For most people, Cambodia is a faraway land, where its inhabitants work hard and pray to Buddha. However, it is a country with strict social norms, mores, and traditions, where education is valued, and female behavior is controlled strictly. Although despite the social tendency of overprotecting “good daughters”, the sex industry is thriving.
Contradictions and double standards of Cambodia certainly take by surprise. In a country where female virginity is so highly valued and is a mark of good education, sex workers actually make money on it, selling their bodies like fruits at the market. Cambodia is a land of contrast, where one people strictly stick to millennial traditions, while others do the opposite, working for their own relative good. It turns out that sex workers set a price for the most sacramental thing and do not feel like doing something particularly wrong. For them, it just a way to earn their living. Such differences in principles in the same society and ethnic group surprise the reader and make the one wonder.
Surely, the increasing quantity of sex workers reflects on the general image of the national health. Cambodia is not a place where awareness and circumspection are priorities when it concerns sex. Until recently, contraception was quite unpopular. Consequently, in 1991, the first case of the AIDS infection was detected. The virus was spreading as long as the sex industry was gaining momentum. Naturally, the representatives of this group were the main victims. They were also the main agents responsible for HIV and AIDS spread. Since it was the national health issue, certainly, the government was involved. However, the way in which it has dealt with the problem in Cambodia is strange and frightening. The government policy is based on cooperation between the municipality and the industry. Brothel chiefs are actually involved in the cooperation policy and are not pursued or punished. The public health initiative is based on the idea of safe sex using sex workers as a way of delivering the information. Unfortunately, customers are not always conscious and aware of the hazard of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, the very process of convincing them to use a condom may seem ridiculous and sad at the same time. The way in which the Cambodians deal with this issue reveals a distinction between realities on different sides of the planet. Thus, this problem will always be a topic for discussion.
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Like every young person from a village, Cambodians dream about leaving the nest and go to see “the real life” in a big city. For a young provincial maximalist, it is a way to break the behavioral pattern. All they are charmed with the idea of the urban style and attitudes. Enjoying images of the big city life, young women quickly lose their excitement and fascination. Usually, it happens when they realize that they need to work and take care of their security on their own. High expectations and the desire to turn their life into an adventure make people totally forget about their rural life and behavior rules. They need to choose between roots and perspectives. The gap between these two worlds is so considerable that there is no middle. Moreover, what is surprising that most of them start feeling homesick. They give up the idea of living in a big city because nostalgic feelings are too strong. Those who stay confident and continue chasing the urban lifestyle tend to forget their countryside. The most interesting part of it is that most of them do come back home. In order to analyze this fact, the Cambodian mentality should be examined further.
In conclusion, Cambodia is situated on another side of the Earth. The language is different, people pray to another god there. Still, human desires are mostly the same. They want to be happier and keep picturing a better future. Cambodians want to work less, stay healthy and see their kids growing happily. To be honest, it is not so much to ask.
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