From Cambodia to Japan

A Cambodian Student Looks at Life in Two Different Worlds

Sronos Pka Ktom

In his book, Komnarp Snaeh Meas, Kung Bun Chheun said he wrote this song. It was originally used as a soundtrack for his movie--which I don't remember the title-- made during the early 1970s. The film centers around a Lon Nol's soldier and a rural girl. The soldier was injured by a bomb during a bloody battle and was saved by the girl. The bomb made him temporarily blind, so he didn't have a chance to see his savior's face. Meanwhile, she took very good care of him until he got better.

Both eventually fell in love with each other. Later on, he was transferred to Phnom Penh through a helicopter. ( There's another well-known soundtrack in the scene in which he said goodbye to her. The song was written by Kung Bun Chheun and sung by Ros Sereysothea. It begins with something like, " Ut-tam-peakachak bong kvak lea oun...lea oun.." You've probably heard of it, I guess. )

She came to see him in Phnom Penh. He eventually recovered his eye-sights but only after she had already returned to the countryside. The reason she left was because his mother didn't like her as she 's a poor girl, and she wanted him to marry another girl.

What happened next, I don't remember. I think Kung Bun Chheun remade the movie in the late 1980s.

Maybe you've seen it?

( The real title of the song is Jet smos borisot, not Sronos pka ktum. Thanks Tonghor for pointing out to the whereabouts of the song)

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For real?

  • 17,535,000 : Number of Japanese tourist abroad in 2006or (or 14.6 % of the whole population. Data: Japanese Tourism Marketing Corp.)
  • 3,000,000 : Number of Cambodian tourist abroad in 2006 (or 21.4% of the whole population . Data: Reaksmeykampuchea )
Reaksmey Kampuchea today quoted Ho Vandy, president of Cambodian tourist association, as saying that more than 3 million Cambodians--or 21.4% of the whole population--- traveled abroad last year. Most of these people, he said, went to Thailand, Malaysia, Hong kong and Macao. The number doesn't include those who traveled to countries like the U.S. , Australia or Europe.

That' s a surprisingly high number compared to a mere 1.7 million tourists who came to Cambodia in the same year.

It's unclear how Mr. Vandy obtained the data. But if it's true, does it mean that the rapid economic growth( 13% last year) has actually benefited the population? Or does it merely reflect the fact that the number of Cambodian migrant workers who travel to countries like Thailand, Malaysia or Korea has considerably increased?