Friday, December 7, 2007

Khmer Teaching in Mahasarakham

I am happy after listening the Radio of Free Asia broadcasted on December 5th, 2007 about Khmer Surin: Living, Cutlure and Langauage by Mr. San Sowit, and especially one is the news of launching Khmer teaching schools by Mr. Chay Mongkol. It really help to contributes in promoting Khmer language in the territory of ancientKhmer empire. I hope Khmer Surin will be brave in preventing their valuable heritage in order to keep their Khmer identities, firstly Khmer language. 50 years ago, Khmer dialect in Thailand were forbidden by Thai authority at that time and only Thai language was used for every communication (cf. RFA). Nowadays, All languages and dialects are freely used in Thailand. Khmer language used to be abandonned or spoken furtively in the past in this country is being used and promoted by Khmer ethnic. Some Thai Universities or Institutes also have opened courses about Khmer. InMahasarakham University, for example, the Khmer Study Center(Machamondul Khemara Seksa) which a unit under Department of Thai and Oriental languages, has been working for three year in Khmer courses. At the present time, this unit has twenty students being learning in Khmer major. Each of them will be rewarded a degree of Bachelor of Art in Khmer Literature at the end of their four-year courses in Khmer in the University. Those students are from some provinces in Thailand especially Surin, Buriram and Sisaket. Some of Thai students in Mahasarakham, which are from the some provinces of Northeastern Thailand, also interest in Khmer. Every term of academic year, 300 to 500 students register to take their courses related to Khmer, as such Khmer for Daily Life, Language and Khmer Culture, Khmer for Communication and so on. This is a big step that lead every people, especially the young generation of Khmer neighboring countries have time to understand what Khmer has in the past and they will broaden their good willing to Khmer, I expect.

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