We observed that events in Cambodia are usually held in Phnom Penh and rarely in other areas, such as Siem Reap province. After we attended “TEDxPhnomPenh“, a conference about “ideas worth spreading”, we were very inspired to organize similar events in Siem Reap by Siem Reap people. A few weeks later, we sat around the table and decided to test this idea and create a mini-event called “KhmerTalks-Siem Reap”.
The organizers of KhmerTalks are people who live and work around Siem Reap province. We all belong to KYE, and almost of us, we are PEPY staff. Our theme for the Siem Reap event, “Envisioning The Future”, is similar to PEPY’s vision; we believe in exposing people to new ideas, and collaborating with one another to open up new possibilities in Cambodia. In addition, sharing ideas will help participants build critical thinking skills, examine weaknesses, and serve as a catalyst for intellectual growth. When thoughts and ideas are discussed in a supportive group of peers, they are much more likely to blossom into maturity. KhmerTalks helps to promote ideas and create opportunities for scholarly thinking, personal achievement, and business success.
The first Khmer Talks event was on March 26, 2011 at Pannasastra University in Siem Reap. We had 3 speakers who shared different topics and ideas with over 65 participants. The first speaker was Mr. Kimheng Sok, a professor from the Institute of Cambodian Technology. He presented the topic of “Culture and Our Life”. The main point of his presentation was to encourage and remind Khmer students to appreciate and conserve our Khmer culture. Furthermore, he mentioned that our culture and our country are one and the same, so if our culture is lost, then our country is lost.
The second speaker was Mr. Sovansak Chhoun, who is from the International University of Major Business Management, and a team leader of the volunteer youth club in Prey Veng province. Sovansak presented on “The Power of Mind.” He encouraged participants to share their goals and ideas with others and stressed the importance of believing anything is possible. We learned from him that our abilities have no limit; we only limit ourselves.
The third speaker was Miss Bory Siev, a 12th grade student from Prey Veng province. She is one of youngest female students involved in social work and other local organizations in Cambodia. Her presentation was on the topic of “Following Your Life Dreams”. This topic encouraged participants to have a clear goal in life, so that each person knows what they want to be, what they want to gain, and how to get it.
We were pleased to see participants involved and interested in the ideas presented and encouraged by how clearly they understood the messages featured in KhmerTalks-Siem Reap.
After the presentations, there were also group discussions on the topic of each speaker to make sure each participant understood the concept conveyed as well as the chance to share new ideas and opinions.
Now all participants know the importance of sharing ideas and understand how those ideas can be applied to their life and how to share those ideas with others.
On behalf of organizers of the event, we believe that the event will become a very good model to explore ideas and social networks, and create opportunities for scholarly thinking, personal achievement, and business success.
The next Khmer Talks event is in Phnom Penh on June 4th.