.Take 12 (Click the number for info of entire trip)
Catholic believers used to say their “Lord’s Prayer”, “Our father who are in heaven, give us this day our daily bread.”. Even after skipping breakfast, Chong Kneas people still need to pray for total of 14 meals a week. On Sunday, they can get the free pork soup after mass, but there are another 13 meals to confront each week, rain or sunshine.
These people live in animal condition, in regards to registration as human being with local authorities, and in living condition. Generation after generation, they have not been issued civil documents like birth certificate or marriage certificate or death certificate. All they have to identify themselves are the personal identification. They have no right to live, no right to exit. From time to time, in political turmoil, Cambodians residents or government beheaded them and dumped the corpses into water; then the current took them down to Mekong River and down to fatherland Vietnam. That’s the only occasion they can “return” home.
The conflict between Cambodian and Vietnamese in Cambodia never ends. On Dec 20, 2006, a young TrekEarth friend wrote me:
Thanks for all your pictures of Cambodia especially pictures of Vietnamese in Cambodia. I knew the things happening here since I used to live and work in Cambodia for 4 years since 1999. Most of Vietnamese don't know or don't believe about the stories of Vietnamese living in Cambodia and Thailand. They live their life like hell, they were afraid of speaking Vietnamese because the local people don't like Vietnamese. I really don't know why, All Cambodian say that if Vietnamese didn't come to help them to fight against Khmer Rouge, they had been killed all, but they still don't like Vietnamese even a little — just one answer can sever my wondering, “is that racial discrimination something in the blood of Cambodian people?”
One more thing I wonder about is why the Vietnamese live in Cambodia don't want to come back to Vietnam. I asked a lot Vietnamese working in Cambodia, and the answers are "no money". The "money" here is not the transportation cost from Cambodia to Vietnam but the sum of take-home money that can make them be proud of with their friends and their family. In the eye of their friends and family, they are foreigners also. So staying in here nobody from their hometown knows about the real life of them. And after more days and months and years and generations, they will never have a slim chance to repatriate.” (VictorPhung)
Well, the answer to Victor is floating as the way these people are living. Before the collapse in 4-1975, South Vietnam government did nothing to help. Now that the entire Indochina has peace for 32 years. The question of these people still be left unanswered by new regime. The Kingdom of Cambodia doesn’t recognize them as human. Vietnamese Embassy offered a continuing silence. These people believe they are oversea Vietnamese, just like other “Việt kiều” in Orange County, California, or Paris, France. The only difference is their empty hands.
Please looking into this kid’s eyes. Can you tell she is an animal?
Critiques | Translate
wolf38 (31296) 2007-05-24 5:55
Hello Thanh. Your photo is a touching document. The very serious view of the girl is impressing. It remains for the viewer in memory. A outstanding journalistic photo. Best regards, Wolfgang.
ugurbocegi (36) 2007-05-24 6:17
What a misery !
It's very nice documentary picture. Thanks
PSYOPS (0) 2007-05-24 6:21
If I was running the UNICEF, I would ask your permission to have this photograph printed as big posters for its fund raising promotion.
After looking into her eyes, I also looked closely to her both legs, with scare and stuff to "prevent" evil, as I saw and had been explained while I was in Danang, Vietnam.
cknara (556) 2007-05-24 7:25
Stunning Eye of the girl..the photo really captures the mood to the place..
Its pity that still many in the world suffer for one meal.
Flamboyant (0) 2007-05-24 8:41
The eyes of the little kid sealed to me, I cannot erase them for awhile.
I wish I was there to share the feelings of your valuable trip.
Yuanclarkson (38) 2007-05-24 10:12
A "two-thumb-up" journalist picture!
mikecone (15) 2007-05-24 11:15
The image is really inviting because the child's eyes are fantastic.
Reviewing your series, I noticed that you mostly aimed your focus on the impression of your subject's face, and this required a hidden or abstract connection between them and the photographer. In regards to this, you are successful.
Neverthelees a very beautiful photo, I like it a lot. Thanks for posting it.
michiels (4170) 2007-05-25 4:32
Great photo, nice point of view to create the strength of the image ! But it is sad, the note is very touching and i cannot understand the world... everywhere is the same story, other people ,other circumstances , but the same stupid problems !!!
i hope it will change one day and it's good to show it to the world.
TRASH (0) 2007-05-25 18:57
I can't say I enjoy the troubled face of this innocent girl, but I am glad to know how deep you ventured into this trek.
ChristineLe (59) 2007-05-27 11:32
You have captured a great moment from the kid's vision. Looks to me she had to fight to have her meal, and she would fight again to protect it, at any cost.
It's the hunger that prompts us to lose humanity, and this became spindle of pocily that was best used by the Vietnam government against the former officers of recent regime in their so-called re-education camps.
- Copyright: Ngy Thanh (ngythanh) (8572)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-03-18
- Categories: Daily Life, Food
- Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 16-35mm F/2.8L-USM, SanDisk Ultra II 2Gg
- Exposure: f/13.0, 1/80 seconds
- Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): The Floating Misery, A quick return to Chong Kneas [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-05-24 5:38