Monday, 01 September 2014

Cambodia

Mourners See Former King’s Face in the Moon

Amid a deeply superstitious population, another rumor is spreading, with mourners claiming they have seen the face of the late former king, Norodom Sihanouk, in the moon and other places. Courtesy of CTN. Amid a deeply superstitious population, another rumor is spreading, with mourners claiming they have seen the face of the late former king, Norodom Sihanouk, in the moon and other places. Courtesy of CTN.
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Amid a deeply superstitious population, another rumor is spreading, with mourners claiming they have seen the face of the late former king, Norodom Sihanouk, in the moon and other places. Courtesy of CTN.
Amid a deeply superstitious population, another rumor is spreading, with mourners claiming they have seen the face of the late former king, Norodom Sihanouk, in the moon and other places. Courtesy of CTN.
Suy HeimkhemraVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - Amid a deeply superstitious population, another rumor is spreading, with mourners claiming they have seen the face of the late former king, Norodom Sihanouk, in the moon and other places.

Photographers and designers along the city’s riverfront, near the Royal Palace, where the late king lies in state, have begun selling posters with his face superimposed over the moon to illustrate these visions.

“I really saw him, although some people say it is an illusion,” said Pich Lamey, 73, from the city’s Dangkor district, who held one of the illustrations in her hands.

So too with Thou Phal, 62, from Battambang province. “It’s not so clear, but you can see the king’s face,” he said. “You can’t see it if you aren’t paying attention. But if you truly pay attention, you will.”

Photographer Phat Vireak, 22, said the visions have helped him earn a lot of money, between $1.25 to $2 a picture. “I have sold more than 100 pictures,” he told VOA Khmer recently.

The late king’s visage has appeared in other places, too.

“I didn’t believe in the pictures of the king in the moon,” said Touchyim Vannith, a 23-year-old student. “But it was unbelievable to me when I saw the face of the king father in the smoke of the candles.”

Others say he has appeared in the clouds.

Sihanouk, a revered figure throughout much of Cambodia, died in Beijing on Oct. 15. He will not be cremated until February, giving many people a chance to travel to the capital and mourn in front of the palace.

For social scientist Somchan Sovandara, a lecturer at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, the appearance of the king’s image in inanimate objects is “an illusion.” “It happens when people feel like they miss or love someone so much,” he said.

Cambodians are especially superstitious, he said. This is due in part to traditions that are handed down from one generation to the next. But they were also traumatized by the Khmer Rouge, which destroyed educational institutions and killed intellectuals, he said.

“People no longer have critical thinking to judge whether it’s true or not,” he said.

Kim Ley, an independent researcher, said some Cambodian beliefs are healthier than others. “In Cambodia, because there are many things that science cannot prove, they are superstitious,” he said.

This can be dangerous, he said. It allows economic opportunists to pray on the unwitting, allows gossip to spread and frighten people and can have negative health effects, such as when people believe soy beans will protect them from disease, he said.

Venerable Tormou Pang Soda, head monk at the Phnom Penh Thmey pagoada, in Kampong Cham province, said that Buddhist teachings ask people to think carefully on something before putting their belief in it. “But for some Cambodian people, they are so traumatized they no longer use their thinking,” he said.
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US Will Continue Supporting Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Diplomat Saysi
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28 August 2014
The US will continue its support for the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal, a senior US diplomat says. In an interview with VOA Khmer in Phnom Penh, Scot Marciel, the top diplomat for Asia and Pacific at the US State Department, said the tribunal can serve as an example to Cambodians and the world. “We are very pleased to be abel to contribute to this tribunal, and we certainly welcome the results of the recent case,” Marciel said, referring to recent life sentences for aging leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan. (Sok Khemara, Phnom Penh)

English with Mani & Mori

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Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)i
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25 August 2014
You can say, "I don't know why, but every time I eat 'prahok' (Cambodian anchovy) I find myself 'dozing off' all the time." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to facebook.com/voakhmer or www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
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Video Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)

You can say, "I don't know why, but every time I eat 'prahok' (Cambodian anchovy) I find myself 'dozing off' all the time." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to facebook.com/voakhmer or youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.
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Video Scratch Someone's Back (Movie: Batman Begins)

You can say, "Yeah sure, I can get you a job at CNN easily. Now, if 'YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I'LL SCRATCH YOURS'." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
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Video Wild Goose Chase (Movie: Inside Man)

You can say, "The policeman was sent on a 'wild goose chase' to find the killer. All the clues that were given to him turned out to be false." What does it mean? Watch here.
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Video Let Bygones Be Bygones (Movie: The Social Network)

You can say, "I know he hurt you, he gave up on you, and that broke your heart. But that's the past, you have to 'let bygones be bygones." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
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