What's in a Name? - Cambodia

Tuesday 01 Sep

Cathie's Khmer friends don't call her Cathie... 

"We are discovering that in the community centric Khmer culture, identity and status is shaped by who you are in relation to others. Down at the local market no one addresses me by my name - it is always Bong Srey! This is a generic term for a female you know who is around the same age as you. To begin with this seemed a bit strange, as in Australia addressing someone by their name is so important - the first thing you do when you meet someone is learn their name.

Then one day a neighbour who likes to practice her English with me, didn’t address me as Bong Srey but as sister. I realised that Srey not only meant female but sister. To be female is to be a sister. In Cambodia identity is not defined by an individuals name or gender but on a relationship. How good was it to be called sister/srey by a neighbour who barely knew me, especially at a time when I had just left all my family and friends in Australia!

We pray you can find hope in the relationships you have with others and God at this time and find creative ways to connect and reach out." 
- Cathie, Cambodia
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