“Terrible Karma” Cambodian Female Garment Worker Song, with translation

From a story by Uon Chin, Radio Free Asia, accessed on August 9, of a union rally in Phnom Penh, from July 25, of an estimate 5-7 thousand unionists.  A very sad song by female garment workers, titled “Terrible Karma.”  I typed out the song lyrics, and have included a first attempt at a translation (I am a bit intimidated by poetic translation, and found some of the lines difficult; suggestions for correction would be lovely, in the comments), below, after the break….

[update August 27, 2010: conversations with Chanroeun Pa, of  Cambodian Translation Link and Trent Walker of the Ho Center of Buddhist Studies at Stanford University have helped me amend some of the lines; thanks, Chanroeun and Trent!  The good things below are owed to the composers of the song, the bad things that remain are my fault.]

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Book Launch: Volume 1 of Khmer Translation of Professor Ian Harris’ Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice

I just received an announcement that Professor Ian Harris, author of the excellent introduction to Cambodian Buddhism, Cambodian Buddhism: History and Practice, will be present at the book launch of the first volume of the Khmer language translation of this important work.

  • The launch will take place at the Buddhist Institute of Cambodia, in Phnom Penh, near Hun Sen Park (ask older motodop drivers to go to the place where the “Yeak Gaich Kar” statue used to be; you’ll get there).
  • The launch takes place on Wednesday, August 11, 2010, in the morning.  The full program as released by the Buddhist Institute after the jump.  I am thrilled to see that Chhum Kunthea is the translator of this book, and will reflect on the process of translating the book at this program; I had the great good fortune to meet Kunthea a few years back at a conference where we were both presenting, and found her to be immensely impressive; I’m certain she’ll be doing great things to watch for.

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