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Cambodian Song is Contributing to Discrimination

by Lay Vicheka

December 10, 2005

It is exactly our desires to entertain and such the right is stipulated in many internal and international legal instruments. To me, entertainment is not just entertainment, but it does enrich our lives, physically and psychologically.

However, converting into the world of materialism, I have noticed that one evilly negative element which is indirectly and subconsciously stipulated in such the daily entertainment and this bad impact would spread into greater extend if appropriate measure is not taken.

Song, I would say, is the most brainwashed kind of entertainment that we even need before our nightly sleep. And just because it is absolutely ubiquitous, the negative element contained in the song can easily be inserted into our psycho factors. So what is the negative element contained that I am referring to?

Here is the answer: “discrimination is widely spreading in most of Cambodian songs”. Though most of the discrimination is not of great level and apparent, but such the negative element would spread into the society – in particular, youths’ mentality, if sound measure is not timely taken by all of us and the concerned state entities.

Discriminations, as I have noticed, are largely based on ground of family status, skin complexion, gender, appearances and other related social status. Most of the time, the poor, the disabled, the unfit is weak, and they are almost always the losers and the ones who is most likely to fail in competition with another who is better in term of finance and appearance. As I have noticed, the poor, disabled are unlikely to have loyal love and they are likely deprived from social participation. But most of the Cambodian youths can not see this essence and would not agree with my stated idea.

Not only about discrimination, most of Cambodian songs are just plainly about entertainment, and there are nearly no song to contribute to psychological purification. I do not mean that all songs should be about philosophy and other educational favor, but I do need some songs and singers contribute to such the field of the society. I do need entertainment too!!!

Because of the negative points I raised above, Cambodian song can not gain its fame in the state, regional and international stage, the writer and singer should reconsider about this. Another essence of the song is to surprise and make the listeners feel respectful to the singer and author.

As I would like to make this essay short and brief, I would not bring many examples to defense my argument, but I want you, the readers, to observe the matters of fact by yourselves, and see whether my opinion is of value or not.

I am not criticizing Cambodian song alone, this problem is also occurring in other countries around the world, but I just want all of us to take notice before we do analysis or before it is too late.

“No matter how the world has developed, discrimination is still ubiquitous and maybe more serious than the bygone past, because it is contained in even our playful element (coined by Lay Vicheka, 2005)”


The author is a final year student of law at the University of Phnom Penh.

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