Together With Family – Cambodia






 

Cambodia is a ‘country of fire’ where the sunlight is burning and reddish dirt is blowing in the heat of the South.

On the other hand, it is a ‘country of water’where water is frequently flooding the land and more people live on water than on the ground. A variety of charms can actually be found more from the life of ordinary people than at Cambodia’s famous historical site Angkor Wat. That’s why a journey through Cambodia starts from just an ordinary village.

 

Together With Family – Cambodia - Wisdom's Webzine

 

I visited a private residence in a small country village.

It is the house of a friend of my guide.

The whole family was having a joyful time in the yard.

They welcomed me with bright smiles even though I was a total stranger.

Puppies, children and mom, all became one and looked so happy. They showed how family is, something that we have forgotten through urbanized life. The naked baby was not afraid of a stranger and came into my arms peacefully.

 

Together With Family – Cambodia - Wisdom's Webzine

 

 

All of the houses in Cambodia are made with an off-ground style to avoid water.

As I went up the second floor, I was immersed in the smell of aged wood everywhere in the house.

It was just one big room in which 5 family members live together. As I was used to having a private room, it was an unfamiliar scene. I thought,‘Do all of them live together in this room? However, such a lifestyle must be the secret to their tight family bond.’

 

Together With Family – Cambodia - Wisdom's Webzine

 

Pictured is a desk of the eldest daughter who likes studying.

I couldn’t take my eyes off her finger-stained desk as it was warm and pretty.

Although the whole family lived in one room, there had to be some private spaces.

As I imagine that she writes things down one by one in her notebook under a little light every night, my mind is warmed.

I felt some breeze behind me and looked back.

I could see palm trees through a wide open window.

It is a friendly window where small belongings are scattered.

The window exudes the old tree fragrance, blowing in with the warm breeze.

 

Together With Family – Cambodia - Wisdom's Webzine

 

As the wood floor felt so good on my bare feet,

I came to think that I would love to stay one night at this house.

Such a two-story house on the ground is rather ordinary.

But the original scene of Cambodia, a country of water, is a myriad of floating homes.

 

Together With Family – Cambodia - Wisdom's Webzine

 

You should take boats to look around the village and visit houses as well.

 

Together With Family – Cambodia - Wisdom's Webzine

 

Together With Family – Cambodia - Wisdom's Webzine

 

 

 

Churches, schools, and everything is on water. It is an unfamiliar scene to see a way of life that is always on water.

The water does not look that clean but they feel grateful for such water as it helps them sustain their life. However, even though it sometimes threatens their life and scares them, they are able to maintain a very happy life– happier than what we could imagine.

 

Together With Family – Cambodia - Wisdom's Webzine

 

 

All of the family members go out into the water for their livelihood. Little children learn to swim as soon as they are born and learn by themselves to ride a tiny bucket boat.

 

 

Together With Family – Cambodia - Wisdom's Webzine

 

 

This kid I met on the water gave us a joyful smile and disappeared so quickly. Watching him made us worry that the bucket would turn upside down with the sloshing stream. He showed us the happiest smile in the world. When I saw such a smile, I felt ashamed of myself. Although I was on a better boat, was I really happier than him?

As I discovered their life, I found that they lived in quite a tough living environment but they lived happily. The driving force for such a life was ‘family’. The whole family lived together in one space and they did everything together. It was so common for them. They surely helped each other: that’s how they lived. They showed me that they were happy when they were together and everything was possible when they were together. The meaning of family has been diluted in the modern society. The way of life in Cambodia is very low by the world’s standard where materials are most important. However, at the center of their life, ‘family’ lies. Because they have the power of that love, Cambodia has everything. There is hope for children growing up and the power of the family union becomes the power of the world. From now on, it is a world where everyone coexists. And, it will always start from ‘family’.