Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

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Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly »

I come across articles that although a few years old are still, in my opinion, good reads. I'm going to throw them all here.


Image

By Heidi Hoefinger
Fe 2012


Why western boyfriends? A cultural perspective

An American academic has spent seven years researching the local hostess bar scene, and come up with some surprising findings. This is the second in a three-part series.

One night while sipping a drink in a hostess bar in Phnom Penh with Sam, 31, from England, he shared the most common stereotypical complaint about “professional girlfriends” – or those women who exchange love and affection with multiple boyfriends for material things:

Because his Cambodian neighbour, Sreymau, 26, had worked in a bar and had a few boyfriends that she dated, he immediately labelled her a prostitute and assumed she was only motivated by money and greed. He associated this with an innate fault – as if “they know no better”, and are incapable of feeling, being or acting any other way.

But what if we stop for a moment and look at these relationships between Cambodian women and foreign men through an historical and cultural perspective?

The very foundations of Cambodian culture are based on what’s called the patron-client relationship – the overall framework of which is Buddhist and refers to the ways in which people accumulate merit by redistributing resources and wealth to others further down in the pecking order. Basically, someone in a position of power grants favours and gives stuff to people with less power in exchange for loyalty or practical help with things.

As Pich, 22, pointed out: “I have two boyfriends send me money to help with my family. I pay for school for my brothers, and I buy a moto for my father. When I go to the province, I bring a big bag of rice, and sometimes small gold for my mother. In my family, I’m the rich girl! I’m happy I help them a lot. I wait and I hope one boyfriend will marry me sometime. Then I give my family the milk money.”

So, a Cambodian woman’s desire to meet a man who will support her and her family should not be attributed to some form of inherent greed, but rather, to a deeply rooted historical and cultural expectation

So the next time you overhear someone accusing a Cambodian bar worker or professional girlfriend of being a greedy thief, take a moment to educate them on the cultural and historical relevance of the women’s motivations.

As Socheata, 27, concludes: “I wait to meet a good barang man in my bar. I want to get married so he give us [her family] money to build a big house. Then I love him forever. This is my tradition.”

full. https://www.phnompenhpost.com/post-plus ... erspective
Last edited by Kung-fu Hillbilly on Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

Post by Doc67 »

an interesting read...
Last edited by Doc67 on Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly »

Doc67 wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:56 am He spent SEVEN years researching hostess bars?

Dirty old sod...
Didn't have much of choice it seems with a surname like "Hoefinger".

Yes, I know it's a female researcher.
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Re: Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

Ms Hoefinger is well-known for her research on Cambodian "professional girlfriends". It is very interesting if you haven't read it.
general-chatter/professor-heidi-hoefing ... t7007.html

The book:
https://booksaboutcambodia.com/book-cat ... -hoefinger
Last edited by CEOCambodiaNews on Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

Post by Doc67 »

Kung-fu Hillbilly wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:00 am
Doc67 wrote: Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:56 am He spent SEVEN years researching hostess bars?

Dirty old sod...
Didn't have much of choice it seems with a surname like "Hoefinger".

Yes, I know it's a female researcher.
[/quote

I actually edited my remark when I noticed it was a female :oops:
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Re: Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly »

Image

Meet Cambodia's Underwater Bomb Squad

Rachel Lowry
May 18, 2016


Nine men line up on a deck along the Tonlé Sap Lake in Cambodia. The directive is clear. They are to dive blindly into the murky depths of up to 100-feet, against the strong river currents, to find and recover undetonated explosive devices. Barring the safety hazards of a potential underwater blast, there's one glitch: none of them can swim.

Three years ago, Fox picked up a newspaper in a coffee shop in Cambodia, where he found an advertisement from the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) calling for mine action sensors to be trained to search rivers for bombs. “I thought 'this is it,'” he says. “This brief, ridiculous 100-word ad is the beginning of my next story."

The dangers of tampering with explosive devices that have been dormant for 40 years elude no one. If a device goes off beneath the surface, shock waves would travel faster than the speed of sound, instantly killing anybody in the water.

full. https://time.com/4321443/meet-cambodias ... omb-squad/

Cambodia's new bomb divers aim to make its rivers safe

The Guardian
2015


He slipped into the warm water, adjusted his mask and scuba gear, steadied his breathing and slowly began his descent several meters below, where the river water gradually turns from pale to thick, acidic yellow.

Down there, in a lonely world of swirling sediment and the sound of one’s own breathing, Chenda was feeling for something in the cloudiness.

And then he saw it: a live, 500lb (225kg) Mark 82 aircraft bomb that had wedged itself in the riverbed, still in the same position 40 years after it had fallen.

The feat was nothing short of remarkable, not least because it came just two years after they learned how to swim, then scuba dive, then hone the composure to clear bombs in such an unusual environment using only their sense of touch.

“We looked at people who were learning fast,” said Allen Tan, country director of the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, which works on mine and UXO clearance and provided training for the team with funds from the US State Department.

“Forty candidates had to learn how to swim and scuba dive safely in 30 days,” said Tan. “That is quite a learning curve and it was intense ... But the number one thing was: did they have heart?

full.https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/ ... ivers-safe
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Re: Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly »

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By Charles Rollet
18 May 201
7,

Inside the Dangerous World of Homemade Rocket Gambling

The gamblers' site was a large clearing on top of the thickly-forested Dangrek Mountains in northern Cambodia, just a five-minute drive from the Thai border.

Unfortunately for the Cambodians living in the valley below, the cloudy sky did little to dampen the spirits of the hundreds of Thai gamblers who had gathered there to launch around a dozen 30-foot-long bamboo rockets in the space of a couple hours.

Suddenly, the countdown began, and a massive puff of white smoke erupted underneath a rocket. A few earsplitting seconds later, the missile was already thousands of feet high, screeching across the Cambodian countryside like a bamboo banshee.

At stake are vast sums of money and the spectacle is undeniably captivating. But, amazingly, the gamblers don't seem to give a damn about what happens to the rockets after they're fired off. And, apparently, neither does the Cambodian government.

Rocket gambling has grown increasingly common in Thailand's northeast as a corruption of the traditional Bang Fai festival, during which rockets (some shaped like penises) are fired into the sky as part of an ancient fertility ritual to herald the rainy season.

"The authorities in countries like Cambodia act as gatekeepers, ensuring that those who pay win, and the poor lose," he said. "It's setting fire to people's homes and property, and never having to say you're sorry."

full.https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/znga ... t-gambling
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Re: Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

Post by Kung-fu Hillbilly »

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By Faine Greenwood
March 2012


Expats Parallel Lives in Phnom Penh

Are foreigners in Cambodia inherently neo-colonialist jerks, re-enacting the bad old days of total French domination,

Do we secretly wish we could still run around Phnom Penh in the back of a hand-pulled rickshaw while wearing a pith helmet?

Think about it: it’s a hell of a lot easier to be an abhorrent racist from the comfort of your own pleasingly air-conditioned and clean Sydney/Indianapolis/Birmingham flat, than it is to willfully choose to live in a rented closet-sized Phnom Penh apartment with a persistent giant spider problem. So, we’re not looking at a demographic group that has serious intrinsic problems with cultural differences.

Some middle-aged tourists apparently never got the memo on that one.)A Western expat might have a nice relationship with that Cambodian guy or girl he or she sees everyday at the office, but the two are pretty unlikely to run into each other in the Java Cafe morning latte line, or at the neighborhood Cambodian beer-and- roasted cow joint.

It’s worth pointing out here that most expats who move to Cambodia aren’t stereotypical, unenlightened racist pigs. Aside from the ever-popular sexpat crowd, most permanent foreign residents of Cambodia are educated, intelligent, and exceptionally open to new experiences.

Locals are usually in rather short supply at expat parties, popular expat restaurants, and at bars that are commonly frequented by foreigners (with the exception of hostess bars that have a certain intrinsic reliance on local labor)

Maybe Cambodians just don’t want to approach foreigners to improve their knowledge – or, alternately, they think it’s plain rude to rock up to a barang and ask if he wants to get a coffee and talk about grammar, the latest Jennifer Lopez song, and the pros and cons of Barack Obama.

If expats aren’t talking about nightmarish gastrointestinal problems, the latest Totally Shocking relationship drama, or big important world events (less common), they’re likely complaining about Cambodia and its denizen


full. http://faineg.com/how-to-make-cambodian ... hnom-penh/
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Re: Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

Post by John Bingham »

That's a good site at http://faineg.com/ , hadn't seen it before.
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Re: Articles of Yesteryear (Good Reads?)

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The First Ever Full Mekong Descent By Kayak

By Michael O'Shea

We followed the long frozen trail of ice that the locals call the Zacu down a wide valley that was lashed with freezing winds and bouts of snow. The affects of altitude sickness began to seriously take its toll on most of the team and morale was diminishing quickly as freezing winds tortured our bodies.

In addition to this team morale was very low. After such an amazing trek I was on a real high and tried my best to fire up the lads, but I did not have a great deal of success. A mixture of fatigue, delays, depression and now uncertainty over funds to continue had taken it's toll on Nico and Stan who really did not have much drive left in them.

External support of anti communist militants in the Kham has left a legacy of considerable distrust towards foreigners among members of the "Party" who now rule over this still wild region. Gaining permission to travel for weeks, without being constantly tailed by a government "watcher' was in itself a considerable task, yet this was not the main problem.

As far as my research could reveal, only two river expeditions have ever been attempted along the Kham section of the Mekong. The first, a Japanese team in 1998, was violently attacked and robbed by bandits only hours after crossing the border into the TAR. Nevertheless they succeeded in navigating the relatively mild section of river from Qinghai to Chamdo.

It was a terrifying position to be in. I looked at the rapid for a long time before building up the courage to run it and under normal circumstances I would definitely choose not to attempt it but there were no other alternatives. It was not so much the dangerous drop that put the fear in me it was what lay downstream. Was this the start of a waterfall or long class 6 section?

I made the firm decision in the gorges not to bail out of my boat and swim until there was absolutely no other choice so I tried to sit it out and hoped that the hole would release me as they often do. It slammed me twice more....

full.https://www.outdooreyes.com/photosection23.php3
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