What do Cambodians think about Vietnamese Cambodians?

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What do Cambodians think about Vietnamese Cambodians?

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Me myself as a Cambodian, I have a Vietnamese friend. We are friendly with each other. I really don’t care about our ethnicities because we are both humans. We should not just judge people because of their nationality, race, background or physical feature.

I find Vietnamese culture and history very interesting and I would like to learn more about them. Vietnamese songs are also nice to listen. We should live together happily not hating each other for no reasons. We Cambodians and Vietnamese should live with each other in peace and work with other to create a better future for our children because both of our countries had suffered too much from past wars.

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According to the Cambodian mid census 2013, there are 14,678 ethnic Vietnamese or Cambodian Vietnamese out of the Cambodian population of 15 million. However many Cambodian thinks that this number is around 1 million. They believe that apart from the ethnic Vietnamese who have been living in Cambodia for generations, there are illegal Vietnamese immigrants who have come to Cambodia recently.

Cambodian sees Vietnamese and Cambodian Vietnamese with suspicion and hostility towards them is ubiquitous. They have been the main target of hate crime by mob and political parties. Most opposition party particularly CRNP has used anti-Vietnamese sentiments to garner the voter’s support. During and after the national election 2008 and 2013, such hate crime becomes more prevalent. The reasons for the current distrust are many including conflicts between ancient Khmer and Vietnamese emperors and kings, lost territory to Vietnam (Saigon/Ho Chi Minh city was part of Cambodia once. Saigon is part of Vitenam since 17th century. Nguyen’s dynasty of Vietnam have had their administration in Mekong Delta (including Saigon) since early 17th century when the Khmer Kingdom had been weakened by their war against the Thailand/Siam kingdom), invasion by Vietnamese army in 1979 to overthrow the Khmer Rouge regime (For some the medicine -Vietnamese occupation later- was worse than the disease – Khmer Rouge) and existing border disputes.

Cambodian Vietnamese do not have the same status as Cambodian Chinese. Most of them do not have proper documents of citizenship and face difficulties owning house/land and stand for election or vote. Even local progressive political analyst, intellectuals and NGOs do not come forward for their support.

The Vietnamese Association in Cambodia (VAC) has branches in many provinces of Cambodia to help ethnic Vietnamese; however its membership is limited. Not many ethnic Vietnamese wants to associate with it because of the fear of becoming an easy target of any hate crime against them by Cambodians.

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Khmer Cambodians hate them, blame them for all of Cambodia’s problems, and adopt a racist attitude toward them.

Cambodia protests unmask anti-Vietnam views

Vietnam: The view from Cambodia

Racism against Vietnamese thriving

Vietnamese construction workers tell of tough times

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It’s impossible to answer what all ~14m Cambodians think.

Some will be prejudiced against them on principle (encouraged by government scapegoating).

Some will have a more nuanced, or even open-minded, view.

Some won’t have any opinion to speak of, or won’t even be aware of them.

Most people I’ve personally met are pretty reasonable, though they are deeply concerned by reports of large numbers of Vietnamese people being given Khmer ID cards, either to vote or to get around the common-sense protectionist policies. They are reasonably concerned about what this means for the entrenched corruption and authoritarianism of their government, and for the fragile development of their country.

But a few people have a real bee in their bonnet about everything to do with Vietnam. Unfortunately, these people tend to be the loudest. Always the way.

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I read some answers below. I only want to share about my experience in the first time traveling to Cambodia.

In Vietnam, some friends of mine told me that Cambodian do not like Vietnam, so When I talk to them it is better to me If I say I am Chinese.

I traveled to Banlung City from Gia Lai province with my motorbike in a adventure trip. When I met locals, they were very nice, friendly.

I had a chance to talk to some of them, and I said I was Vietnamese. They did not change their attitude, I appreciate that. A guy I met in Balung, he shared his experience to me when traveling to Vietnam as well.

I knew a litte bit about the history amid two nations, but it is the past, now the two countries are closer together.

By the way, the Khmer girls are so beautiful.

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