As I was sending my short article and songs for KI-Media to post, I was wondering if I am doing the right thing or not. While perusing over the comments posted by readers of this website, especially regarding the Christmas message posted the web administrators, a reader commented:
“Please stop bring somethings that pollute Khmer any more. Ah Youn and Ah Seam did it all. KI if you really Khmer than bring real Khmer culture to Khmer will you.”
That comment forced me to stop and think carefully about my habit of sharing of Khmer Oldies songs with the readers of KI-Media. For one thing, even though the songs that I share are Khmer songs, some, if not all of them, are modern songs using western genre music (Cha Cha Cha, Slow Rock, Blue, Twist, Rock and Roll, Ram Vong, etc…). So does that mean I am polluting Khmer people also? Am I contributing to bringing “Non” Khmer culture to Khmer people?
At the risk of being pounded into a pulp again, let me raise a controversial issue with all the readers and I would appreciate it if you would share your opinion with me, be they positive or negative. In case some of us, Khmers, have forgotten our origin, our ancestors were Hinduism worshippers: Brahma, Vishnu, Siva were the deities our ancestors built those majestic temples for. Then came Buddhism which we also adopted from India as well. As I understand from the person who commented above, in his opinion, the unpolluted Khmer culture would be Buddhism and not Christianity as displayed by that Christmas message posted by KI-Media. Even though I pick empty cans for my humble living, I am still of the opinion that the person above has absolutely no clue as to what he was talking above. For one thing, neither Hinduism or Buddhism were the faith originally observed by our ancestors, it was animism which Wikipedia defines as: “a philosophical, religious or spiritual belief that souls or spirits exist not only in humans but also in all other animals, plants, rocks, natural phenomena such as thunder, geographic features such as mountains or rivers, or other entities of the natural environment.”
In fact, most, if not all Cambodians, even though the majority of us are Buddhist, we still worship some form of animism one way or another. Therefore, if I were to faithfully respect the wish of the person above, what kind of music would it be “kosher”, so to speak, for me to share?
But more importantly, to be a “Non” polluter of Khmer culture, what religion should I follow? Should I follow Hinduism or Buddhism which are of Indian origin? Is it OK to be Christian, a religion brought in originally by the European travelers? Shouldn’t I be animist like my ancestors, but then who can tell me what is Khmer-animist is all about any more?
By now, I hope you can see my point, when it comes to faith and religion, it is best to leave to each person to choose what is best and more fitting to one’s needs. We are better off having an open mind rather than being forced into a straight jacket and follow a single mold. After all, no religion teaches us to kill one another, only human beings do so to one another. With that in mind and with the help of Buddha, Christ, Allah, Yahweh, etc… I am now ready for your beating me into a pulp again. But, wait, before you do so, please listen to the songs below first, as the French said: “La musique adoucit les moeurs” – Music has a civilizing influence.
Pax vobiscum - Peace be with you!
P from Long Beach
So you wanna be a conservative Koun Khmer? Are you a Komloss-Achar then?
Pen Ran & Meas Samorn - Komloss-Achar
Don’t worry be happy! Chhub Pruoy Tov Bang!
Pen Ran - Chhub Pruoy Tov Bang!
Am I still a polluter of Khmer culture? Then there’s no hope left for me: Oss Phlov Heuy Bang!
Ros Sereysothea - Oss Phlov Heuy Bang!
So you still want me to be a conservative Khmer like you? Then you better teach me, that is if you are the top teacher: Krou Bang-hat Lekh Muoy
Meas Samorn - Krou Bang-hat Lekh Muoy
But, if you still hate me, go ahead beat me into a pulp, but wait, why do you cry while I sing my sad song: Bang Chrieng Neang Yum
Sin Sisamouth - Bang Chrieng Neang Yum