The Future of Cambodia ...
News of Cambodia N° 0814-E
The Future of Cambodia and that of our brothers in Thailand and in Kampuchea Krom, remains in our common written language and in the researches for our true common history
February 18th, 2008
The development of our written language comes to help our sisters and brothers living in Thailand to develop their cultural identity. We already know that even the songs cross the borders of Thailand to Kampuchea Krom by way of Cambodia. Soon texts in Cambodian will be written and printed in Thailand and in Kampuchea Krom will be read in Cambodia. So the unity of the Cambodians where ever they are will be based on the solid foundations of our language. Serious researches on our history of course based on the papers, but also on the economy, the agricultural production systems during Angkor era are needed from now on by resuming in particular the very important works of Bernard Philippe Groslier and then by placing our history in the context of the world history in particular from the Portuguese arrival following by the other Europeans in our region.
We wish that the good news from our sisters and brothers of Thailand encourage also our fellow countrymen, where ever that they are, to encourage our children living abroad to learn to speak, to read and to write as well our language bequeathed by our ancestors for fifteen centuries.
Our fellow countrymen in Denmark have just given us an example to follow. The following step is to form associations to reunite capital to finance translations of the fundamental works of the world civilization into Cambodian. Finland, the only country which welcomes all the political refugees of the oppositions of the regime installed by Hanoi since January 1979 is favorable to finance these translations. The Cambodian political refugees in Finland are intellectuals able to translate the English books into Cambodian without dictionary.
We wish that abroad where established Cambodian and foreign libraries take example on the Mark Twain library of Los Angeles by opening a section in Cambodian language.
The possibility of using of our language on Internet is going to accelerate the ways of distributing of our written language in Cambodia, in Thailand, in Kampuchea Krom and all around the world.
The final stage is the implementation of our language in universities to be able to allow our whole people: farmers and intellectuals of the highest levels to use the same language. The spoken and written language is one of both essential bases of our national unity. The other one is a history which allows us to be proud of our past.
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Monday, February 18, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Khmer teacher from Surin came to look for Khmer language books in Cambodia
Chey Mongkol gave an interview to Koh Santepheap (Photo: Chamnab, Koh Santepheap newspaper)
Friday, 15 February 2008
Koh Santepheap newspaper
Translated from Khmer by KI-Media
Phnom Penh city – Chey Mongkol, a native Khmer from Surin province (Thailand) and a Khmer language teacher from Sisaket province (Thailand), declared on 13 February 2008 that the majority of Khmer people living in Surin no longer know how to speak Khmer anymore because they are not using their own language. However, now, Chey Mongkol has set up his small elementary school which is attended by about 60 children. The goal of his teaching is so that the younger generations know the Khmer language, otherwise, in the future, Khmer Surin will no longer know Khmer language at all, and they will only know Thai and Lao instead.
In an interview with Koh Santepheap at the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) in Phnom Penh, Chey Mongkol indicated that his presence in Phnom Penh is to purchase books used to teach young Khmer children in Surin. He said that book merchants in Phnom Penh had given him 250 books also, and most of these books are for first grade level.Chey mongkol indicated that only about 1-2% of Khmer people in Surin know their native Khmer language and still speak Khmer in Surin currently, but most of them are already very old. He added that the younger Khmer people no longer speak Khmer, they only know Thai: “I spend a lot of time teaching them, I want to preserve our Khmer language, otherwise, our Khmer language will disappear.”
Nevertheless, Chey Mongkol said that his teaching to young Khmer children did not meet with any opposition from the Thai authority. He added that, in the past, about 40-years ago, Khmer people were afraid to use their own language because they were forced to speak Thai at school and in public places, later on, Khmer people lost the habit of speaking their own language, and some say they are ashamed, and they stop speaking Khmer altogether.
Chey Mongkol claimed that, in spite of all this, the preservation of old Khmer customs in Surin still remains somewhat even if there is an influx of foreign culture or modern culture which seriously affect the preservation of Khmer Surin original culture. He added, currently, only old Khmer people still speak Khmer at home, whereas the younger generations no longer speak Khmer anymore.
Chey Mongkol said that he started a library for the students to read Khmer because he believes that Khmer teaching is not sufficient yet, therefore the additional book reading could complete part of the education. He added: “We want Khmer in Surin to preserve Khmer language so that it would be easier for them to communicate with Cambodians inside Cambodia.”
From Phnom Penh, Chey Mongkol will take back to Surin documents in Khmer language. He indicated also that he is giving a lecture to RUFA students where he showed slides about the situation of Khmer students in Surin, about dances performed by Khmer people in Surin, so that RUFA students understand about the current issues faced by Khmer people in Surin.
History students who listened to Chey Mongkol’s lecture said that they are interested about the history of Khmer people in Surin who has the same customs, and same origin as other Khmer people, and they want to preserve our Khmer language also in order to facilitate the communication between themselves and Khmer people in Cambodia. The RUFA students added: “Even though we are separated because of past history, but we are still one single people, we must connect with each others.”
Chey Mongkol indicated also: “In my family, they do not talk Khmer that much, some speak Thai, others speak Lao. Only I persevere to speak Khmer, even at the market, they don’t want to speak Khmer, but they speak Thai and Lao instead.” He added: “I am calling for the generosity of people who want to help expand Khmer language to help provide their support to me.” He added that he is working hard to help educate young generations of Khmer children to know their Khmer language, and to preserve their Khmer language.
For those who wish to support Chey Mongkol and Khmer Schools in Surin, please contact Chey Mongkol at the following email address: KhmerSurin@gmail.com.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Cambodians in Norway raise funds to help Khmer in Surin learn Cambodian
Left: Men Nath, Ear Channa, and Chham Chhany; Right: Chey Mongkol
To Help Khmer Surin Cambodian School, please contact Chey Mongkol at:Language and Culture Association of Surin province (LCASP) P.O.Box 27, Surin City, Thailand http://phumpon.blogspot.com/email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HP 0875815514Tel & Fax: 044520179
Sunday-Monday, 17-18 Frebruary 2008
By SilaSralanh Khmer newspaper
Translated from Khmer by KI-Media
Noticing the struggle of the Khmer Association in Surin to preserve Khmer culture and customs, and its effort to provide Khmer education to younger Khmer children born in Surin who almost forget completely the Khmer language because they live under the Siam pressure, a number of Cambodian expatriates living in Norway have collected funds to help support a Cambodian school in Surin, Thailand.
Ear Channa, a representative of Cambodians living in Norway told Sralanh Khmer over the phone yesterday that: “We collected some funds to provide to Mr. Chey Mongkol, the teacher of Khmer language in Surin, Thailand. The reason we put effort to collect funds for the teaching of Khmer language to Khmer children is because we want them to preserve their identity and to preserve our national interest on this former Khmer land, and because we want to preserve the value of Khmer language and renown which existed since long ago.”
Ear Channa said that the funds which was handed to Chey Mongkol amounts to about 3,000 krones or about US$500. The funds came from generous Cambodian donors living in Norway: (1) Cambodian Buddhist Association in Norway: 1,000 krones, (2) Ear Bunrin: 500 krones, Men Nath: 300 krones, You Saravuth: 200 krones, Chham Chhany: 200 krones, Nov Veasna: 200 krones, Yin Kim: 100 krones, Om Virakbotr: 100 krones, Ear Channa: 300 krones, giving a total of 3,000 krones.
Ear Channa added that this small amount of funding which he collected was handed over to Chey Mongkol already and this action was done to encourage Khmer people living there to continue their struggle and their mission to preserve Khmer literature for younger Khmer generations, and to preserve Khmer identity in the name of Khmer people who can read, write their own Khmer language. He said that this fund will encourage Khmer Surin teachers to continue preserving Khmer literatures in Surin province.
Sralanh Khmer praises the generosity of Khmer people living in Norway for their help to preserve our literature and culture, even though they live in a country far away from their own, our Khmer people still remain in their minds.
Cambodia lost many provinces to Thailand, among these provinces, Khmer people in Buriram, Surin, Kok Khan, Sisaket still speak Khmer. Provinces where Khmer is almost forgotten are: Chanbury, Trayang, Paschimbury, and Nokor Reach Seyma. None of the Cambodian governments have thought about the lost of Khmer lands in Thailand at all, not only that, they never asked Thailand to allow Khmer people in Thailand to study Khmer so that they would not lose their national language, and their customs. No Cambodian governments have ever taken these actions.
Some documents indicated that Cambodia lost about 60,000-square-kilometer to Thailand, these lands cover 10 Thai provinces where 7 million Khmer people are still living in. Khmer people aged less than 40-year-old do not speak Khmer anymore, because Khmer children must attend Thai schools. Currently, Khmer Surin songs are (famously) known as Kantrem music.
41-year-old Chey Mongkol is married to Akhara, the couple has a daughter by the name of Apsara. This Khmer family comes from Kauk Khan province, and Chey Mongkol opened two Khmer language schools in Surin province.
Go Khmer Surin.
Cambodian in Norway, you are a true nationalist and true role model. You have shown not only your words but your deeds. I would like to express my greatest honor to you Khmer Norway and Chey Mongkol Khmer Surin.
I am appreciating everybody in Norway who always share some spirits and materials to Khmer Surin in Thailand. I call on all Khmer in overseas to support Khmer Surin Association. Please contact Mr. CHEY MONGKOL:Chaimongkol Chalermsukjitsri, Project CoordinatorIndigenous Language Education Project (ILEP)Room #1, Chom Surin Bldg, Surin.Fixed Line: 044-520-179HP 0875815514http://www.khmersurin.orge-mail: email@example.com Regards,Kuan Khmer
This is honestly such a wonderful thing.
About time someone at least have the urge to bring national pride and interest to enlight our newer generation. Khmer in Thailand had been cemented behind the big wall by Thai not to study or learn Khmer language. And plus Thai should be open for being democracy. But Thai is like one of Vietnamese behavior. If they wake up and learn Khmer language the Thai would be so scare because the majority of Khmer living in Thailand are very large in population. Thanks you Mr. Chey Mongkol. Please not just Khmer in Thailand, can you have those Khmer Krom that fleeing to Thailand have access as well. We are Khmer!
I encourage everyone to help out in order to keep our people aware of the origin and identity as Khmer people living in Thailand. Please go to the website or do whatever; if you can't help more, please consider $20 once in awhile and trust me you would be glad you did. Please help spread the words... Thank you!