Opposite the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh and next to the river was a large park. On a Saturday evening it was much like any city park you would see: families having barbecues, young children feeding the pigeons, couples going for walks, different groups socialising together. Standing out though amongst this scene were groups of Buddhist monks in their vivid orange robes. Cambodia is a Buddhist country and so this sight was in fact common throughout my stay but particularly so in this area of town, being close to Buddhist schools and universities. I got chatting to a group of three – all who were still studying, about their ambitions for the future as well as their family background. I was keen to find out more about the sizes of their families as I had read that a trait of many Cambodian families was their large size in comparison to the smaller western families I was familiar with growing up in the UK.
‘I want to be in a community – and be part of one. I want to work in a business.’
– Veasana, 21, one of 3 siblings
‘I want to be a teacher.’
– Kim song, 22, one of 9 siblings
‘I want to be a teacher as well. I’m not sure why!’
– Sovanna, 23, one of 7 siblings