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.