Monday, March 13, 2017

More stealing from Facebook.  This video was making the rounds among my expat friends in Phnom Penh.  And not in a positive way.  Most of the commentary was along the lines of: Whiny White Boy Doesn't Realize His Privilege.  Etc.

I've never really watched this guy's videos, but I vaguely know who he is because of some of the commentary he's inspired on Khmer440.  Apparently he has his faults.
But to be perfectly fair to him, what he's expressing in this video is not indicative of his faults as a human being.  This kind of negative attitude to the host country and host nationals is classic, textbook example of cultural shock.  Everyone goes through it, no matter how liberal or open-minded you think you are.

In my case, like most people, I had nothing but affection for the Khmers I knew personally.  My Khmer students, Khmer neighbors, Khmer  friends,  and Khmer co-workers were all the greatest people ever.
But after some time in Cambodia, like most expats, I would occasionally find myself negatively stereo-typing Khmers in general--when I was annoyed by the traffic patterns, for example, or the loud house parties, or the overly solicitous tuk-tuk drivers on the riverside.  Or, as this guy mentions in the video, the constant noise on the street.

So what he's saying is completely psychologically normal.
Does that mean he gets a free pass for saying it?  Well... that's the tricky part.  Especially now that it's out in a public forum and not just him blowing off steam in a bar to his friends.  That's the danger with social media these days.  Something I'm also not completely blameless on...

No comments: