May 14, 2009

Channe's view of America

I work with InSTEDD as the lead engineer at our Innovation Lab in Phnom Penh. I just spent one month in an IT training in the United States. My colleague, Mary Jane, asked me to share some of my observations as a Cambodian visiting the United States for the first time.

It was a great opportunity to learn about a democratic country. I had the chance to meet with many people and share experiences with them and learn from them about America culture and living.

America is a very disciplined country from my point of view. Government officers and the people obey the law. Police are everywhere to protect people and penalize the one’s who break the law.

I met with many Cambodian families there, including my colleagues’ relatives in Long Beach. They took us sightseeing and we had dinner then several times outside and at their home. Those Cambodian Americans are very friendly and they made us feel like we are one big family. One auntie we met works in US government social work. She told us that the US government oversees all the citizen employment by a citizen security number. This allows the government to know many people are unemployed all the time and help them financially during their jobless. To me, this kind of government service is excellent; it shows the government is taking care of their own people, and that the employed can pay their salary tax so the government can still keep supporting those who need help. That is the culture of sharing and generosity, I hope that in the near future Cambodia can also adopt this system.

I also noticed that when you purchase anything, from food to clothing to electronics, all are taxed and recorded in a system. That’s amazing! Your government has an very effective system in collecting tax.

As like every country, beside the amazing services and environment, there are still some areas in America which are unsecure. I hope you enjoyed my reflections on America. I hope you come to visit Cambodia and share your impressions.