KhmerTalks uses Khmer language to spread more ideas to Khmer people

Many wonderful conferences and workshops hosted in Cambodia have been using English as a mean to communicate with their participants. This made some people who do not know much about the language could not catch on fruitful information in the events. KhmerTalks, which makes up similar platform to other foreign workshops like TEDx, has used Khmer language for communicating in its events in the purpose of preserving Cambodian identity, spreading more knowledge, and encouraging more Cambodian to participate.

H.R.H. Norodom Soma presenting in the event. / Photo by Dara SaoyuthKhmer Talks is an event mainly aimed at sharing ideas that are presented by Khmer scholars, thinkers, achievers, and students of all ages and generations. KhmerTalks also serves as a networking chance to connect students and people with profound working experiences from various institutions and some other business people.

A not-for-profit group created KhmerTalks in 2011, and all members are volunteering people who live and study in different places. They communicate with each other via Internet, and the first KhmerTalks was held in June 2011 under the theme ‘Sharing Success Together’.

Theme for the year 2012 was ‘Creativity, Education, and Inspiration’, presented by ten different guest speakers who have different background in the purpose of sharing variety of knowledge and experience to the participants, and build in them the self-encouragement and self discipline in life. The topics presented were centered on their own life experience such as their success, failure and many other uncourageous life stories, which have never been taught at school.

Sophak Chim presenting on stage. / Photo by Dara Saoyuth As a guest speaker, presenting about ‘Where is the real university?’ in the event and also an NGO worker, Chim Sophak, told the reporter that the event had provided chance for participants to know about success, failure and tough experience of the speakers. “What the speakers presented here does not exist in school which mostly provides skills and techniques,” she said. “Life experience of each person is not easy to get to know as everyone does not want to tell of their weakness, thus this event is good to gather many successful people to tell their experience to the young generation.”

After the event finished, So Poutheara, a KhmerTalks participant and also a student at Phnom Penh International University, said that he learned a lots from the event such as time management, group work, and analysis. He added that it is beneficial for him to have self-reflection and weakness correction, and he liked the event that was using Khmer language because he can get more informative contexts from what the speaker said.

Fun activities during the KhmerTalks. / Photo by Dara Saoyuth An event organizer, Lach Vannak, said that Cambodian youth nowadays is lack of participation and information sharing. He encouraged the youth to participate in more events in order to build up their capacity and their strength. “Khmer Talk is one of good events having brought good chance for both guest speakers and participants to share life experience and create good network, and participants can also get fast learning from the sharing of those successful people,” said Vannak.

Khmer Talks will be planned to be held annually and will present its face in provinces in order to spread out knowledge to the people. Lach Vannak said, “So far, we have done two main events in Phnom Penh and two mini events in Siem Reap. In the future, I hope that I could do this kind of event in other provinces in order to bring valuable information to people in the province.”

Article by: Sam Chanmaliny
Photo by: Dara Saoyuth
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About Writer:

Liny's profile photoSam Chanmaliny is now a sophomore of Media Management at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC), and also a student of International Relations at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC). She said that she became interested in reporting news because she wanted to meet new people. “Being a journalist, it is very important to seek the truth and repot it to the other people who do not know about that information,” said Chanmaliny, adding that this is the reason that she devotes her time on finding new story ideas to serve her audience. She started joining the in April 2012.