Children of Cambodia: Friendly and Ambitious to Learn

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Cambodia:

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.

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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.

On the Mekong River
On the Mekong River
rice paddies
rice paddies

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.

working with oxen
working with oxen
harvesting rice
harvesting rice

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

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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.

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Tourism

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Buddhist monks in front of the Ankor Wat
girls and boys dance for the tourists
girls and boys dance for the tourists

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.