clothes can be thrilling and attention-getting, but can have negative consequences as well.
Female students wearing short skirts can distract male students, and even teachers, from doing their job, thus lowering the quality of education.
In an interview with the German press agency DPA, an English literature student said he had noticed many of his female classmates were wearing short skirts.
“We always turn back to see them,” he said. “I like to see them wearing short skirts, but I wouldn’t want my sister or my girlfriends to do it”.
On March 29, 2010, the Phnom Penh Post reported on a rally of more than 100 people who came out to urge Khmer women to dress more modestly. San Arun, secretary of state for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, told the Post that: “Wearing short skirts and sexy clothes causes rape to occur, because all men, when they see white skin, immediately feel like having sex.”
Other voices would strongly disagree. Sim Socheata sent a letter to the Phnom Penh Post’s editor saying: “We are witnessing that women and girls are being blamed for being raped and sexually harassed for the kind of places they decide to go, the kind of dresses they decide to wear and the length of those dresses.
“Instead of calling for women to stop wearing short skirts, the Khmer Teachers Association could have marched against male perpetrators who rape women and girls, men who commit violence in the famil and male teachers who sexually harass their students.”
Still, there are other problems. It may sound funny, but wearing sexy clothing can cause traffic accidents. If they have the power to distract students in class, it is also highly possible that miniskirtwearing women could distract the attention of drivers on the road.
Besides these effects on other people, female students may elicit poor opinions of themselves by wearing lascivious garments.
In Bill Thourlby’s You Are What You Wear – The Key to Business Success, the author claims that when you walk into a room, even if no one there knows you, they will make 10 assumptions about you based solely on your appearance.
They may make many others, but you can be assured they will form conclusions about your economic level, your educational background, your trustworthiness, your level of sophistication, your economic heritage, your social heritage, your educational heritage, your success and your moral character.
So, wearing clothing that fits properly with your situation is very important because, as they say, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
For better or worse, people will determine who you are by the clothing and styles you choose. So if you’re a student, don’t dress like someone working in another career.
Media can be a powerful tool for promoting culture, but it can also be harmful because people, especially teenagers, will follow what they see projected in the media.
In 2000, Prime Minister Hun Sen banned pop stars in Cambodia from sporting short, sexy skirts when they appeared on television.
Quoted by Agence-France Presse (AFP), Hun Sen said: “These singers who like to wear sexy clothes look like they have not enough clothing. Don’t bring them on to TV, let them sing in nightclubs or restaurants. This is not Cambodian tradition, and we have our own rich traditions and culture.”
And even if lascivious performances have stopped on television, sexy photos of some stars still appear in local magazines.
Recently, Cambodians have become more active on the internet, including social networking sites such as Facebook. I’ve seen many teens upload sexy and scandalous pictures onto the internet.
To conclude, all I’d like to say is that only you can choose who you are going to be, and what you want others to think of you.19/08/2011 By: Dara Saoyuth This article was published on LIFT, Issue 82 published on August 03, 2011
- Constructive Cambodian: Cambodian local investment (saoyuth.wordpress.com)
- Libraries a brilliant learning resource (saoyuth.wordpress.com)
It might be a surprise for LIFT fans to know that our editor, Colin Meyn, has just resigned from his work after finishing his contract with the Phnom Penh Post. However, I’d better not say that he resigned because he told me that he could not renew his contract though he still loves working there.
It’s a bit hard for me to accept this fact because I always appreciate his contribution to LIFT and I’d say that “without Colin is without LIFT today”. I dare to say that no one else know well about the development and improvement of LIFT magazine besides from Colin Meyn, Tivea Koam, and me because we used to work with each other very closely and conduct plenty of meetings to improve our magazine quality.
LIFT magazine is an educational supplement of the Phnom Penh Post for Cambodian youth. 1st issue of LIFT was published on January 6, 2009, and so far, there are 72 issues of LIFT.
This post is written to remind me of good memories I have with my beloved editor, to address his involvement in LIFT, and also my contribution to this magazine. Hope to receive some comments from my dear readers after you guys finish reading this opinion piece…
My involvement in LIFT magazine
June 2, 2010 is the first time I had chance to have an article published in LIFT magazine, but actually, I have involved in LIFT a bit early than that by joining its’ weekly newsroom meeting.
I can still remember that at that time, I don’t know much about how to write an article so I made a lot of mistakes in writing and Colin edited most of what I’ve sent to him. I was only a normal contributor to LIFT and in some issues, I didn’t even have my name in writers and reporters list. I used to be very disappointed once and a bit envy with some of my friends who had their names published at that time, so I sent a short mail to Colin saying that I will struggle to get my name in the list and you know what his reply is? He said that it’s just my beginning and if I keep holding this commitment, he assured that one day, my name will appear on the list.
From that day, I’ve committed to get byline by working hard, and trying to improve my writing and professionalism. Every single idea I came up, I would raise it to Colin to get some suggestions from him.
If I’m not wrong, about 3 weeks later, I got my name published on LIFT magazine. I was very happy at that time, and I guess this feeling is true for every reporter who has their article published for the first time. I bought a copy of it to keep until today and even called to my mum in Kampot province to buy a newspaper because her son’s name was on it.
I keep doing my best for LIFT and as a result, a few months later Tivea and I were promoted to be deputy editors, so we start working to help other writers producing good stories by giving them suggestions to their story angles as well as commenting on their writings.
At that time, I was doing my internship with Agence-France Presse (AFP), so I was very happy since I can use what I’ve learnt from an international news agency to help improving LIFT magazine. I have tried my best to contribute to LIFT and have received a lot of feedbacks from Colin in term of writing, interviewing, and organizing a magazine. I even learn some layout design from him. That’s when I know a lot about complex structures in a newsroom.
Later, Tivea and I start having our name put into senior writers list, so it means that we are eligible to write opinion piece in Constructive Cambodian section. So far, I’ve written two of them: Why traffic jam exists in Cambodia? and Getting passport in Cambodia.
Now, I am still a senior writer for LIFT magazine, but I don’t know what the future is. I believe that some structures will be changed after Colin left; however, I am still happy to contribute what I’ve if they still need me.
27/05/2011 By: Dara Saoyuth
Please stay tune because I have two more points to write about: Colin Meyn involvement in developing LIFT magazine + My memories with my beloved editor… I’m thinking of updating this post or create another post for these two points… Thanks for reading my opinion piece...
My radio production course assigned me to do a commentary with my friend under a topic “Should authorities be blamed on Koh Pich Issue?”. My friend is on an opposing site that he think that the authorities should be blamed while I am on a supporting side that I have to stat that authorities should not be blamed.
We’ve just finished it as a radio course assignment and we’d like to share this piece with all of you. Cheers,
Cue/Introduction: Diamond bridge stampede claimed some 350 people’s lives and injured hundreds last month, on the last day of water festival. Critics and a number of people have been complaining about the tragic incident. They put blame on the authorities for the reason that they have not managed the event well. However, some people have the ideas that no one should be blamed for the incident.
Our program is going to have commentary on the topic “Should the government be blamed for the incident?” Our commentators Sun Narin and Dara Saoyuth will express their point of view on the issue.
Sun Narin (Opposing site): I could not imagine how such incident happen on that day? People got jammed on the bridge and could not get out. Cambodia’s prime minister Hun Sen said that “Nobody will be punished for the incident.”
However, Sam Rainsy opposition party Son Chhay pushed the ruling government to identify the people responsible for “organizing the festival and handling the crowd” and wanted them to be fired from the position. This includes Phnom Penh governor, head of the police and interior ministry.
In my opinion, the government at least should take actions with those officials because they are irresponsible for their duty.
Phnom Penh municipality, relevant ministry and police did not perform their work responsibly and carefully. Why didn’t police facilitate the people’s crossing the bridge? There is not a lot of police force deploying at the incident place at that time.
Moreover, the bridge is for the exit only, why people were allowed to get in and out? This is the reason causing the mass deaths. Why didn’t police deal with that problem?
Police could not help the victims urgently when the incident happened, keeping people stuck in the crowdedness more than 2 hours. This caused more people dead because of the suffocation in the stampede.
Finally, the organizing people don’t plan the ceremony well. They are not well-prepared to be ready for the unplanned incident. Comparing to other countries, when there is the some special event like that the government must guarantee that the safety for people. They are very careless about this.
I think this is the mass unprecedented deaths, so all these officials should be taken off from the position as the example for the other people.
Dara Saoyuth (Supporting site): Even though most Cambodians can think only who should be blamed when talking about tragedy on Koh Pich, to me, it is an opportunity to learn rather than focus on blame finding.
During the water festival, truck or big cars were not allowed to enter the city and even tuktuk couldn’t drive along riverside to avoid traffic jam and accident. I dared to say that Phnom Penh authorities were well-planned for the festival.
This year, people moved into the city more than the authority expectation, that in the evening of 22 November 2010, the accident happened. There are many reasons causing stampede including the lack of people morality that they push each other back and forth? Why should only authorities be blamed?
As we can see, immediately after the accident, the authorities were trying to help the victims in many ways.
The government ordered the Ministry of Health to pay much attention to the victims and also some officers to send dead people to their provinces with free of charge. The Phnom Penh Capital Hall also started reporting on the tragedy instantly and kept updating with new announcement related to the incident.
No one wants this to happen and also nothing can be changed. Now we should better find the solution instead of blaming.
One facebooker, Samsokrith Chhaly, urges the public to think of those who died during the Water Festival as heroes because they gave us priceless lesson for next year’s preparation. When development sides establish in Cambodia next time, I’m sure that they will think first about an effective risk management system.
Conclusion by Dara Saoyuth:
After listening to both supporting and opposing sides, do you still think that government should be blamed for the tragedy? If yes, what can you get from that? I know that it is Cambodian habit to accuse each other when something bad happen, but I suggest you to be more positive by considering it as a lesson. Again, no one should be blamed. Critics should take the effective risk management system for considering rather than putting blame.By: Dara Saoyuth & Sun Narin 22/12/2010
This is a 3 month subscription to the Phnom Penh Post Khmer language edition and “EVERYONE” has the possibility of winning.
- The first thing you must have is your account in Angkorone website. Don’t worry! You can register it for free.
- LIFT offers every week discussions. Go to the discussions address (angkorone.com/lift) and then share your comments in any topic you interested in.
- LIFT/The Phnom Penh Post staffs will judge who should become our member of the week and the result will be release in the next issue of LIFT published every Wednesday.
- When you see your name in LIFT magazine, email: lift@phnompenhpost to start getting the best news in Khmer language for free.
“We’ll see you at angkorone.com/lift”Dara Saoyuth 14/12/2010
After having dinner outside with friends this evening, I decided to ride my motor with them to Koh Pich (Diamond Island). This is the first time I rode across the bridge after the tragedy happened on 22 November 2010.
Everything is quite different from the last time I went there before the bad accident occurred. The north bridge where hundreds people died because of stampede is still being closed after the accident, so I was able to go to the island and back to the mainland only by another bridge.
There are not many people on the island though today is the weekend. It’s very easy for me to ride around the island unlike the earlier time I was there, but I still think it’s better to have more people.
Most of the shops didn’t open especially entertainment places where now, there are only a few people there who mostly are the entertainment places owners themselves. It seem like no one dare to get on that entertainment instruments after something unpleasant happened.
I know that it’s not easy to forget about something happen on the last day of water festival in Cambodia this year. It take more time to calm people’s feeling that I myself have no idea when will this feeling goes away from Cambodians’ minds.by: Dara Saoyuth 04/12/2010
- Photos in the aftermath of Koh Pich accident (saoyuth.wordpress.com)
- Water Festival Ends in Tragedy (saoyuth.wordpress.com)
- Telling the story of a tragedy (saoyuth.wordpress.com)
- Cambodia: Stampede tragedy during Water Festival (ki-media.blogspot.com)
- Cambodia PM weeps for stampede dead (mirror.co.uk)
- Cambodia mourns stampede victims (bbc.co.uk)
Having come to Phnom Penh to pursue higher education from my home in the province, it is rare that I have a few days off to visit my family. So, rather than joining the millions of people who came to Phnom Penh, I made the opposite trip and went home for the festival weekend.
I was sound asleep in my parents’ house, enjoying the comforts of familiar places, when my parents woke me up. I was rather annoyed, seeing that it was 2am, but once I understood what they were telling me, questions began to come to my mind, which was having an impossible time accepting that hundreds of people have actually died on the Koh Pich bridge.
Most of the questions involved the status of my friends still in the city and I frantically dialed numbers and sent out messages to find out if people were okay. Some of my friends had a similar reaction to mine upon being woken up – annoyed – but it was worth it to me to hear their voices.
I left the province at 7am, with few of my initial questions answered. As soon as I finished my lunch upon my return to the city, I hurriedly put my camera, recorder, notebook and a bottle of water into my backpack and rushed to the Phnom Penh Post office. I was asked by my editor to help another reporter, who was from America, to shoot a documentary about the event. After being so far away from the event earlier in the day, I was anxious to find out what really happened in my nation.
The Cambodian -Russian Friendship Hospital was teeming with crowds of victims’ relatives as we arrived. I immediately became overwhelmed by sadness, but this was the truth I wanted to see. For those involved in the stampede, desperation was the only emotion there was in the days after the stampede. We spent almost an hour walking around the hospital and nothing like tiredness even crossed my mind. I was too filled with sympathy and pity to consider anything else.
There were two big boards with victims’ photos stuck on either side. Some people burst into tears when they saw photos of their relatives lying dead. I couldn’t imagine. My friends and family were okay but I was still barely able to look at the rows of photos.
I talked with a girl who was among the many family members roaming the halls and tending to their kin. I talked to a girl who said her aunt was still alive in a nearby room, but was unable to move any part of her body. She said a few more words, but then stopped. As her eyes filled with tears, I couldn’t bear to ask any more questions or push her to talk more. My heart truly ached for her and all the others in her situation.
The fact that I was carrying a camera bag and a tripod, along with a fixed camera hanging around my neck, didn’t exactly make me inconspicuous; and as I walked by, I heard people whisper that another foreign journalist was there to cover their tragedy. I was proud that I looked like a professional to these people, but I also felt like I should put down all of this stuff and help calm people who were crying, carry coffins into the truck, or care for those still suffering. This was the first time I had been assigned a story like this, and it made me realise how difficult it must be for journalists to balance their duty to tell the story of terrible events and help the desperate people around them.
I wanted to separate my job that day from my feelings, but I simply couldn’t. This is my country and these were fellow Cambodians suffering around me. I kept imagining how terrible it would feel just to find out that someone I know was among the people who died that night on the bridge. If it was someone I truly loved I can’t imagine how bad it would hurt.
I arrived home with an overwhelming sense of sadness hanging on me. I called my friends who also helped report the story and they were also unable to shake the depression and fear that the day’s events had inspired. I thought about how the water festival has always been a happy time for Cambodian people, and whether that would ever be true again.By: Dara Saoyuth This article was published on Lift, Issue 47 published on December 02, 2010 You can also read the article on Phnom Penh Post website by CLICKING HERE
- Water Festival Ends in Tragedy (saoyuth.wordpress.com)
- Photos in the aftermath of Koh Pich accident (saoyuth.wordpress.com)
- Cambodia stampede: ‘Bodies stacked upon bodies’ in Phnom Penh tragedy (guardian.co.uk)
Since I was at my hometown during Monday night’s stampede on Diamond Island’s north bridge, I could not capture the event.
Yesterday afternoon, as soon as I arrived the city, I went to the Phnom Penh Post office and was assigned to assist a foreign reporter in shooting documentary related to the accident.
I went to the Cambodia – Russian Khmer Friendship Hospital to the hospital where some bodies and victims were placed. I later went to Koh Pich to see the blessing ceremony for the deceased.
Below are some photos and video clips I shot in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Some of you might say it’s a bit late for Student Blog to run a story about an accident happened at Koh Pich (Diamond Island) on Monday night. As a Cambodian, I think this tragedy will never be outdated to write and it’s hard for me to let this event passed without having something on my blog.
Last night, I was at my hometown in Kampot province and while I was sleeping, my parents woke me up to watch a live broadcast program on TV. It’s around 2am at that time. Having a look on TV screen, I immediately felt shock because of what I saw and heard was about the tragedy that hundreds people died and other hundreds people injured.
A short time after I saw what was happening, I took my phones to call to some of my friends and relatives asking whether they are all right while lots of SMS came to my phone one after another asking whether I am ok.
Ki Media mentioned that the accident happened around 10:00pm on 22nd of November 2010. You can read many articles about this accident written in both English and Khmer and to assist you, I will recommend you some addresses below.
Website in English:1. Hundreds die in tragic end to water festival 2 Phnom Penh struggles to cope with tragic stampede_The Phnom Penh Post Hundreds dead as popular water festival ends in tragedy_International News
Blog in Khmer:1. ២២ វិច្ឆិកា ២០១០ មេរៀនមួយសម្រាប់ខ្មែរ 2. សាក្សី និង ជាជនរងគ្រោះថា សោកនាដកម្មបណ្តាលមកពីឆក់ចរន្តអគ្គិសនី 3. មហាសោកនាដកម្មកោះពេជ្រ Dara Saoyuth 23/11/2010