The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia (literally, “the language of Indonesia”). It is the language that unifies the world’s fourth most populous country – a country comprised of 18,000 islands and inhabited by 350 ethnic groups speaking 750 native languages and dialects. Bahasa Indonesia, a standardised version of Malay, is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world (after Mandarin, English, Hindi, Spanish and Arabic).
Like most westerners who end up staying in Cambodia, I showed up with little to no plan of action, or much cash at all to speak of. If I wanted to experience life in the tropics of Asia, I was going to need to eventually find some work. Eventually was the key word when I first arrived. I had just left Korea after six years on the lam from post-university life responsibilities in the Korean ESL Machine. I was a well-seasoned classroom rodeo clown by the time I rolled into Phnom Penh. “If you can hack it in Korea, you can hack it anywhere,”
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.
The Mirror, Vol. 15, No. 698
Several events – some of them new and shocking, but always painful and disruptive for those concerned, are under reference here; they relate to violence based on religious convictions.
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 696
The delayed Saturday text Immigration from Cambodia to South Korea
is now also available here.
The Cambodia Daily reported on Monday, 20.12.2010, that the Municipal Tourism Department and the Ministry of Tourism had cooperated to make international tourists visiting the Wat Phnom area in Phnom Penh feel more comfortable, so they erected a number of signboards in English. Some examples were given:
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 694
The Mirror has always considered it to be an important challenge to look at things which belong together – but for some reason they are not mutually related. There is some lack of communication, or straightforward mis-communication – and by pointing to such unrelated elements which should relate to each other, maybe the necessary mutual communication can be initiated. And this is a challenge not only for the writer, but also for the readers.
Cisco today announced the launch of a Cisco(R) Networking Academy(R) at the University of Management and Economics, expanding the program further into Cambodia. UME will integrate the IT Essentials course into the core curriculum for students at the provincial campus in Battambang.
Racial profiling is a common practice at English language centres in Vietnam, making it difficult for many Viet Kieu teachers to get a foot in the teaching world.
It’s a mundane afternoon at the office. Van Anh, a receptionist, sits staring at her computer when the phone rings. She answers, “Hello. Ho Chi Minh English School, how can I help you?”
A girl with an unmistakable English accent inquires about a job.
“Ah, you want to be a teacher here? Well, yes we have plenty of vacancies. Send your CV to our headquarters, we’re always looking for new teachers.”
When I saw that there is even an international Girl Child Day, after I had written about the World Teachers Day, my first reaction was somewhat dismissive: Why that? What is special? Probably my first negative reaction shows also why this special day is really important – as I learned by now. And international news during the last couple of days confirm this.
There are two different ways to approach this International Day of the Girl Child – looking at documents, and looking at a short video clip.
A speech by Prime Minister Hun Sen on 3 November 2010, addressing more than 600 women in different positions employed by the government, May turn out to be of utmost importance for the future of Cambodia – bringing fundamental changes to society: calling for more gender equality in politics. But the Prime Minister did not say so only in general terms, he made quite practical proposals how to start, calling on the leadership in many government institutions that they should appoint women whenever positions become vacant when a present office holder is retired.