I don’t think, it is a mistake to be born as a woman. And I also don’t believe that it is a mistake to be born as a Cambodian woman. It might be true that Cambodia could be one of the toughest place to be a woman, but that does not mean you have to be in trapped and losing your life because of the social pressure.
I personally have been breaking through this social norms that has been last hundred of years, and by breaking these norms does not mean I am a bad person, or I have destroyed the beautiful culture , but I only do what it is right for my heart.
Coming to the contemporary dancing workshop with the group of 4 young Cambodians in Siem Reap, I felt like, we are in the same situation where we receive the social pressure from just doing the things we love. The New Cambodians Artists have touched my heart. They made me think that I am not alone to fight through this battle.
I have asked the girls how they felt about this contemporary dance, and what challenged they have faced. All of them said, it has been very challenging when there were no support from the society. To do this dance, they have to train everyday between 2 to 3 hours. One piece of dance took them 6 months to create and practice everyday. They train until they have muscle. They are strong. They were just a regular traditional dance, but they have been trained for many years now. Their piece of work is amazing, when I was watching they dance, I could feel the energy. They are amazing, it makes me come to realized that — “Regardless of gender, you can be as good as you wish. You only need to take a believe in yourself and don’t give up”.
Like these dancers, they have been training so hard to be who they are today, they express themselves through dance, even though there are many challenges from the society they are living in. They do what their heart feels, and they have done no harm to other people.
In the dance, I still feel the traditional dance that last for thousand of years, but they only recreate a piece and show to the world. After the workshop, we were sitting and sharing our struggling story and we surely understood our hardship of being in the society that is still struggle of finding the equality.