LINES OF THOUGHT ACROSS SOUTHEAST ASIA

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Editorial

Tonle Sap fish reward, latest Lao film, climate change in Cambodia

Researchers release 1,600 fish, Mattie Do movie critiques colonialism and an author speaks about Troubling the Water

March 26, 2022
Tonle Sap fish reward, latest Lao film, climate change in Cambodia

Hello Globe readers,

This week’s stories range from wildlife to food to film.

Reporting from the depths of the Sre Ambel River earlier this month, Anton L. Delgado watched as conservationists completed the largest crocodile release in Cambodia, sending 25 critically endangered Siamese crocodiles into the waters of the Cardamom Mountains. Farmers have been donating crocodiles for release and breeding, a hopeful shift in the effort to protect the region’s remaining wild crocs.

In Laos, filmmaker Mattie Do’s latest movie, The Long Walk, plays with ghosts, regret, murder and time travel, all with a powerful undercurrent of colonialist critique, reporter Govi Snell writes in a review. The film, released digitally on 1 March, successfully cuts through stereotypical expectations of Southeast Asian cinema that Do refers to as “mystical poverty porn” while also exploring themes of personal loss.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine hits its one-month mark, Singapore’s only Ukrainian-Russian restaurant is using a beloved cross-cultural item to take a stand against the war: dumplings. After initially facing hate speech online, the owners of Dumplings Ru have committed 10% of their delivery sales to Ukrainian humanitarian aid while they reel from the news back home, editor Amanda Oon reports.

Tonle Sap fishermen might soon find lime-green tags on their haul, plus instructions to take the captured fish to local authorities for a cash reward. Researchers poured nearly 1,600 tagged fish across three different species into the lake earlier this month, Anton reports. Among them was a critically endangered, 5-foot Mekong catfish nicknamed Samnang, the Khmer word for “Lucky.”

Reporter Jack Brook dove further into Tonle Sap Lake coverage in a compelling interview with Abby Seiff, a former Cambodia Daily and Phnom Penh Post journalist whose newly released book, Troubling the Water, chronicles the devastating effects of the Mekong River’s diminishing volume on the lake’s ecology and communities. In short, Seiff said, Cambodia is “extremely vulnerable” to climate change.

Lastly, the Spring Festival is happening tonight at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra. If you haven’t got a plan for this evening, come and enjoy great music, delicious food and have fun with your friends and family. You can buy the ticket at the event. If you need more information check here.

Stay safe and enjoy this week’s stories.



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