Culture Lesson

Have questions or resources regarding Khmer Culture? This forum is all about the Kingdom of Cambodia's culture. Khmer language, Cambodian weddings, French influence, Cambodian architecture, Cambodian politics, Khmer customs, etc? This is the place. Living in Cambodia can cause you to experience a whole new level of culture shock, so feel free to talk about all things related to the Khmer people, and their traditions. And if you want something in Khmer script translated into English, you will probably find what you need.
Samouth
Expatriate
Posts: 3679
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:25 am
Karma: 9
Location: Phnom Penh
Burundi

Culture Lesson

Post by Samouth » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:33 am

*Talking about yourself

If you meet a Cambodians for the first time some of the questions that they are likely to ask you will surprise you beside asking about your name, nationality and work.
Those questions are:
1. How old are you ?
2. How much is your salary?
You guys might find these two questions strange or taboos that shouldn't have asked. However they are the very common questions for Cambodian. We Cambodian normally don't call each other just by name but always put the word (bong=older) or (pa-oun=younger) before the name. This is the reason we ask about your age. For asking about salary, we just want to compare our salary, however nowadays more and more Cambodians seemed to take this question seriously as we are being influenced by the western culture. People now will not happy to tell you about their salary.

*Visiting a friend
If you are invited to a Cambodian home you should take off your shoes before entering the house. Cambodians may greet you by bowing slightly with their hands placed together in a prayer-like position in front of the face at approximately chin height. You should respond in like manner. Cambodians will show respect for older, or more senior people by trying to keep their head at a lower level when passing by or talking to them. This is obviously tricky if granny happens to be sitting down, but an obvious attempt to bend forward or stoop a little is sufficient to demonstrate some cultural sensitivity. When seated, you should avoid pointing your feet at anyone; the common western way of sitting on a chair with legs crossed and stretched out in front appears ill-mannered to Cambodians.

*Note for those who already learned or knew these before, please just take them for granted. :)
បើសិនធ្វើចេះ ចេះឲ្យគេកោត បើសិនធ្វើឆោត ឆោតឲ្យគេអាណិត។

If you know a lot, know enough to make them respect you, if you are stupid, be stupid enough so they can pity you.
User avatar
frank lee bent
Expatriate
Posts: 8988
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:10 am
Karma: 902
Australia

Re: Culture Lesson

Post by frank lee bent » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:40 pm

yeah the salary question is dressed up most often by barang as "what do you do?"

this is far more frequent with Americans than anyone else.

the attempt to categorize and stereotype is seen as a little objectionable among those of the wannabe elite.

but it is not offensive among obvious working men, one to another.

it can often be a search for a common interest.

whatever the answer to that question for sure they will bitch about their boss very quickly- especially if self employed!

in my childhood, you normally called the elders mr or mrs, miss, sir, ma'am. and if you didn't- you were certain to be told about it very quickly.

respect was enforced by Dad's belt in those times.

he rarely needed to use it.

times have changed now.
User avatar
John Bingham
Expatriate
Posts: 4165
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:26 pm
Karma: 753
Yemen

Re: Culture Lesson

Post by John Bingham » Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:50 pm

I don't recall being asked how much I earn very often at all, and I would only give a very vague answer lest I upset someone who earns less.
potty
Expatriate
Posts: 1284
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:20 pm
Karma: 0

Re: Culture Lesson

Post by potty » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:48 pm

if its not the police, you don't have to answer any questions.
User avatar
frank lee bent
Expatriate
Posts: 8988
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:10 am
Karma: 902
Australia

Re: Culture Lesson

Post by frank lee bent » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:06 pm

salary q is about who pays for the beer perhaps.
Samouth
Expatriate
Posts: 3679
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:25 am
Karma: 9
Location: Phnom Penh
Burundi

Re: Culture Lesson

Post by Samouth » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:07 pm

potty wrote:if its not the police, you don't have to answer any questions.
Haha you actually have full rights not to answer. No one is going to force you to answer.
បើសិនធ្វើចេះ ចេះឲ្យគេកោត បើសិនធ្វើឆោត ឆោតឲ្យគេអាណិត។

If you know a lot, know enough to make them respect you, if you are stupid, be stupid enough so they can pity you.
potty
Expatriate
Posts: 1284
Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:20 pm
Karma: 0

Re: Culture Lesson

Post by potty » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:25 pm

but will they be pissed and never ever forgive that rejection and suspect something must be wrong with you and search from now on in your past present and future, in order to find that dark secret ?
User avatar
frank lee bent
Expatriate
Posts: 8988
Joined: Sat May 17, 2014 4:10 am
Karma: 902
Australia

Re: Culture Lesson

Post by frank lee bent » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:32 pm

are you female potty?

just dawned on me.

how could i be so blind.........................

billy occam
Anchor Moy
Expatriate
Posts: 7729
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 11:37 pm
Karma: 562
Tokelau

Re: Culture Lesson

Post by Anchor Moy » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:40 pm

Yeah I had to explain to some young guys working in a guest house that it is extremely rude to ask (older) western women their age. And also not to ask the guests how much money they earn.
I just explained that in western culture these are taboo questions for strangers and this is why they are not good conversation-starters - at least wait until they've had time for a beer :friends: or you've talked awhile.

No big deal, but something you should know if you are dealing with western customers.
Samouth
Expatriate
Posts: 3679
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:25 am
Karma: 9
Location: Phnom Penh
Burundi

Re: Culture Lesson

Post by Samouth » Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:46 pm

i think so. OTOH, since they are working at foreigners setting, they should have known well about the culture of the west. However to solved this problem they should have explained to thier guests in order to find out if they are happy for them to ask. :)
បើសិនធ្វើចេះ ចេះឲ្យគេកោត បើសិនធ្វើឆោត ឆោតឲ្យគេអាណិត។

If you know a lot, know enough to make them respect you, if you are stupid, be stupid enough so they can pity you.
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 34 guests