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Local Election on 3 June 2012 – really “local”?

Norbert Klein

Looking to the reports in several newspapers about the beginning of the election campaign on the way towards local elections to be held on Sunday, 3 June 2012, I found mainly reports about the activities planned by the 10 parties competing (though not in all provinces and communes) using figures: how many people and trucks and cars and motorcycles moved around Phnom Penh campaigning - “showing off” but hardly any reference to local issues raised while appealing to voters. The emphasis is on the names of the political parties and their leaders.

Flour power in the heart of Phnom Penh

Gabi Yetter

When I think of Cambodian dessert, I don’t think of cake.

I think of mango. Or sticky rice. Or fried banana nuggets.

But I’ve recently discovered there’s a huge market in this part of the world for cake.

Here are a couple of stats that may surprise you. One of the larger hotels in Phnom Penh sells about $1,500 worth of cake daily. And Bloom, the wonderful cake store and café, which opened its doors this February on Street 222, sells between 120 and 500 cupcakes every day!

POTW Garden Villa in the City

Jacked Camry

Traditional Cambodian wooden stilt houses are beautiful and practical, with the area under the living area providing a multi-use work and social space open to the flow of air but shaded from the sun. However, wooden houses are not suited for city living in the modern age. We wanted to maintain that indoor-outdoor connection of the Cambodian house. And to emphasize the beauty of the wood.

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.

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