Culture

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nolan.tomlinson
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Culture

Post by nolan.tomlinson » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:44 am

I do not want to be perceived as an ugly American. I want to fit in, become friends with my neighbors, know how to behave and not offer offense. What are going to be some of the best ways to learn about the culture and appropriate and inappropriate behavior? I know I can learn at least a little by reading but that is limited I feel and doesn't convey subtle nuances. What do you advise as to steps I can take in the next year to start learning? What resources would you recommend?
explorer
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Re: Culture

Post by explorer » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:01 am

You will achieve a lot more by learning the language. You will be able to communicate with everybody. But it takes time. You need to think in terms of putting in the effort to learn the language for 2 years or more. Once you can communicate at a simple level, learning becomes easier. You may not be able to learn the language before coming to Cambodia, unless you know people who speak the language where you are.

The main thing with the culture is to be nice to people, and not do anything to upset them. I know there is a bit more to it than that, but you will probably learn by spending time with the people.

If Cambodians feel bad, they dont display anger like Westerners. They just smile and act happy. If you get angry and yell at people, it wont be long before you dont have any friends.

The girls are conservative. They dont hold hands, or hug, or kiss males, unless it is their husband. They dont normally even go out with males, or spend time alone with males. If you respect them, you can be friends with a lot of girls. If you treat one badly, they will all avoid you.

People will talk about you. If you are good to people, everybody will be your friend. If you treat one badly, they will tell everybody.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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AndyKK
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Re: Culture

Post by AndyKK » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:54 am

^
Some good points above. I would not arrive with rose tinted glasses. The stay will be an eyeopener anyway, and I don't want to sound negative at any point. Firstly don't mention any type of illness to any Khmer apart from a doctor, most will not understand and they will think they will catch from you and die. You must consider their beliefs and level of education. You may also be seen to most as a rich man, and you will be aware already many are only concerned about your money. In my time I have met good and bad, just like anywhere in the world. The problems will arise if you live in the city's or the sticks, and you are alone, there seems to be no laws to favour us minority guests of the country. Lately I would add jealousy from people and also racism being a problem. Don't forget you will not know the people around you until you have been there some time.
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frank lee bent
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Re: Culture

Post by frank lee bent » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:20 am

Khmers are pretty easy going.
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nolan.tomlinson
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Re: Culture

Post by nolan.tomlinson » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:25 am

I have been reading and I have learned a few things like taking off your shoes entering a home, about sitting without the soles of your feet facing anyone, don't stand up your chop sticks in a bowl which is one I already knew. I am trying to learn the greeting can't remember the name of the process right now. I have learned that family is super important. So I am at least trying. I have to start on the language ASAP.
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nolan.tomlinson
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Re: Culture

Post by nolan.tomlinson » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:35 am

frank lee bent wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:20 am
Khmers are pretty easy going.
I just want to try and make sure I respect their culture.
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frank lee bent
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Re: Culture

Post by frank lee bent » Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:49 am

Beards may freak the girls out.
Maybe someone will disagree with me.
They like Santa Claus so maybe not.
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nolan.tomlinson
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Re: Culture

Post by nolan.tomlinson » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:09 am

frank lee bent wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:49 am
Beards may freak the girls out.
Maybe someone will disagree with me.
They like Santa Claus so maybe not.
Oh I plan on being shaven. I have to get a passport and I don't want to be bearded for that and I figure it will be hot and humid enough there I won't want it. I only ever have it because I get too lazy to shave.
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Re: Culture

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:17 am

Everybody loves an Uncle Ho (Chi Minh) beard.
And you get extra "old-man" points, one of the best currencies to have in Cambodia.
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Re: Culture

Post by explorer » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:55 am

On rare occasions you may meet someone with a pet monkey. Monkeys can be scared of people with beards. You look kind of like a monkey, but are very big compared to the monkeys here.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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