please contact Chey Mongkol at:
Language and Culture Association of Surin province (LCASP)
P.O.Box 27, Surin City, Thailand
Tel & Fax: 044520179
Sunday-Monday, 17-18 Frebruary 2008
Sralanh Khmer newspaper
Translated from Khmer by KI-Media
Ear Channa, a representative of Cambodians living in Norway told Sralanh Khmer over the phone yesterday that: “We collected some funds to provide to Mr. Chey Mongkol, the teacher of Khmer language in Surin, Thailand. The reason we put effort to collect funds for the teaching of Khmer language to Khmer children is because we want them to preserve their identity and to preserve our national interest on this former Khmer land, and because we want to preserve the value of Khmer language and renown which existed since long ago.”
Ear Channa said that the funds which was handed to Chey Mongkol amounts to about 3,000 krones or about US$500. The funds came from generous Cambodian donors living in Norway: (1) Cambodian Buddhist Association in Norway: 1,000 krones, (2) Ear Bunrin: 500 krones, Men Nath: 300 krones, You Saravuth: 200 krones, Chham Chhany: 200 krones, Nov Veasna: 200 krones, Yin Kim: 100 krones, Om Virakbotr: 100 krones, Ear Channa: 300 krones, giving a total of 3,000 krones.
Ear Channa added that this small amount of funding which he collected was handed over to Chey Mongkol already and this action was done to encourage Khmer people living there to continue their struggle and their mission to preserve Khmer literature for younger Khmer generations, and to preserve Khmer identity in the name of Khmer people who can read, write their own Khmer language. He said that this fund will encourage Khmer Surin teachers to continue preserving Khmer literatures in Surin province.
Sralanh Khmer praises the generosity of Khmer people living in Norway for their help to preserve our literature and culture, even though they live in a country far away from their own, our Khmer people still remain in their minds.
Cambodia lost many provinces to Thailand, among these provinces, Khmer people in Buriram, Surin, Kok Khan, Sisaket still speak Khmer. Provinces where Khmer is almost forgotten are: Chanbury, Trayang, Paschimbury, and Nokor Reach Seyma. None of the Cambodian governments have thought about the lost of Khmer lands in Thailand at all, not only that, they never asked Thailand to allow Khmer people in Thailand to study Khmer so that they would not lose their national language, and their customs. No Cambodian governments have ever taken these actions.
Some documents indicated that Cambodia lost about 60,000-square-kilometer to Thailand, these lands cover 10 Thai provinces where 7 million Khmer people are still living in. Khmer people aged less than 40-year-old do not speak Khmer anymore, because Khmer children must attend Thai schools. Currently, Khmer Surin songs are (famously) known as Kantrem music.
41-year-old Chey Mongkol is married to Akhara, the couple has a daughter by the name of Apsara. This Khmer family comes from Kauk Khan province, and Chey Mongkol opened two Khmer language schools in Surin province.