‘Gangnam Style’ Parody Features Urban Poor Kids in Cambodia

‘Gangnam Style’ continues to be an Internet sensation but this time it is performed by 160 children from an urban poor village in Cambodia. The parody of the music video originally popularized by South Korean superstar Psy got more than 200,000 hits on YouTube a few days after it was uploaded.

The kids are mostly from the urban poor district of Boeng Salang in Phnom Penh, the country’s capital. Jean-Luc Nguyen, who directed the video, introduces the project:

What happens when 160 kids from a slum of Phnom Penh decide to do a parody of Gangnam Style? This amazingly funny video. These impoverished kids live in extremely basic conditions but are full of talent and potential. We wanted to give them an opportunity to express themselves through an artistic and fun project. They didn't disappoint us.

The video is a project of Taramana, an NGO which helps poor children in Cambodia. The group explains the reason for making the ‘Gangnam Kids’ video:

…produce movies that are deliberately offbeat from what you would expect from kids living in a very difficult environment. They are indeed poor, but they have so much potential and energy once you let them express themselves. It would be a shame not to enjoy so much life and joy, and their natural positivity and happiness.

We are convinced that humanitarian aid should focus on giving children strength and confidence: a bit of help that will help them believe in themselves, give them hope for a brighter future and preserve their dignity under any situation.

Below is another video showing the reaction of the children when they first watched their music video:

Khmerization praises the video:

Awwww… so it's not only a sweet tribute to K-pop superstar Psy and “Gangnam Style,” but also has a great deal of heart and hope to boot! A round of applause goes out to all of the kids involved!

Below are some reactions on Twitter

@ChtiClem Funny and inspiring Gangnam Style parody by 160 Cambodian kids from a slum of Phnom Penh!

@ManiiFanii this is awesome~ funny & touching too~ ‘Cambodian Gangnam Style parody by 160 kids from a slum of Phnom Penh

@splashpagefilms Yeah. I know Gangnam style is played out but this video of a 160 Cambodian kids from Phnom Penh dancing to it is fun.

@LinNorLam I went from laughing to crying… #cambodian “@khmerican:160 kids from the slums of Phnom Penh goes ‘Gangnam Style.’

@ChrisBurkeShay I thought I'd long had enough of #Gangnam parodies. I was wrong—this is incredibly heart-warming

This is not the first time that ‘Gangnam Style’ was used to highlight the poverty situation in Cambodia. Last December, human rights activists danced in the streets to the tune of the global hit song to protest land evictions and violations of land rights in the country.


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