The naked swordsman
Have you ever tried to go to googledotcom and type “Cambodian naked kids” and see how many stories you could find?
If not yet, let's play with this shortcut.
Obviously, countless stories with the words “naked kid” there, but it is not easy to capture such a picture to share with those who wish to know how poor, how miserable and how the Cambodian young generation is taking the toll for the former war over their country.
I traveled by speedboat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reab using Tonle Sap River and Great Lake. While on the transport bus from boat station to town, as we crossed Phnum Kraom — the poor community along the dirt road extending from the paved National Road 63, running near the little 140-meter-tall mountain — I witnessed a lot of naked children playing kung fu combat in public. Of course I could not ask the driver to stop his vehicle with more than 20 passengers for my personal interest.
After checking in a motel, I quickly took a tuktuk ride to go back. At my return, the fight between the naked swordsmen has ended. But I was lucky to meet the hero. Hero, because he survived the kung-fu battle: all others disappeared but the victor still at the battleground with his victory bamboo sword. The boy doesn’t show any shyness. Being naked to him seems as natural or normal as sunshine or rain. To these human beings, the demand of food is more critical and practical than the luxury of clothes for warmness, or dressing well.
During high-school years, I had been taught, “When being seized the basic economic condition of living, human beings come near an animal.”
Nearing the end of life, I feel rather being naked than having a naked conscience — being callous while confronting the pain of others.
Critiques | Translate
everlasting (14704) 2005-08-11 4:32
Nice capture Thanh, of simple play. I also posted along the same line today. Someone has clothes, just look at those trainers.
banyanman (7789) 2005-08-11 8:37
I agree with Elaine, Thanh, that this is a thoughtfully composed composition with good use of DOF. The trainers look quite out of place in this shot but an an element of interest. Cheers . . . David
huckool (96) 2005-08-11 16:08
Your report gives a very interesting depiction of contrasting societies. I can see why you're so intriged by the naturalness possessed with children around South East Asia, focusing more on physical activities which are fun, rather than trying to look good and applying make-up, which most Western children seem to care about in the modern day.
I hope the markings on the boys head aren't a result of the 'battle' though.
pnphan (3957) 2005-08-11 19:33
a little warrior, he has the confident look on his face. good capture of his vitorius moment chu Thanh
Furachan (0) 2005-09-10 8:34
Dear Thahn, this is a severely underestimated photo, not just the picture but the TITLE, which is superb and resonates, and the extrairdinary note that reaches very, very serious depths of discourse.
But the picture is a winner, my friend. the look in the little warrior's eys (he could be the CEO of a major corporation (IF HE WAS GIVEN THE CHANCE), but he never will be, maybe end up drunk somewhere, or high on something.
the DOF is masterly, real PRO stuff, no mistake.
All in all a powerful combination.
Thank you for that, and for being among us...
p. The sneakers are an essential element IMHO!
- Copyright: Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) (8582)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-03-05
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Canon EOS 10D, Canon EF 24-70mm L, SanDisk Ultra II 2Gg
- Exposure: f/4, 1/250 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2005-08-11 4:29
- Favorites: 1 [view]