When people think of high rise buildings, they think of fabulous lives that people who reside in that building would have. However, what about lives of people who build the high rise buildings? The clip I saw was from Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Cambodia, which is in Asia, shares same cultural area with Korea with the religion, Buddhism. However, level of living in Cambodia is far behind than that of Korea due to its miserable history. Korea, also had tragic history but recovered fast, but Cambodia was deadlocked for a long period due to imperialism and political chaos. Therefore, it is developing only recently. The clip is the story of working class of Cambodia.
One Cambodian woman appears and narrates her story; how she lives and how she works. She was formally a farmer, raising rice, but it became impossible since her cows died. Therefore, she makes her living by working in the construction areas. She makes $1 to $1.85 per hour which is not so much. She says her country needs more tourists to make more money and says Koreans or Europeans will live in building that she builds. She says she can live in the building for the short period before real owners move in for joke and says she would not able to afford this high rise building; she laughs while saying this. She says, “I want to live high up, so I can see far, far away.” she is not so rich, actually she is rather poor. She is working to construct a building that she would not be able to afford. But she laughs away her hard situation. I assume, this is possible because she has a hope. One man also appears in the clip. He says he is working in construction area when it is not farming season. He says he made a lot of friends, knowing each other for 4 to 5 years but he prefers to live quietly. He says it is hard to keep his lifestyle, living and working with people with different lifestyles together. He says he regrets that he stopped studying because of his poor family background. He says he likes Khmer style, which has harp towers and bright, more than modern style; It shows he misses the past and wants to return.
When I was young I lived in Uijeongbu-si, Gyeonggi-do. I was born there, having lived there for my entire life until I was seven. My grandparents did not help my parents financially so they started from the bottom. My family lived in semi-basement; it was not a favorable place but I never thought of other places that I might live in because I admired that place so much. It was the only world that I knew. My father worked in office and my mother worked as well at that time. She was running video rental shop and my father helped her out after he returned from work. Knowing nothing, I was just happy that I could watch almost every movies and cartoon films. I lived in a small village where all the neighbors knew each other. Adults took care of children in town taking turns. It was acceptable for kids to visit neighbors’ house at any time. Elders took children to mountains and lakes at weekends, playing treasure hunt. We watched fireworks at night together when the near American Army Base set it off. Even I moved to near apartment and then to Bundang, it was precious experience in my life that I learned affection and care for others. The most important thing was that my family and I were happy there. It might not be appropriate to use the word “happy” since it is elementary word, but no word can replace it; we were just “happy”. My family had a hope and confidence about the future.When I was watching the clip, it reminded me of my personal experience and touched my heart. My family always wished to live a better life like the women in the clip wishes. My family worked hard and tried hard to raise our quality of living. We went travel frequently, learned scuba diving, ate healthy food, and so on. However, it is true that there existed time that we wanted to go back, just like the Cambodian man wishes. It was not a perfect paradise after we moved to Bundang. For me, Bundang was a totally different place that I have never experienced, so it was hard to make friend at first. I was lonely; it was hard time that I had no friends, having no one to play with. As time passed, I made friends, but I had to compete to survive. I not only had to study but also had to solve conflicts with my friends and so on that I would not fall behind. It was harsh for me even I was so young. My family suffered for reasons that I do not know. In this period, I felt like I lost some virtues that I had in Uijeongbu. My family and I wanted to go back to time we lived in Uijeongbu; it seemed that we had nothing to worry at there. However, my family overcame with problems that seemed insoluble. Now, I know the virtues that I almost lost; they are confidence and hope. I believe, with those, people can overcome any difficult situation like I did. People would achieve things that they wished, when they bear adversity with those virtues. I wish I could endure all the hardships afterwards and also the Cambodian woman and man could, laughing problems away like the woman did.