We are guests in this country

This is a part of our Cambodia forums to chat about anything Cambodia-related. This discussion forum is at the top of our site because it's usually the busiest part of the expat community chatter with random topics on just about everything, including expat life, Khmer politics, Cambodian blogs we have or have come across, or whatever else our members want to discuss. Whether you're an expatriate, tourist, Cambodian or random traveler just passing through South East Asia, you are welcome to talk about anything or start new topics yourselves.
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LTO
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Re: We are guests in this country

Post by LTO » Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:52 pm

I apologize for posting a link to my blog here. I realize that is kind of crass. But I wrote on this a couple of years ago and got some interesting responses:

Is it right for foreigners to join protests in Cambodia?
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Joon
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Re: We are guests in this country

Post by Joon » Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:55 pm

Rama wrote:I'm a long term resident here.
I came first as a backpacker in 1998 for a few months and then after University came as a volunteer in 2002. There and then I met my Cambodian 'partner' and I have lived here ever since.
I grew up in Thailand at a large international school. I've spent more than 2/3 of my life in South East Asia.
I'm British by passport, but I have no attachments to England . No home there, and no immediate family either and due to various reasons I'll never return to live in England and honestly I've got no desire to ever go back even for a holiday. My childhood memories are mainly of Thailand and my life and future is in Cambodia. I'd like to try for citizenship here when my Khmer is fluent. I hope to stay here forever.
My son is Cambodian born and has 2 passports. My wife is Cambodian (Sot) I'm not Cambodian, I'm not Thai but I've got a British passport.
I'm a third culture kid. I have no sense of belonging to England and I'm not allowed a sense of belonging to Cambodia or to feel that I have a say in the destiny of this Nation.
I know of a Malaysian lady who obtained Khmer citizenship but had to renounce her citizenship of birth by Malaysian law. And she did. In my view, she is as much part of this Nation as I am or my son is.

Kudos to you to seek to apply for Cambodian citizenship when you're ready.
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Re: We are guests in this country

Post by EdinWigan » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:02 pm

LTO wrote:I apologize for posting a link to my blog here. I realize that is kind of crass. But I wrote on this a couple of years ago and got some interesting responses:

Is it right for foreigners to join protests in Cambodia?
Good reading but I also take the point of one of the responders there, where can a line be drawn? It is a grey, blurred line between who is in and who is out. I do not, currently, have a line in my own mind, so I look forward to reading a good reasoned debate here and maybe I will develop a clearer position.

:bow:
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Re: We are guests in this country

Post by vladimir » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:06 pm

I completely dismiss the idea that being a foreigner deprives one of a voice, in any country.

Should I fail to condemn Pol Pot because I'm not Cambodian? Or Hitler because I'm not Austrian/German? Ridiculous.

However, I am aware that there are many things I'm not aware of, and I'm very cautious of new parties promising rapid change a heaven on earth. Talk is cheap, and there would be very few checks and balances in place to guarantee delivery.
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Re: We are guests in this country

Post by ali baba » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:25 pm

Good analogies, LTO. What would be the equivalent of the Vietnamese forces that invaded and occupied the country? Or UNTAC? Nannies, foster parents?

Given the impact that foreign businesses, residents and tourists have on Cambodia's economy I'd expect the gov't to take some interest in ensuring that the country doesn't get added to the axis-of-evil or whatever ridiculous sanctions regime Washington imposes on the world.
Soi Dog wrote:Reminds me of the handful of fuckwit farangs stirring the shit at red shirt rallies in Bangkok, making impassioned speeches, calling for the overthrow of the "Thai ruling class". When the shit hit the fan, and they got arrested with the thousands of Thais there after violent clashes, the weepy farangs pleaded with their embassy and the foreign media to help get them out. And get out they did. The thousands of Thais, of course, stayed in jail.
Thailand is currently engaged in class warfare. Class transcends nationality, which might explain why some foreigners take an active interest in the domestic politics there.

Every citizen has the right to contact their embassy when they get in trouble overseas and appealing to the media is just common sense to anyone who's politically active. I don't see what the issue is here?

----------------------

Another interesting scenario is the high profile gang rapes in India, which have recently gained international publicity. The number of female tourists visiting the country has declined significantly, not as a politically motivated boycott but out of concern for their personal safety. Either way it places pressure on the Indian gov't and tourist industry.
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FreeSocrates!
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Re: We are guests in this country

Post by FreeSocrates! » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:30 pm

LTO wrote:“We are guests in this country.”

I hear this a lot.

No we aren’t. We (foreign travelers, tourists, expats) are, at best, paying customers.
At best, "paying customers"? That's pretty crass. Locals have to pay for food and shelter as well. It's not like you can just show up to any country in the world and "everything is free". Do you know of such a place?

Many expats here have families, business and or jobs here. I don't see them as "paying customers". I see them as living their lives.
The cedar roasted asparagus has good chew. I don't know how to enjoy it, so I'll Instagram it instead.
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Re: We are guests in this country

Post by FreeSocrates! » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:37 pm

ali baba wrote:Good analogies, LTO. What would be the equivalent of the Vietnamese forces that invaded and occupied the country? Or UNTAC? Nannies, foster parents?

Given the impact that foreign businesses, residents and tourists have on Cambodia's economy I'd expect the gov't to take some interest in ensuring that the country doesn't get added to the axis-of-evil or whatever ridiculous sanctions regime Washington imposes on the world.
Soi Dog wrote:Reminds me of the handful of fuckwit farangs stirring the shit at red shirt rallies in Bangkok, making impassioned speeches, calling for the overthrow of the "Thai ruling class". When the shit hit the fan, and they got arrested with the thousands of Thais there after violent clashes, the weepy farangs pleaded with their embassy and the foreign media to help get them out. And get out they did. The thousands of Thais, of course, stayed in jail.
Thailand is currently engaged in class warfare. Class transcends nationality, which might explain why some foreigners take an active interest in the domestic politics there.

Every citizen has the right to contact their embassy when they get in trouble overseas and appealing to the media is just common sense to anyone who's politically active. I don't see what the issue is here?
I was in Thailand during many of the recent protests, and all the Thais that I met seemed to go out of their way to tell me where and where not to go. From the Taxi driver to the Hotel Desk Clerk, they very much seemed to understand the impact it could have on Tourism or maybe that Falangs were scared.

They'd even say things likes "This is not Falang problem, only Thai problem for Thai people, don't worry you are safe here".
The cedar roasted asparagus has good chew. I don't know how to enjoy it, so I'll Instagram it instead.
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Re: We are guests in this country

Post by ali baba » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:43 pm

LTO wrote:I apologize for posting a link to my blog here. I realize that is kind of crass. But I wrote on this a couple of years ago and got some interesting responses:

Is it right for foreigners to join protests in Cambodia?
What is your opinion of Che Guevara? Was he wrong to get involved in things that occurred outside of his hometown? Is all foreign investment wrong because it crosses international borders? I assume you believe funding anything to do with politics in another country would be wrong as well.

Also your analogy with voting is clumsy. You could argue that suffragettes had no right to protest the fact that they couldn't vote because..... they couldn't vote. Ditto slaves, minorities, everyone in China....
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LTO
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Re: We are guests in this country

Post by LTO » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:58 pm

FreeSocrates! wrote:
LTO wrote:“We are guests in this country.”

I hear this a lot.

No we aren’t. We (foreign travelers, tourists, expats) are, at best, paying customers.
At best, "paying customers"? That's pretty crass. Locals have to pay for food and shelter as well. It's not like you can just show up to any country in the world and "everything is free". Do you know of such a place?

Many expats here have families, business and or jobs here. I don't see them as "paying customers". I see them as living their lives.
Yes, I agree it's a pretty coarse analogy, but I was addressing a similarly coarse analogy. And yes, I agree that you can't show up in any country and have everything for free like a guest. That was kind of part of my point. And, as I mentioned, the foreigners that "have families, business and or jobs here" are different than the tourist, but the same in that they both are not 'guests.'
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Re: We are guests in this country

Post by FreeSocrates! » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:02 pm

I was writing this well you were posting LTO... so I didn't read the post above me yet.
LTO wrote:I apologize for posting a link to my blog here. I realize that is kind of crass. But I wrote on this a couple of years ago and got some interesting responses:

Is it right for foreigners to join protests in Cambodia?
I don't think posting a link to your own blog (or even own business, etc) on a forum that you are an active member of the community is at all crass. This is the Internet, it should be totally natural to do so and to be allowed to do so!

I think the problem is when spammers (or members of the community that have only made 2 posts) come and post links.

I think the reasoning in that link is pretty sound. I don't think we as Expats should be directly involved in protests in the Kingdom at all (other than possibly documenting it or helping younger people to think critically - from the sidelines).
The cedar roasted asparagus has good chew. I don't know how to enjoy it, so I'll Instagram it instead.
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