Photographer's Note



Vietnamese presence in Cambodia began in 19 century, when Annam people emerged as strong regional conquerors. The number of Vietnamese population was estimated about 250,000 in 1956. It is difficult now to provide accurate number of permanent Vietnamese living in Cambodia, as most of the Vietnamese are migratory. Vietnamese minority are normally settled along the Mekong, Tonle Sap River, and Tonle Sap Lake. Around Tonle Sap Lake, the Vietnamese are more concentrated in Chong Kneas. Professional fishing and aquaculture remain their traditional occupation. A small portion of Vietnamese are also engaged in other important jobs in the city. During the French colony, the majority of government functionaries were comprised of Vietnamese. Today, Vietnamese are recognized as very skillful and efficient workers in construction, machinery, furniture and the like.

With the tragic exception of the Khmer Rouge period, Cambodian society has traditionally been tolerant towards most ethnic and religious minorities. There is however a significant degree of prejudice regarding the Vietnamese, which was reflected in the particular viciousness of their persecution under the Khmer Rouge. The nature of conflict is stemming from the distinctive culture, the stereotype feeling and distrustful perception about Vietnamese by Khmer, due probably to the historical contradictory relationship between Cambodia and Vietnam since 19 century. Unlike Siam, Vietnamese culture is difficult to be absorbed by Khmer. Vietnamese are treated by Khmer as foreigners. For this reason, Vietnamese presence in Cambodia is often brought to public attention by politicians for political gain. (Source: Benjamin Lane/UNESCO)

(To be continued in “Discussions” below)


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Additional Photos by Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 471 W: 125 N: 2332] (8458)
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