How do khmers compare with thais?

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xandreu
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Re: How do khmers compare with thais?

Post by xandreu » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:51 pm

I spent a year in Thailand and have now lived in Cambodia for over three, so it was quite a while ago since I was familiar with Thai culture, I think the best way I can comment on this thread is to remember my first thoughts when I first came here to Cambodia.

**Disclaimer, after reading back my post, I realise there are a lot of generalisations in it. I hope people are intelligent enough to see that.**

Like many people I guess, I assumed that the culture wouldn't be all that different from each other. I mean, they're next door neighbors, both primarily Buddhist and (I naively assumed) had somewhat of a shared history, but I think I had my European hat on when I was thinking that. I was actually quite shocked at how the two cultures were so different from each other.

Comparing Thai and Khmer culture, I found the Khmer culture to be a lot more...raw? Is that the right word? It's difficult to find the right vocabulary. It's certainly a lot more... masculine? (again, I'm probably not using the right words but it's the closest I can get) - I just mean there's a 'take us or leave us' kind of attitude here. Khmer's, generally speaking, don't seem to give a single fuck what foreigners think of them. You either accept them and their country and for what it is or fuck off. I'm massively over-dramatizing it, I know, but there is a strong element of that. Personally, it's something i quite admire about the Khmer's. They do have pride in their country and culture, but they don't seem to care that much on how that reflects on Johnny Foreigner.

Thai's in the other hand seem to take more pride in what the outside world thinks of them. They are, generally speaking of course, a lot more accommodating to foreigners and generally feel a need to show themselves, their country and their culture in a more positive light, even if it involves a bit of fakery. They're a lot more westernised in that regard. Europeans (apart from the French) and Americans (I jest about the French) want to give foreigners a good impression of their country and their culture (Actually, I'm not joking about the French) and take a lot of pride in making sure that foreigners go home with a positive attitude of their country.

Cambodia, in a lot of ways, reminds me of many Arab countries, where men and women still have very clearly defined roles. Men are expected to be masculine and women feminine. In Western countries, the line between masculinity and femininity has become slightly more blurred. I'm not saying if this is a good thing or a bad thing, It's just an observation. Thailand seems to have followed this trend also. For example, as an extreme example of this, the proliferation of ladyboys in Thailand is an indication of how different the cultures between Thai and Khmer are. I know that ladyboys are not quite as accepted in Thailand as foreigners might be led to believe, they are a lot more accepted than Khmer culture.

Which brings me back to why I said I thought Khmer culture is a lot more raw and masculine than it's Thai counterpart.

Of course, you can't forget recent Khmer history which still has a huge influence on it's modern day culture. I have many opinions on why Khmer culture is the way it is today but they're probably best left for another thread.
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Re: now the other side of the story

Post by adders28 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:56 pm

jubo2 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:27 pm
phuketrichard wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:08 pm
I speak thai, BUT< what does that matter??
Thai interested by outside world ? you are so funny, or just living in your own world.

Even USA educated Thai know nothing about the rest of the world, everybody knows that, and it's not stereotypes.
BS; have some very educated thai friends ( educated in the uk or usa) , some are in the goverment, some are upper police, some are successful businessmen and they are as up on world affairs as you.
So tell me,how many educated thais are you friends with?
How long have you lived in Thailand to make your assumptions?


I have been teaching in a Thai university for 10 years, so I guess that I met more educated people and students than you. Stop dreaming your life, you have only been dealing with tourists and idiot Thai working in tourism. Sorry but you clearly know nothing and live in your own bubble.
His rose tinted specs are welded on! His government and upper police friends would have been educated abroad and bought their positions, if they exist.
Thai students are not encouraged to ask questions, some even ban it. I bet you found that very frustrating. The education system is the main problem.
Here is a short article that pretty much sums it up
https://prachatai.com/english/node/4495
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John Bingham
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Re: How do khmers compare with thais?

Post by John Bingham » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:12 am

As far as I know he's been living in the region for more than 30 years.
I doubt any single newspaper article or opinion is going to affect his,
or anyone else's, view.
adders28
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Re: How do khmers compare with thais?

Post by adders28 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:17 am

John Bingham wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:12 am
As far as I know he's been living in the region for more than 30 years.
I doubt any single newspaper article or opinion is going to affect his,
or anyone else's, view.
He repeats what he reads in thai media most of the time, real info in blocked in thailand, one only has to look at older threads where more times than not he is proved wrong, for example he defended the coup and said corruption is down, he changed his tune since and you must remember his rants at all re the king dieing.....More recently he ranted at me about Goi and andrew marshall insisting that andrew has left thailand and could not possibly have any sources of info, som nam na as they say over there
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Re: How do khmers compare with thais?

Post by clutchcargo » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:21 am

My personal experience after spending a fair bit of time in both countries, I feel khmers are much more accepting of foreigners than thais.

Generalising but whilst thais may be superficially friendly..deep down they dislike foreigners, seeing us as uncultured and they superior. Hence many references to thai xenophobia.

Khmers don't have tickets on themselves like the thais do imo.
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Re: How do khmers compare with thais?

Post by Yerg » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:23 am

I think it is nearly an impossible comparison to make. The history of both countries is different. The cultures of the two countries are different. I've spent (roughly) equal amounts of time in both countries, and like each for their own things. If push came to shove and I had to avoid splinters in my arse, my preference is Cambodia for myriad reasons. I speak a smattering of both languages, certainly enough to get by, but by no means fluent. I can't say I ever made any great Thai friends in BKK and Hua Hin, but in PP I certainly did. Of all ilks. (Let's leave the bar workers out of this equation.) I found it far easier to make friends with Khmer people than it was to make friends with Thai people. I also found that Khmers (despite their recent history) were far quicker to trust you than my experience with Thais. In the workplace, I found my Khmer associates fiercely loyal and thankful for the training and development we put in place for them, whereas the Thais were tough to get to buy in to what we were trying to train them. So, it's a bit of a mixed pot for me. But still, if someone asked me to choose between KoS and KoW as a place to live and/or retire (forgetting the visa and financial elements), it would be KoW hands-down for me.
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Re: How do khmers compare with thais?

Post by jubo2 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:23 am

adders28 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:17 am
John Bingham wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:12 am
As far as I know he's been living in the region for more than 30 years.
I doubt any single newspaper article or opinion is going to affect his,
or anyone else's, view.
He repeats what he reads in thai media most of the time, real info in blocked in thailand, one only has to look at older threads where more times than not he is proved wrong, for example he defended the coup and said corruption is down, he changed his tune since and you must remember his rants at all re the king dieing.....More recently he ranted at me about Goi and andrew marshall insisting that andrew has left thailand and could not possibly have any sources of info, som nam na as they say over there


I read some and I totally agree with you that his opinion is at least biased and certainly wrong. It's not difficult to see.
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Re: How do khmers compare with thais?

Post by jubo2 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:26 am

clutchcargo wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:21 am
My personal experience after spending a fair bit of time in both countries, I feel khmers are much more accepting of foreigners than thais.

Generalising but whilst thais may be superficially friendly..deep down they dislike foreigners, seeing us as uncultured and they superior. Hence many references to thai xenophobia.

Khmers don't have tickets on themselves like the thais do imo.

Many Thai only accept foreigners because they are useful to bring money, and it's true that they are taught since being kids that they are the best and that Thailand doesn't need anybody...
But what would you think if the whole world wanted to live in your country ? People from EU, USA, and even Chinese...
We cannot blame the people if we would be just like them in the same situation !
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Re: How do khmers compare with thais?

Post by adders28 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:26 am

clutchcargo wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:21 am
My personal experience after spending a fair bit of time in both countries, I feel khmers are much more accepting of foreigners than thais.

Generalising but whilst thais may be superficially friendly..deep down they dislike foreigners, seeing us as uncultured and they superior. Hence many references to thai xenophobia.

Khmers don't have tickets on themselves like the thais do imo.
I agree Clutch, they are brainwashed to be superior, there way is the right way, the only way and the best way
Look at how they treat Burmese or even their own from poor areas
the xenophobia seems to be worse lately
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Re: How do khmers compare with thais?

Post by adders28 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:27 am

jubo2 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:26 am
clutchcargo wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:21 am
My personal experience after spending a fair bit of time in both countries, I feel khmers are much more accepting of foreigners than thais.

Generalising but whilst thais may be superficially friendly..deep down they dislike foreigners, seeing us as uncultured and they superior. Hence many references to thai xenophobia.

Khmers don't have tickets on themselves like the thais do imo.

Many Thai only accept foreigners because they are useful to bring money, and it's true that they are taught since being kids that they are the best and that Thailand doesn't need anybody...
But what would you think if the whole world wanted to live in your country ? People from EU, USA, and even Chinese...
We cannot blame the people if we would be just like them in the same situation !
Yep its the education system to blame
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