If you are a Cambodian child, you speak Khmer, and live in a country with a population of over 15 million. Cambodia has borders with the countries of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
Unless you live in a big city like Phnom Penh, or some smaller towns, you probably live in the country side.
As a Cambodian child, you probably have a statue of the Buddha and a picture of the ruling king. Your parents will vote, because Cambodia is a democratic country. Cambodia was once ruled by France but it got its independence in 1953.
Village and Sea Living Children
Most Cambodian children live in the countryside, where they help their families raise animals, vegetables or rice.
Many Cambodian families are farmers. Strong boys and girls may be seen ploughing the rice paddies with the help of an oxen or two.
While Westerners have fries, mashed potatoes or pasta with most meals, Cambodians like most people in Asia have rice. Every piece of land is precious and rice and vegetables are grown on flat land and all the way up hills.
If you are a Cambodian living by the sea, your family may own a fishing boat. Cambodia has a sea front and fishing is important to eat and to export. Cambodia has a powerful river called the Mekong. The water from it is used for rice growing.
Going to School
Around the Mekong River there are many small rivers. To get to school, many children will paddle their own boats or their parents may take them. Many children pile on to motorcycles and the police don’t seem to mind this crowded way of travelling. Cambodia like many poorer countries in Asia insists that children go to school. The country needs educated people as well as farmers and families that fish.
People come to Cambodia to relax and enjoy some of the beautiful beaches. There are many old temples because Cambodia is an ancient civilization. Maybe one day you will travel to Cambodia to meet these friendly people.
Perhaps, when you are older you may want to volunteer to teach English or helping another way.
YOU are on the above picture! If you look at the faces, every child is different. You live in a country and you have a language, maybe more than one! Every person born is important and special. We all need love, friendship, food, clothing and a place to live. Not every young person can go to school, but everyone has dreams.
Hearing the Word “CONGRATULATIONS.”
Every young person in the world wants to hear the words, “Well done!” or “Good Job” or “Congratulations!” These words are said by parents around the world in different languages. Parents want their children to be successful in school or at least to do their best! Parents also want their children to be kind and never to bully anyone. Bullying hurts others! Youmight take a few seconds to say unkind words, but that person may go home and think about those words for days!
The earth is one big school. Even when you leave the classroom, you have many things to learn: honesty, sharing, using nice words and spreading happiness. It is also great to be helpful to everyone. YOU are special, so do your best in everything. Thank you. Your friend, Pauline
Life can offer you – a way out. This way out is the opportunity to live at half-a-life-level. Don’t believe in yourself and see others as more beautiful, more talented, more intelligent, etc.etc. You can stay on the static level of non-doing, non-believing and watch others soar. You can remain watching these people complain and add your excuses: but some of the people soaring do not have sight, do not have hearing, cannot talk and may be paralyzed. They are soaring from a bed, unable to use their limbs and using their mouths to type keys to the internet. Helen Keller (deaf, blind and unable to speak as a child) – went on to get a university degree. She learned how to speak but she could never hear. Right now, some children are walking miles to learn – they are frightened at night as tanks rolls by their rooms and plane can drop bombs at any moment. Yet, they are courageous to learn – to play music – to write poetry – to believe that there is a tomorrow where they can live.