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Cambodia: Personal Information Technology aka Weblog Workshop

More and more Cambodians are getting introduced to blogging through organized workshops at universities in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia.

The Cambodian blogopshere is probably as not big as any others in the region as the number of Internet users is one of the lowest in Southeast Asia. But after blogging took off last year, it has been growing remarkably. Back in July 2005, the first blogging training in some provinces took place. As young people are at the forefront to embrace digital technology trend, a group of few local evangelists began to introduce them to ‘blogging’. The story of blogging in Cambodia began.

Named ‘Personal Information Technology,’ the group led by the blogger evangelist Mean Lux continues his community work with several other friends to spread out the word. In August this year, they conducted the workshop at International University, a Phnom Penh-based higher education institution. A workshop's presenter wrote “It was a great experience for me to be one of the presenters during that workshop.” For full coverage (with pictures) of the workshop, please click here and here.

In the second series of the event, approximately 400 participants attended the workshop which was organized at another university in association with City Link, one of the country's Internet Service Provider. Workshop presenter Kalyan concluded after the session:

Yesterday our workshop on Personal Information Technology was held at PUC [Pannasastra University of Cambodia], and beyond our expectation there were about more than 400 participants including the Deans and the lecturers. I was very nervous but I could manage to do well as PUC provides great hospitality and facilities for the event. In addition, we received City Link's material support.Since there were too many students at the lab registering to create a blog account, then the network became really slow. Thus, City Link increased the speed to make it easier.

About 400 audiences enthusiastically listen to one of the presenters.
About 400 people attended the second weblog workshop at Pannasastra University of Cambodia. Photo: originally uploaded by Kalyan.

And her teammate added:

This is a great day of our life history, probably. We gave apresentation to more than 400 students and academic staff at PUC andAlso in English and Chantra also made some funnies about his secondlanguage. It is a great success. Sadly for Viirak, if he were here, the workshop would be more joyful!

An upcoming workshop is to be organized at Newton Tilay University. “Well, sound unlike the previous one, this time it’s becoming more better and bigger la… So sorry that i cannot join it this time. Hopefully the next comming one, which will be on September 16 at Newton Tilay University (NTU). See you there!”

Back in Japan, after reading a book about Khmer Rouge regime, LA RÉPUBLIQUE KHMÈRE, Cambodian student Dara wrote a review, expressing his emotion and describing his very personal thoughts. The 23-year-old Cambodian native in Nagano is also curious about the accuracy of written book.

…The population of this city was 650.000 in 1970 had grown to 3.000.000 in 1975. From time to time all transportation means had been cutted. Everything became more expensive then the day before. Even though the salary for public servants has been risen to 300% but people still found it hard to survive. From August, 1972 to April, 1974 the price for necessary goods are 400% up. For ordinary families they had only rice with fried vegetable with no meat. Starting from the end of 1974, everyday rockets had been droped at various targets in the city. Everyday people wounded and die. Finally, April, 17th 1975 arrived. People were happy because they thought that their suffering was over. They could live in peace and prosperity again but that was just a beginning to a greater suffering …

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