“You should marry a rich guy.” This is what older generation across Cambodia say to girls. Fall in love with a wealthy guy so that your life is complete. People prioritize money over actual love because with money, you can do anything and you will be happy. This is what many Cambodians believe in.
On the 8th of December, 2017, I attended an event related to my current Exploration, which is “Gender Equity.” It was actually a play called “I am a daughter,” and it will be shown to government schools both in Phnom Penh and provinces. Due to limited fund, they only have two government high school students as actor and actress. There is a boy that played as a grand mother, a guy that the main character was being forced to married to, and Soya (main character’s best friend – a girl.) On the other hand, the girl is the main character and also Soya’s husband.
At the beginning of the play, the grandmother is urging the main character to quit studying to marry this wealthy man. However, she refuses because education is more important to her than marriage. So, her grand mother tries to come up with many benefits of marrying this man. Moreover, she tells her to look at Soya (best friend) as a role model because Soya married at an early age and now has a baby and a delightful life.
With the pressure from her family, she talks with the guy that she supposes to marry to to let him know about her intention before the marriage. The guy understands and let her finishes high school and college. While she is receiving high education, her best friend regrets her decision of marrying because her husband abused her. At the end, she marries the rich guy and has a kid.
Personally, I think this play really reflects the idea of wanting rich man and why we should stop believing it. This play can end at when the main character finishes her study and have a job without marrying; however, this is a good example of how to create change by preserving culture. In Cambodian culture, woman needs to marry someone. Nevertheless, she should marry a man because of love instead of money.