Foreign Culture?

The world is shrinking due to the advanced technology updated from day to day. People can communicate with each other though they are distant. They are able to be aware of everything around the globe through media including television and online. Over the last decade, Cambodia has started to be globalized with other countries which forge relationship with Cambodia in terms of diplomatic ties, business and investment. Besides coming directly to Cambodia, the globalization has been prevailing in Cambodia through the media including movies, songs, lifestyle, fashion, religion and so on. In addition, we can see clearly that a number of foreigners come to Cambodia for visiting and working, which leads to a global platform and cultural exchange.

With the dramatic flow of the other countries ‘culture into Cambodia through the previously-mentioned means and the absorption from Cambodia’s people, especially youths, the country’s culture and youths have become susceptible to the adverse influence of those countries’ culture. Before 2003, the neighboring country Thailand is very influential to Cambodia in terms of movie and songs. All television stations in the Kingdom broadcast Thai movies, which made Cambodia’s film industry climb down and not be able to recover. We can see that Cambodians started being obsessed with Thai movies and admire Thai films, by forgetting Khmer films. At that time, few or no filmmakers produced films since they know that Cambodia likes Thai films and they will never watch Khmer movies. This leads to the decline and non-recovery of the film industry which is also part of the culture. Cambodia’s people have no chance to see Khmer movies and they do not value their own films.

After the riot in Phnom Penh in 2003 over the confusing saying of Thai film star regarding Angkor Wat temple, damaging the Thai embassy, the relationship between the two countries has become rocky and the government declared to close down Thai movies screened on every televisions in Cambodia. Since then, Khmer movies have started to recover and a lot of Khmer films have been produced so far for the television stations. If there are a variety of Khmer films on televisions, our film industry will be good since people will watch and they start to compliment and admire Khmer films. Unluckily, after the shutdown to Thai movies, there are a lot of screenings of Korean and Chinese movies on Cambodia’s television nowadays. If the influence of those movies is deteriorating in the long term, Cambodians especially youths will forget our their own culture of films and our film will disappear one day.

Moreover, besides the influence of movies affecting Cambodia’s culture of film, Cambodia’s people have adjusted to the lifestyle of those cultures by following the styles of characters in the film and pick up the subcultures of foreigners who are opposed to Cambodia’s culture and some of the those cultures cannot be applied to Cambodia. For example, the culture of girls of living independently from their parents which cannot be practiced in Cambodia since women’s value is very important. They cannot do anything without the control of parents. Otherwise they will become bad women in the society. One more example, the culture of girls who are able to live with her boyfriend without consent from parents or they can live without marriage. There is no that culture in Cambodia’s context.

Though, I think, people think that it is the rights of people to do like that, Cambodia’s women should not do like that since we have a good culture already that girls should marry before they go to live with each other. During the time of Thai movies in Cambodia, the people liked Thai characters very much. They post Thai star’s pictures on the wall and at their business places. A number of people followed the style of dressing, making up, beautifying body and many other things else from Thai. This results in the decline of Cambodia’s culture since Cambodia’s people have left their own culture behind.

Can’t Hide from One’s Shadow.  After the closing down of Thai movies on Television, the existence of Korean and Chinese movies has rapidly increased and dominant over Cambodia’s culture. Korean movies and songs are screened on all Cambodia’s television stations. For example, MYTV stations which people say that it shows the culture of Korea. Now youths have adapted to Korean styles and lifestyle. They wear Korean dress and use Korean products. It is very dominant among the youths. Youths listen to Korean songs and dress like Korean to school. They talk about Korean every time. Now it is said that “You look like Korean stars. Every time, they make their body as Korean style. If Cambodia’s youths still follow it and they forgot Khmer culture, our culture will decline from day to day.

A number of youths dissocialize its own culture and lifestyle to the new-influenced culture from other countries. They change to wear Korean dress, eat Korean food, listen and watch Korean movies, which makes them forget their identity as a Cambodian.

Watching movies, youths adjust to various cultures of those countries including culture of living independently without being looked after from parents, culture of having boyfriends and girlfriends, culture of having sex or living with each others before marriage, and many others like marriage with cutting cake in their birthday and wedding party which are not the tradition of Khmer. For example, before Cambodia had no cake cutting in the wedding party, but now they have cake cutting. Khmer culture has only fruit instead of cake. Some youths think that they are living in a globalized world, so they change to follow the current of the world, by doing like the other people in the other countries since they find it good for them. It is true but those actions will make Cambodia’s youths leave Cambodian culture aside and time passes they will practice other foreign culture as their own ones.

Apart from this, globalization makes Cambodia become a variety of markets which consist of businesses from other countries. A lot of foreign business, especially food and drink exist in Cambodia’s supermarkets and ubiquitous in Phnom Penh. Fast-food restaurants are everywhere in Phnom Penh, for example, Lucky Seven, BB World and so on. Before, Cambodians are not aware of fast food such as frying chicken, pizza, and modern ice-cream, but now they go to eat and they feel like it very much. Cambodians will forget what is Khmer food and snake. This brings about the deterioration of culture.

Tourists bring a diversity of cultures to Cambodia because they come from various countries. A lot of cultures have been practiced in Cambodia. For instance, Christmas Day and Valentine’s Day which are now very famous in Cambodia, especially youths. These cultures negatively impact Cambodia tremendously since some youths take this time to have sex with each other as their habits. It was reported in the press that the guesthouses are full of youths going to have sex. This affects Cambodia perfect culture. Now Cambodian people celebrate it every year and it becomes prevailing and influential throughout the country. People follow it subconsciously though they know it is not the culture and tradition of Cambodia. What will happen in the future if the practice of it passed over generation to generation? Some of our own culture will not exist anymore.

In conclusion, globalization has impacted on every part of Cambodian life by making people change their behavior and thinking. The new culture brings to Cambodia, which make Cambodians celebrate it and consider it as our own culture, which is called resocialization.  Accepting and being aware of other culture does not mean bad. People can take advantages from that by adopting good points of the culture and make it to our own use, but make sure it does not affect our own culture. Culture is always good for persons. We cannot judge this culture is bad by using our own culture.

Youths who are the next generation to preserve Cambodia’s culture and tradition, have to consider the issue. They have to follow and remember our good culture which left by the ancestors thousands years ago. Youths should not follow it without thinking. If they can make use of it in wise way, it is good.

One thought on “Foreign Culture?”

  1. Can u kindly tell me that old people can be influenced by foreign culture? Why and Why not? I need more explain. Thank in advance!

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