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Living in Cambodia: Part 1

Welcome today's guest contributor Daly, my second or third cousin who grew up in Cambodia and is still living there. She is currently attending Limkokwing University Of Creative Technology in Phnom Penh. Her dad is a government official and her mom, a businesswoman. Below she shares a small glimpse into her life and thoughts about bigger issues concerning Cambodia.
Describe your typical week.
My typical week consist of schooling 70% or 80%. I spend most of my time in school then after that doing my assignments. On the weekend, my top priority is spending time with my parents then come friends. I do party sometimes occasionally when there’s a birthday or any celebrations. I still have a strict curfew even thou I’m in college…

What are you studying and why?
I am currently majoring in Architecture Technology because I love the concepts of different buildings or houses and I have a passion for beautiful and innovative designs.

Will you stay in Cambodia to work or continue your education?
I will stay in Cambodia to continue my study and to work, although if there are chances, I would like to continue it abroad so I can face new challenges and gain new experiences and opportunities.

What other places are you looking to live?
I would like to live in the United States because I love the psychology behind its people. As everyone says…it’s the land of free. In the US, you are welcome to speak for yourself. It’s more liberal than my country. Another choice would be Hong Kong because I just love everything about it! The environment, the people, the way of life.

What is it like being a woman in the work or school environment? Do you think you are treated equally to men?
I think I’m treated equally to men although at the beginning, people often judge me down on my talents because I’m a female but as soon as they see what I can do, they give me full respect.

What is your knowledge of the Khmer Rouge history and the Khmer Rouge trial happening right now?
I have a well understanding of the Khmer Rouge History but about the Khmer Rouge trail not much because I don’t really care about it and I think my country should emphasize their focus more both mentally and economically on developing the country and not focusing on the melancholy in the past because it’s something that we could never change…

Would you be a different person if you grew up in a Western country such as the U.S. instead of Cambodia?
Yes I think I would, definitely.

Do you find that it is hard to succeed in Cambodia when you are raised in a place or family of little money?
It’s harder than western countries to be successful when you’re short of cash. Although, there are scholarships available to those who really deserve it and work hard for it. There should be more scholarships available.

Do you have anything else about Cambodia that you want people to know that you don't think they already do?
Cambodia is not as liberal as it looks and I would like to see some fairness in career places. If you’re smart and talented you should be rewarded but not because of your strings of connection. That’s Cambodia…you never get points or promotion because you’re the shining star of success, you get it, when you have connections.

Thanks Daly!

If you have other questions, you would like to ask post them in the comments or email me at sophorn@hotmail.com. Daly has also forwarded my questions to other friends in Cambodia. Their responses will be in future postings.

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