Selamat Tahun Baru!
Sou Sdey Chnam Tmey!
Hnit Thit Ku Mingalar Pa!
Manigong Bagong Taon!
Selamat Tahun Baru!
Sou Sdey Chnam Tmey!
Hnit Thit Ku Mingalar Pa!
Manigong Bagong Taon!
So, Brother Denith, Happy Birthday to you!
- Selamat Hari Lahir!
- Selamat Ulang Tahun!
- Souksaan Van-kheud!
- Selamat Hari Jadi!
- Mwe Nay
- Maligayang Kaarawan!
- Souksan Wan-keud!
- Chúc Mừng Sinh Nhật!May your life be blessed with good health and prosperity for many years ahead, Denith!
Goodluck to the athletes and to SEA Games in Nakhon Ratchasima!
ASEAN Vision 2020
ASEAN should be a community conscious of its ties of history, aware of its cultural heritage, and bond by a common regional identity.
The ASEAN Snapshots is a 10-part documentary series. Each episode will portray a member country's individual identity, be it the country's colourful places or its unique ethnic costumes or iconic symbols or its majestic heritage. The series is produced by MediaCorp with partners from ASEAN countries, and was commissioned by the ASEAN COCI.
We have created this high comfort level that we have with one another. We have also evolved a unique ASEAN Way of solving problems, of talking as a family, of developing a habit of what I call 'mutual accomodation in the search of consensus'.
A small Islamic sultanate,
The climate in this hilly and rugged country is determined by the equatorial monsoons, or rain-bearing winds. Rainfall is heavy and is distributed throughout the year. Annual precipitation varies from 100 inches (250 centimeters) in the coastal areas to more than 200 inches (500 centimeters) in parts of the interior. Temperatures average between 76° and 86° F (24° and 30° C). Dense tropical rain forests cover three fourths of the country and are characterized by a variety of hardwood species.
The principal language is Malay, but Chinese and English are widely spoken. Most of the people live near the petroleum fields at Seria and Kuala Belait.
The largest concentration of urban population is in
Hi everyone, today I'm posting my favorite folktale from Cambodia. The story was provided by Goombaking of AsiaFinest (thx bro!), and the illustrations was given to me by my friend (an Indonesian artist), Li Julian. It's quite a long story, so brace yourself! The post was taken word-for-word from Frank Smith's Khmer textbook (Kamlang Phiasaa by Frank Smith, 2006, www.studykhmer.com).
The tales unfolds as follows: there was a peasant couple, and the wife had a dream. In this dream, a holy man in white gave her three rings, which she soon lost. The man told her that the rings represented three types of BON . Intrigued and puzzled by her dream, the woman sent her husband to a fortune teller. He told the husband that the dream meant his wife was pregnant with a child who would have great spiritual power or BON BARAMI . The fortune teller also warned her to avoid eating unripe mangoes at all costs (it’s very common for magical powers to be dependent on the avoidance of a taboo of some kind; for instance, if KRU KHMER walk under a woman’s skirt hanging on a clothesline, they lose their powers). Mangos also happen to be a food that Khmer pregnant women are commonly thought to crave (the Khmer version of “pickles and ice cream,” or something like that). So of course, the woman got a craving for them. When her husband was off working the fields, she shimmied up a mango tree to try to pick one. While high up in the tree, she reached out for a lone fruit on a far branch. The branch she was perched on broke and she fell to her death. As the woman hit the ground, her belly burst open and out came a baby - Preah Kaew- and his older brother, a calf, who was born able to talk: ‑Preah Ko. The father returned and was of course distraught at the scene. But the villagers reacted in a worse way. They were convinced that the death of a pregnant woman (bad enough to begin with, if you’ll recall!) out of whose belly came an animal could not be a good omen, and they chased the man and his children out of the village. The father foraged for them the best that he could.
Meanwhile, after moving on to another village, while talking with some village boys tending cows, the now young lad Preah Kaew is taunted for being poor and having no food to eat. At this, Preah Ko moos and from his mouth comes forth silver and gold dishes with all sorts of delicious food on them, so his brother could eat in style. When he was done eating, Preah Ko swallowed the dishes again. The cowherd boys run and tell their parents about the cow who had coughed up and then swallowed the gold and silver plates. The villagers formed a posse to cut open ‑Preah Ko's belly and take the riches for themselves. At that point in the story, we’re introduced to yet another of ‑Preah Ko's powers. He commands his younger brother to grab hold of this tail, and takes to the sky flying to escape.
Eventually ‑Preah Ko and ‑Preah Kaew‘s father dies in the forest of starvation, for Preah Ko explains that he was not allowed to provide magical food for their father, only for ‑Preah Kaew. After ‑Preah Kaew grows into a handsome young man, one day he stumbles upon the king’s daughters bathing in a pond, and falls in love with the youngest, Neang Poev. ‑Preah Kaew complains to his brother that there’s no way he could court a princess in his ragged and destitute state. ‑ Preah Ko once again opens his mouth, and this time produces an entire palace for ‑Preah Kaew to live in, and splendid, regal clothes for the younger brother. A bit of flirting ensues between ‑Neang Poev and Preah Kaew, which is seen by her older sisters. Jealous, they report her “scandalous” behavior to her father the king. He is furious, and orders Neang Poev executed (in some versions of the story, he simply banishes her to the forest). The royal guard drags her out of the palace and beheads her.
Luckily for all involved, Indra (Preah Ehn) takes pity on the princess and magically restores her head back to her neck and breathes life back into her body. After wandering in the forest for a while she is seen by Preah Ko, who gives her the same kind of fabulous royal clothes he gave his younger brother. Then he performs a marriage ceremony for the two. Now, here’s where the historical part of the legend comes in. It seems that the king of
All’s not well that ends well, though, and the Siamese get suspicious. Their royal fortune teller discovers the existence of Preah Ko preah kaev in particular Preah Ko, who has within him all the mystical, scientific, artistic, military and literary knowledge that the Khmers learned from the Indians. The Thai king then hatches a plot with his ministers and advisors to abduct Preah Ko for his own uses. Now you can start to see the large-scale metaphors in this tale, right? Preah Ko —or more accurately, the magic contained within him, which is in fact the third type of BON spoken of by the fortune teller who Preah Ko Preah Kaew‘s father consulted when his wife first related her dream to him—symbolizes all of the high knowledge that the powerful Khmer kingdom learned from Indian sources and put to use in their rise to ascendancy in the region. The Siamese desire to usurp the Khmers as the premier mandala in the region is
symbolized in this story by the their desire to acquire Preah Ko. This reflects the actual Thai desire to acquire all of the high knowledge of the Khmers, something they did with the sacking of
So here’s how all of this historical reality is played out in the story: the Thais decide to challenge the Khmers to an oxen fight next, knowing for sure that Preah Ko will be the Khmer combatant. But the Thais don’t put an ox of their own into the battle. They instead build a mechanical or robot ox, emboldened by their fortune teller’s prediction that Preah Ko will soon meet with misfortune. Sure enough, the mechanical ox is too much for our hero, and rather than face defeat and capture by the Siamese (the match is being held on Thai soil), he yells for Preah Kaew and Neang Poev to grab onto his tail, and off they go. Unfortunately, as the trio is flying over Cambodian, Neang Poev loses her grip on Preah Ko‘s tail, and falls to her death. Indra shows up again, this time not to bring her back to life but rather to turn her into a mountain, which is supposed to be in the
The Siamese general got a brilliant idea, however. Instead of shooting cannonballs at the fortress, he had his men load their cannons with silver coins, and fired those into the dense bamboo cover. The Siamese army then retreated back to
Such taboos are common for those with magical powers in Khmer belief, as mentioned in Chapter Three. For instance, kru khmae, traditional ritual specialists, are not allowed to walk under speu `trees, women’s clothing hanging on a line, and various other things, lest they lose all their magic (saabaselb). The Siamese were thus able to capture the pair. They took them back to
claiming to have seen Preah Ko. Some people even claim to own a cow or ox who is inhabited by Preah Ko’s spirit and can perform healing of the sick and other acts.
Denith: Preah Ko is also known as the Keeper of Khmer culture for some reasons: the loss of Preah Ko results in today similarity of Khmer and Thai culture. Actually, Preah ko is a statue containing Khmer records on religions, traditions, cultures, knowledge, study, history... King Chan Reachea managed to keep all of these records in Preah Ko in order to secure it from being lost. But...
Me and my friends love to try out different kinds of cuisines. We live in
After Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Thai, we decided to visit this Vietnamese restaurant. Neither one of us had the experience of eating Vietnamese food, so we didn’t know what to expect. This is kind of sad, as we live in the same region and our countries are partners in ASEAN.
It took us quite a while before we ordered, because we have to ask the waitress about the food first. At last (to our waitress’ relief I’m sure), Bayou ordered Banh Cuo Ga and Ga Tam Uop Nuong, I ordered Goi Cuan Rau and Thit Bo Bam Xao La Hung, Julian ordered Pho Bo, and Mel ordered Mien Cua. For the drinks, we ordered Lemongrass Tea and Mint Tea.
You know what? All of us enjoyed our meal! Although the names sounds foreign and the way they use the ingredients are a bit unusual for us, the tastes really fit our taste. Regardless if they were good examples of real Vietnamese food or not, they were spicy and hot, it suits our Indonesian palate well.
Maybe this experience is not such a big deal for most people, but somehow I think these kinds of small, personal and trivial things that could bring us feel closer together.
About ASEAN (Context from official ASEAN website)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984, Vietnam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999.
The ASEAN region has a population of about 500 million, a total area of 4.5 million square kilometers, a combined gross domestic product of almost US$ 700 billion, and a total trade of about US$ 850 billion.
The ASEAN Declaration states that the aims and purposes of the Association are: (1) to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and (2) to promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries in the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
The ASEAN Vision 2020, adopted by the ASEAN Leaders on the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN, agreed on a shared vision of ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies.
In 2003, the ASEAN Leaders resolved that an ASEAN Community shall be established comprising three pillars, namely, ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.
ASEAN Member Countries have adopted the following fundamental principles in their relations with one another, as contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC):
mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, and national identity of all nations;
the right of every State to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion;
non-interference in the internal affairs of one another;
settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful manner;
renunciation of the threat or use of force; and
effective cooperation among themselves.
ASEAN SECURITY COMMUNITY
Through political dialogue and confidence building, no tension has escalated into armed confrontation among ASEAN Member Countries since its establishment more than three decades ago.
To build on what has been constructed over the years in the field of political and security cooperation, the ASEAN Leaders have agreed to establish the ASEAN Security Community (ASC). The ASC shall aim to ensure that countries in the region live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic and harmonious environment.
The members of the Community pledge to rely exclusively on peaceful processes in the settlement of intra-regional differences and regard their security as fundamentally linked to one another and bound by geographic location, common vision and objectives. It has the following components: political development; shaping and sharing of norms; conflict prevention; conflict resolution; post-conflict peace building; and implementing mechanisms. It will be built on the strong foundation of ASEAN processes, principles, agreements, and structures, which evolved over the years and are contained in the following major political agreements:
ASEAN Declaration, Bangkok, 8 August 1967;
Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality Declaration, Kuala Lumpur, 27 November 1971;
Declaration of ASEAN Concord, Bali, 24 February 1976;
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, Bali, 24 February 1976;
ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea, Manila, 22 July 1992;
Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, Bangkok, 15 December 1997;
ASEAN Vision 2020, Kuala Lumpur, 15 December 1997; and
Declaration of ASEAN Concord II, Bali, 7 October 2003.
In recognition of security interdependence in the Asia-Pacific region, ASEAN established the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994. The ARF’s agenda aims to evolve in three broad stages, namely the promotion of confidence building, development of preventive diplomacy and elaboration of approaches to conflicts.
The present participants in the ARF include: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, China, European Union, India, Indonesia, Japan, Democratic Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea (ROK), Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Thailand, the United States, and Viet Nam.
The ARF discusses major regional security issues in the region, including the relationship amongst the major powers, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, transnational crime, South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula, among others.
ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY
The ASEAN Economic Community shall be the end-goal of economic integration measures as outlined in the ASEAN Vision 2020. Its goal is to create a stable, prosperous and highly competitive ASEAN economic region in which there is a free flow of goods, services, investment and a freer flow of capital, equitable economic development and reduced poverty and socio-economic disparities in year 2020.
The ASEAN Economic Community shall establish ASEAN as a single market and production base, turning the diversity that characterises the region into opportunities for business complementation and making the ASEAN a more dynamic and stronger segment of the global supply chain. ASEAN’s strategy shall consist of the integration of ASEAN and enhancing ASEAN’s economic competitiveness.
In moving towards the ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN has agreed on the following:
institute new mechanisms and measures to strengthen the implementation of its existing economic initiatives including the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) and ASEAN Investment Area (AIA);
accelerate regional integration in the following priority sectors by 2010: air travel, agro-based products, automotives, e-commerce, electronics, fisheries, healthcare, rubber-based products, textiles and apparels, tourism, and wood-based products.
facilitate movement of business persons, skilled labour and talents; and
strengthen the institutional mechanisms of ASEAN, including the improvement of the existing ASEAN Dispute Settlement Mechanism to ensure expeditious and legally-binding resolution of any economic disputes.
Launched in 1992, the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) is now in place. It aims to promote the region’s competitive advantage as a single production unit. The elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers among Member Countries is expected to promote greater economic efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness.
As of 1 January 2005, tariffs on almost 99 percent of the products in the Inclusion List of the ASEAN-6 (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) have been reduced to no more than 5 percent. More than 60 percent of these products have zero tariffs. The average tariff for ASEAN-6 has been brought down from more than 12 percent when AFTA started to 2 percent today. For the newer Member Countries, namely, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV), tariffs on about 81 percent of their Inclusion List have been brought down to within the 0-5 percent range.
Other major integration-related economic activities of ASEAN include the following:
Roadmap for Financial and Monetary Integration of ASEAN in four areas, namely, capital market development, capital account liberalisation, liberalisation of financial services and currency cooperation;
trans-ASEAN transportation network consisting of major inter-state highway and railway networks, including the Singapore to Kunming Rail-Link, principal ports, and sea lanes for maritime traffic, inland waterway transport, and major civil aviation links;
Roadmap for Integration of Air Travel Sector;
interoperability and interconnectivity of national telecommunications equipment and services, including the ASEAN Telecommunications Regulators Council Sectoral Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ATRC-MRA) on Conformity Assessment for Telecommunications Equipment;
trans-ASEAN energy networks, which consist of the ASEAN Power Grid and the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline Projects;
Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) focusing on infrastructure, human resource development, information and communications technology, and regional economic integration primarily in the CLMV countries;
Visit ASEAN Campaign and the private sector-led ASEAN Hip-Hop Pass to promote intra-ASEAN tourism; and
Agreement on the ASEAN Food Security Reserve.
ASEAN SOCIO-CULTURAL COMMUNITY
The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, in consonance with the goal set by ASEAN Vision 2020, envisages a Southeast Asia bonded together in partnership as a community of caring societies and founded on a common regional identity.
The Community shall foster cooperation in social development aimed at raising the standard of living of disadvantaged groups and the rural population, and shall seek the active involvement of all sectors of society, in particular women, youth, and local communities.
ASEAN shall ensure that its work force shall be prepared for, and benefit from, economic integration by investing more resources for basic and higher education, training, science and technology development, job creation, and social protection.
ASEAN shall further intensify cooperation in the area of public health, including in the prevention and control of infectious and communicable diseases.
The development and enhancement of human resources is a key strategy for employment generation, alleviating poverty and socio-economic disparities, and ensuring economic growth with equity.
Among the on-going activities of ASEAN in this area include the following:
The ASEAN Vision 2020 affirmed an outward-looking ASEAN playing a pivotal role in the international community and advancing ASEAN’s common interests.
Building on the Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation of 1999, cooperation between the Southeast and Northeast Asian countries has accelerated with the holding of an annual summit among the leaders of ASEAN, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) within the ASEAN Plus Three process.
ASEAN Plus Three relations continue to expand and deepen in the areas of security dialogue and cooperation, transnational crime, trade and investment, environment, finance and monetary, agriculture and forestry, energy, tourism, health, labour, culture and the arts, science and technology, information and communication technology, social welfare and development, youth, and rural development and poverty eradication. There are now thirteen ministerial-level meetings under the ASEAN Plus Three process.
Bilateral trading arrangements have been or are being forged between ASEAN Member Countries and China, Japan, and the ROK. These arrangements will serve as the building blocks of an East Asian Free Trade Area as a long term goal.
ASEAN continues to develop cooperative relations with its Dialogue Partners, namely, Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, the ROK, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, and the United Nations Development Programme. ASEAN also promotes cooperation with Pakistan in some areas of mutual interest.
Consistent with its resolve to enhance cooperation with other developing regions, ASEAN maintains contact with other inter-governmental organisations, namely, the Economic Cooperation Organisation, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Rio Group, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the South Pacific Forum, and through the recently established Asian-African Sub-Regional Organisation Conference.
Most ASEAN Member Countries also participate actively in the activities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the East Asia-Latin America Forum (EALAF).
STRUCTURES AND MECHANISMS
The highest decision-making organ of ASEAN is the Meeting of the ASEAN Heads of State and Government. The ASEAN Summit is convened every year. The ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (Foreign Ministers) is held annually.
Ministerial meetings on the following sectors are also held regularly: agriculture and forestry, economics (trade), energy, environment, finance, health, information, investment, labour, law, regional haze, rural development and poverty alleviation, science and technology, social welfare, telecommunications, transnational crime, transportation, tourism, youth. Supporting these ministerial bodies are committees of senior officials, technical working groups and task forces.
To support the conduct of ASEAN’s external relations, ASEAN has established committees composed of heads of diplomatic missions in the following capitals: Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Canberra, Geneva, Islamabad, London, Moscow, New Delhi, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Riyadh, Seoul, Tokyo, Washington D.C. and Wellington.
The Secretary-General of ASEAN is appointed on merit and accorded ministerial status. The Secretary-General of ASEAN, who has a five-year term, is mandated to initiate, advise, coordinate, and implement ASEAN activities. The members of the professional staff of the ASEAN Secretariat are appointed on the principle of open recruitment and region-wide competition.
ASEAN has several specialized bodies and arrangements promoting inter-governmental cooperation in various fields including the following: ASEAN Agricultural Development Planning Centre, ASEAN-EC Management Centre, ASEAN Centre for Energy, ASEAN Earthquake Information Centre, ASEAN Foundation, ASEAN Poultry Research and Training Centre, ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity Conservation, ASEAN Rural Youth Development Centre, ASEAN Specialized Meteorological Centre, ASEAN Timber Technology Centre, ASEAN Tourism Information Centre, and the ASEAN University Network.
In addition, ASEAN promotes dialogue and consultations with professional and business organisations with related aims and purposes, such as the ASEAN-Chambers of Commerce and Industry, ASEAN Business Forum, ASEAN Tourism Association, ASEAN Council on Petroleum, ASEAN Ports Association, Federation of ASEAN Shipowners, ASEAN Confederation of Employers, ASEAN Fisheries Federation, ASEAN Vegetable Oils Club, ASEAN Intellectual Property Association, and the ASEAN-Institutes for Strategic and International Studies. Furthermore, there are 58 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), which have formal affiliations with ASEAN.
More information on ASEAN can be found at the ASEAN Internet homepage at www.aseansec.org.