The first thing I want to ask is “Why me?” 🙁 Am I under attack too? I’ve been tagged by Tharum Bun who was at the beginning tagged by Ethan Zuckerman. I saw these rules in Tharum’s blog and thought it might be okay to try.
And this meme has its rules:
1. Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post.
2. Share seven facts about yourself in the post.
3. Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged
1. Of course, you know my real name Keo (family name) Kounila (first name), but at the same time I also have many nicknames like ‘Shark (Chhlam), Black (Khmao/Srey Mao), Huoch (which my grandmmother named because as a baby, my mouth was too small to be breast-fed) and Cham (which is a name passed on from my father who was called ‘Cham’ too when he was little). In Cambodia, muslim people are called “Cham”. My nickname has nothing to do with being a muslim.
2. My ancestry is quite complicated and if I put it in writing, it will take more than a page to describe. My mother’s father was half-blood Chinese when her grandparents were pure Chinese. Whereas, my father’s mother was Cambodian-Hainam Chinese-Vietnamese and his father was completely Cambodian. So now I am a mixture of everything inherited from them; however, I believe I am 100% Cambodian. I personally do not celebrate Chinese New Year, but my family does every year.
3. I attended the first grade when I was 4 years old but had to take the first grade for two years though I was ranked first in the class. That’s because I was just 4 years old, and the school system at that time made sure that the first graders had to be 6 years old. During the second year of the first grade, I left a laughable memory inside the class that has been now reminded from time to time by my mother for a good laugh. I probably pooped and the feces stuck inside my pants. I just ran home and found my mother working. She later hurried to wash me.
4. I could read newspaper when I was in third grade. When my parents took me to a restaurant which was opened by my mother’s brother-in-law, I spotted a guy reading newspaper that had very beautiful girls on the front page. I longed to read very much and kept pestering the guy around to really see what was on the page.
5. For 9 years at school, I had been a very good student until I met a Cambodian teacher who taught me English for 5 years. I quit learning hard in the 10th grade and focused on reading books in English. Until now, I have had difficulty speaking Khmer formally. This is what I regret. I should have read a lot of Khmer too. This teacher, though, was the one who changed me from bad to good. He did not only teach me English but also everything that prepares me for the future. Even though now we do not have things in common anymore, he is the one who gave me the incentive to be strongly determined to succeed in life.
6. For years in high school and university, I have behaved like a tomboy. For the last 5 years, I would hate anyone who called me ‘girl/woman’, but it is okay now. I play and make friends both with girls and boys since I believe that women and men are equal in the sight of God. There is a tradition going around that men play with men and girls are shy to play with men. During the first year of university, I played football almost every evening with my male classmates and a girfriend. Sports is the only way for men to see other men’s strength– and also to allow women to feel comparable with men.
7. I do not think that I am a busy girl at all. Now working as an Agence France Presse reporter on the weekends, and a research consultant for Centre for Cambodian Independent Media and now as a third year media student, I feel like I want to have some space to breathe. The only thing that I remind myself of when I feel down is that ‘I can do anything’. And my future wish is to pursue a higher education abroad and come back to helping improve Cambodia.