Heute ist mein zweiter Tag in Genf und ich schlafe erstmal aus. Erst gegen 10 verlasse ich das Hostel. Mein Dilemma ist, dass ich morgen schon arbeiten muss, aber noch keine Unterkunft habe. Gleichzeitig muss ich morgen aus dem Hostel ausziehen, denn für die nächsten Tage ist es ausgebucht. Insofern habe ich keine Wahl, als noch heute eine andere Unterkunft zu finden, wenigstens für die nächsten Tage.
Continue reading Erster Tag in Genf
Nachdem mein Studium abgeschlossen ist, habe ich nun wieder das Privileg eines Auslandsaufenthaltes. Allerdings in einem Land, das etwas weniger fremd und abenteuerlich ist als Kambodscha: die Schweiz. Für sechs Monate werde ich als Praktikant für die Internationale Arbeitsorganisation (ILO) arbeiten, im ‚Project to Promote ILO Policy on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’. Aus diesem Anlass habe ich mir vorgenommen, gelegentlich wieder Einträge in meinem blog zu veröffentlichen.
Continue reading Nach Genf
I finalized my thesis titled “The Theory of Multiculturalism and Cultural Diversity in Cambodia” about two weeks ago. The final version is significantly different from the one I put up here on my page and I am happy to send it to anybody interested in it. Just write to stefan.ehrentraut(at)gmx.de (replace ‘(at)’ with ‘@’). After my last examination in late September I will start working as an intern at the International Labour Organization in Geneva for six months, in their Project to Promote ILO Policy on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples. Since this project has been and will be involved in Cambodia, I hope to be able to promote the case of Indigenous Peoples here. After the internship, I hope to have a chance to return to Cambodia.
Continue reading Thesis Finalized and Internship at the ILO in Geneva
By Staffan Lindberg
Tourism is changing the face of Mondulkiri. But while increasing numbers of
visitors mean more money for this poor province, fears are that it is the
ethnic-minority hill-tribes who will pay the price.
Continue reading Article: Tourists and lowlanders threaten hill-tribe ways (Phnom Penh Post)
I have spend the last month writing on my final thesis about indigenous peoples in Cambodia. The text has grown in size and scope significantly. The current working title is “The Theory of Multiculturalism and Cultural Diversity in Cambodia”.
The aim of the thesis is to discuss and assess the rights of cultural minorities in Cambodia in the light of Western liberal theories of multiculturalism. More precisely, the thesis compares and contrasts Will Kymlicka’s theory of multicultural citizenship with the situation and aspirations of indigenous peoples in Cambodia. By doing so, I hope to justify and make plausible specific rights for indigenous peoples, in particular some measure of self-government rights and special representation rights.
Today I finished the first draft of the text. There are still some formal problems and minor inconsistencies in the argumentation. However, I think feedback would be most valuable at this point of the process, where I have still time to accommodate comments and considerations regarding the overall argumentation and structure of the text. Therefore, I make the text available here, as word document (788kb) and .pdf file (631kb). Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.
“The Theory of Multiculturalism and Cultural Diversity in Cambodia”(Word)
“The Theory of Multiculturalism and Cultural Diversity in Cambodia”(PDF)
Continue reading “The Theory of Multiculturalism and Cultural Diversity in Cambodia” (First Draft)
The following post describes a trip which took place already some month ago. More precisely, it was on the first and second of January, if I am not mistaken. It took place after I spend New Year on Bokor Mountain. It reports a tour that covers various caves in Kampot, the town of Kep and a visit to Toek Chhou, a place close to Kampot town which is popular with the locals for picnic.
Continue reading Caves in Kampot, Sunset in Kep, Swimming at Toek Chhou
Another article about indigenous peoples in Vietnam, indicating that those groups’ treatment is way better in Cambodia.
Continue reading Vietnam’s Central Highlands in Lockdown
It happens regularly that members of indigenous groups from Vietnam cross the border to Cambodia as refugees, because they are persecuted. I never heard of people leaving to Vietnam for the same reason and take this to indicate that indigenous peoples are treated better in Cambodia.
Continue reading Article: UNHCR office in Cambodia called on to help Vietnamese minority
Obviously, the following article is related to cultural diversity. I found this piece particularly interesting, because it clearly shows that the Cambodian state takes an active interest in the reproduction of a particular cultural and religous Khmer culture and identity.
Continue reading Article: “P Penh enforces ban on Thai-style Buddha statues”
Recently, I found a number of articles about the situation of indigenous peoples world wide. Not least the following one, which surprisingly mentions indigenous peoples in Cambodia. So I thought I post it here. Moreover, as I keep reading many articles related in different ways to cultural diversity, I decided to make the relevant pieces available in this blogg.
Continue reading Article: “UNICEF calls on governments to ensure rights of indigenous children”
I get up by 7:30 and have breakfast at 8 am. I meet Gabriel, a 22 years old American guy and a couple from France. We spend the noon talking in the guesthouses restaurant on the roof again. And we enjoy the sight of the surrounding mountains. Later the French people leave and I hang out with Gabe for some time. Both of us want to go to Bokor Mountain to joint the party. Ye we are both not sure how we want to get there and how we can spend the night. Gabe manages to persuade me to take him on my bike. So we assume we won’t be able to sleep at night anyway. So we leave our sleeping bags and stuff in the guesthouse. And we reserve a room for the next day.
People and guide books alike suggest that the road up the mountain is difficult to ride. Most people go by truck. So I am not very comfortable with traveling with two persons on the bike. Moreover, it is usually much more fun to do the bumpy stretches alone.
It is already 1:30 pm when we go to the market. We buy some food and water and have lunch. We leave at about 2:30 pm to Bokor, which is just about 35 km from here. The first part is paved road and easy traveling. We cross the river and follow National Road 3 through the picturesque landscape, following the coastline on one and the mountain range on the other side of the road. Then we turn right and get onto a rough, unpaved road up the mountain. After we pay $5 each to enter Bokor National Park. The road is mostly unpaved and sandy, covered with small and medium sized stones which make it a bumpy ride. I cannot pay much attention to the environment. We pass mostly through dense forest, while climbing up the road with many turns. While we get higher we recognize the beautiful surroundings, the coastline with a number of mountainous islands and the wooded mountain range along the mainland. Many birds make the forest a noisy place. Generally, it seems the road was improved on its worst stretches, making it relatively easy to ride. There is significant traffic in both directions, mostly motos and trucks. I use the horn a lot in the turns. Sometimes we get stuck in the dust behind slowly traveling trucks, frequently with soldiers on its back.
Continue reading Kampot Second Day: New Year at Bokor
Some weeks ago Dara and Vuth had told me there would be a massive yew year party at the casino on top of Bokor Mountain in Kampot province. They told me they would go and asked whether I would join. I agreed and reserved a bike at Phnom Penh Bike Shop for December 29. I just gave back the (pretty used up) Honda Baja yesterday to lucky! lucky! Today I find at the Phnom Penh Shop that only one bike is left, which is a Honda Degree. Those bikes are the most common, cheapest and in many cases oldest dirt bikes available in Phnom Penh. Yet at this point it is not likely that I get a better bike anywhere else and I take it.
Furthermore I learn that Dara, Vuth and the owner of this shop have left already to hit Kirirom National Park on the way to Bokor. I have been to Kampot but never saw Bokor before. And I do not mind having a special New Year party. After I get the bike I decide to leave the next day, to go the 150 km to Kampot. This gives me more time to spend in Kampot and I assume there are fewer crazy people on the road heading to this party. Kampot is a three hour trip from Phnom Penh, mostly on National Road 3. The plan is to go some time the next day the remaining way to the top of Bokor Mountain. The road up to the summit of the mountain is said to be difficult.
Continue reading Kampot First Day: Phnom Penh to Kampot
The plan for today is to travel back to Phnom Penh, which is about 310 km from here on national road via Kampong Thom. I get up at eight, have a shower and leave the guesthouse. I walk along the river for a bit and pass the market before I find a charming place at the river for breakfast.
In many ways Siem Reap is different from the rest of the country. Everybody appears to be busy, there are many tourists, most people understand English, and the city appears to be more Western and more affluent then any other place in the country. Siem Reap has a lot of appeal for Cambodians in many provinces, as it holds the promise of rapid economic and social development and immense individual opportunities that are not easily available elsewhere. There are countless luxury hotels, restaurants and bars, internet places and souvenir shops. As well as hospitals and schools. Other than Phnom Penh this is the only other truly urban place I know of in Cambodia.
Continue reading Preah Vihear Ninth Day: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: Kampong Thom
Next day I get up at seven and go to the restaurant again to have breakfast. The plan is to spend some hours around Anlong Veng, to visit the relevant Khmer Rouge places. In the afternoon I want to leave Anlong Veng and ride to Siem Reap provincial capital, which is about 200 km from here.
After breakfast I kick of with the owner of the restaurant. We go with my bike. By now I don’t mind taking people on my bike. Everybody does. First we visit the local tourism office. The door is open but nobody is here. We find a name card and I call the guy. I learn that he is in the mountains right now, taking pictures for the provincial department of tourism’s homepage. He suggests we ride up the mountain and meet him there.
And this is what we do. Maybe for about 10 km we follow the main road to the north, which is broad and easy to ride. This changes when we reach the bottom of the mountain. Some distances are pretty steep. Others are covered with rocks or sand. However, it is not too steep and I even enjoy the rough road.
Continue reading Preah Vihear Eighths Days: Anlong Veng to Siem Reap. Otdar Mean Chey, Anlong Veng, Pol Pot’s grave and former residence, Ta Mok’s former residence, Banteay Srey
The plan for today is to get up early, visit the temples again and leave to have breakfast at the bottom of the mountain. From here, I have the priviledge of Vothea’s company for another hour, before we go separate ways. Vothear will continue to Tbaeng Mean Chey and Kampong Thom. I intend to travel to Anlong Veng, the very last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge. I hope to visit Pol Pot’s grave and other relevant places today and continue all the way to Siem Reap, before I travel back to Phnom Penh the tomorrow.
We get up at about 5:30, have coffee and get ready to leave. Some time later we leave, when it is still dark, and climb up all the steps to temples on top of the mountain.
Continue reading Preah Vihear Seventh Day: Preah Vihear Temples to Anlong Veng