I received an email from KC*, who’s currently living in our Cambodia. I choose to post this because the sender asked what's my feeling toward the Khmer returnees who have come back to live in Srok Khmer. This is the very question I wanted to write on the blog entry.
*KC. To protect the privacy, I changed the sender’s name to 'KC' and edited specific country where sender's from to just ‘Europe’.
Here are the sender's mails and my response.
>KC <*****@*******.com> wrote:
> Dear Vanak,
My name is KC, I'm from Europe. I came across your blog by chance and was surprised by your frankness in expressing your thoughts and views. I haven't been visiting many blogs, so I don't know whether you are an exception or rather the rule. However, I think it's great to hear young Khmers expressing freely their clear views on whatever topic they choose.
You talk a lot about politics. As a foreigner living in your country for a little while now, I was wondering whether you are not worried about threats from other people who don't share your political view? I think it is sad that this question is being asked - it shouldn't be a problem at all - but this is unfortunately the reality of Cambodia, that people sometimes have to be careful of what they say. Maybe I'm wrong?
I actually wanted to ask you your view on another subject: Cambodian returnees (Cambodian people who have fled Cambodia during the war to another country such as Australia, France, the US, ... and who now come back to live in Cambodia again).
I have met a few of such "returnees" and my impression is that they are not treated like real Cambodians by local Cambodian people here, and sometimes discriminated against. Sometimes, some of these returnees don't properly speak Khmer (because they have lived for most of their lives abroad), and sometimes they come back to Cambodia as a relatively rich person. Do you think this creates jealously? As a young, local Khmer, what is your opinion on these people? Do you think they can be the future of Cambodia, bringing back know-how and education into your country? Or not? Why do you think they are not always been treated like real Cambodians by local people?
Thanks for your time, Vanak, and keep up your blog!
> Best regards,
Jumreap Soor KC,
Thank you for visiting my blog. I am much honoured for your compliment of my writings. I like to write and I try to find the time to write. I write mostly what I feel about. Yes I sometime fear what I write too. My friends have warned me not to write any thing bad about our leaders, the ex-king or the government. I feel this would be wrong. To express what we feel aobut is very fundamental for all of us. Sensible leaders/government should listen to voices of the people rather than to silence them.
Another reason I like to write is I want to practice my English. I learned a lot from reading materials in English. I lerned vocabularies and the writing styles from the readings.
You aksed me how my feeling is like toward "Khmer returnees". For all these Khmer returnees whether they are temporary visiting or permanently coming back to live in Cambodia, we called them "Anikachun" អនិកជន . The term itself already has a negative connotation already. Anikachun literally translated as "a person who has no permanent resident". Anikachun must be a Khmer returnee . You are European, we wouldn't call you anikachun. You're just the foreigner.
My feeling toward anikachun wouldn't fairly represent the mass feelings of the general population here at all. I personally do envying them. They're so rich. They spend their dollars so freely. Most Anikachuns are very nice. Thier morals are straight forward and trust worthy. They accustomed to the good leadership, good governance, with true democracy and rules of law (i.e. EU, US, Australia...etc), that's why I think they seems to have higher morals or ethic than us. Yes, I envying them but also I respect them.
I think Anikachuns and foreigners alike have more of positive influences rather than negative ones on us Khmers. I must say few foreigners are bad. They come to Cambodia to gratify their sexual deviances and exploit underage Khmer women and children. Perhaps few of them. To these individuals if they're found guilty of the sexual offense I would be among the first to support the law to castrate them then toss them in jail for life. Please pardon my strong feeling.
Overall I wouldn't discriminate against Anikachuns or foreigners at all. They came back to the country because they feel attached to it. They love Cambodia that's why they came back to live or visit. They have money. They spent. They create economy for us. They create jobs for us. They teach us. The least us Khmer could do is to learn the good things from these Anikachuns and foreigners.
KC, I hope I answered some of your questions. Thank you again.
>KC <*****@*******.com> wrote:
> Jumreap Soor Vanak,
Thank you very much Vanak, for your long reply and for sharing your views with me.
I totally agree with you that it is a fundamental right to be able to express freely what you think is right or wrong. (I also believe that it is good as long as these free expressions do not incite hatred and violence. For example, in some countries in Europe, it is forbidden by law to express racist views. So although I support very much free expression, I also understand that there are some limits to some expressions if they lead to violence, racism, xenophobia etc.)
It's also interesting for me to hear your perspective on the Khmer returnees living in your country, so thank you again for this.
I wish you good luck with your blog, and hope that you will continue creating positive debates about many aspects of Cambodia. I think more debate is needed and more room needs to be created for new, fresh ideas.
Have a good week!