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The ESL Scene in Cambodia – Part 1: The Teachers

asiapundits

The reasons people give for deciding to move to Cambodia to teach English are as varied as the characters that walk into English institutes here and call themselves “teachers”. Many people start as English teachers after coming to Cambodia as tourists. The unsuspecting immigrant finds it all so intriguing and they decide to make a home out of their newly found paradise. Most foreigners, lacking the ability to speak Khmer, generally aren’t qualified to do anything else in Cambodian society, so teaching English seems a natural immediate fit. Others use teaching English as a means to an end.

Acid house Evangelist en route

Phoenix Jay

A long time ago, in a college common room far, far away, a battered stereo belted out pioneering, high- decibel dance music. The deputy head of Northgate Sixth Form was not amused: he stormed in, cut the plug off, and stormed out. We barricaded the door shut, rewired the plug and cranked up the volume (Students 1, Authority 0 ). In a 500-strong institute, his was the lone voice of dissent.

Beauty and the beast

Hanna Sender

Sokuntevy Oeur’s new exhibition blurs the lines between beautiful and grotesque

For some artists, the right to pursue their creative passion is a right worth fighting for. Among them is Sokuntevy Oeur, who, as a young girl, first developed an interest in drawing while the Phare Ponleu Selpak arts school was being built behind her parents’ Battambang home. On finishing high school, Tevy immediately enrolled, but was forced by her mother and father a few years later to abandon her studies.

Mission under control

Robert Starkweather

The Cambodian Space Project’s psychedelic sound is going global
For a band that plays Khmer wedding hits from 50 years ago, The Cambodian Space Project makes for a peculiar flag- bearer of avant garde Cambodian rock. But the tripped-out ’60s psychedelia that defined the country’s golden era of music – when superstars such as Pan Ron and Ros Sereysothea ruled the airwaves – is proving almost as popular today as it was during King Sihanouk’s Sangkum Reastr Niyum. And to the disbelief of nearly everyone, The Cambodian Space Project appears teetering on the brink of international success.

Restaurant review: Jammy Suki Soup

Conrad Keely

Do you like eating hot pots? Do you like local barbecue? Well if yes, then obviously this Cambodian tradition was invented with you in mind.

Now I suppose I'm a newcomer here, so these novelty dining experiences continue to excite me. Then again I've had other friends of mine who have admitted that they somehow feel "cheated" by having to cook their own food at a restaurant. That to me seems odd: sometimes I'm so furious at the way a restaurant messes up a dish I would be delighted at the opportunity to step into the kitchen and show them how to do it properly.

Of creativity and catharsis

The Advisor

Ragamuffins to benefit from art auction.

A white pigeon flutters free, liberated from its cage by a girl with long raven hair. A small boy wearing a blue and yellow baseball cap waves his arms in delight as a butterfly beats its wings in the wind.

A couple engage in a mock dog fight with a fleet of paper aeroplanes. Self-taught Indonesian painter Mohammad Toha Hasan, the man behind these rich, colour- saturated acrylic creations, is one of several artists whose work features in a silent art auction this week. Life Creative: The Meaning of Love is hosted by arts therapy organisation The Ragamuffin Project.

Reggae riddims arise

Phoenix Jay

Cambodia’s sole ragga dub band revives its Jamaican roots.

When bassist Sébastien Adnot first played reggae in front of Jamaican friends, they proved a tough crowd. “When I started learning, they told me they couldn’t dance to what I was playing,” says the founder of Cambodia’s first and only ragamuffin dub band, Dub Addiction. “’Try to dance with your fingers,’ they said. That’s how they taught me. They don’t know the names of chords or music theory, it’s all about feeling.” Sébastien taps two fingers lightly on his heart and then his head.

A dirtier, funkier kind of stink

Phoenix Jay

Named after the world’s most divisive fruit, funk band Durian are testing the boundaries of taste.

Durian like the word ‘dirty’, they like it a lot – so much so that the band named themselves after the world’s most passion inflaming fruit. Inspiring both reverence and revulsion, this ‘king of fruits’ as it is known in Southeast Asia is described as smelling like almonds or, more commonly, gym socks.

TOLL suspends train ops in Cambodia

TTRweekly Staff

MANILA, 22 March 2012: Toll Group of Australia and Royal Group of Cambodia (Toll Royal Railways) have decided to suspend all train operations in Cambodia for one year beginning this April according to an Asian Development Bank statement released Tuesday.

Last year’s heavy flooding caused construction delays and there are delays in land acquisition, resettlement and equipment mobilisation processes due to local community protests and objections to rail project.

Hello Bolly

Phoenix Jay

With sing-song tales of million-dollar budgets, Bollywood movie moguls are sizing up the Kingdom

Bollywood – in all its melodramatic musical glory – is officially coming to Cambodia, cementing the centuries-old special relationship between the Khmer empire and the world’s largest democracy.

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