How Beer culture destroyed my family and Cambodian lives

It happened to my family in 2011. I remembered that time at 1:00pm afternoon. I was having a nap. I really enjoy my sleep. Suddenly, I heard a knocking on my small room door. It was not a normal knocking as it structed my door so intensely. I opened with any hesitation, my little brother told me that we had a car accident in the middle of way back home to Kampong Speu province, 90 kilometers South-west of Cambodia. I was stucked and my very first question was "How is it now?" My little brother answer me with deep crying, "I don't know for sure, but some of our family got severe injoured and may not survive." This answer almost killed me. I was stucked for a while. I then took the motobike heading to the hotspot. I found nobody there except the damaged van.

I asked people around and they told me, 'they don't know too.' But they noticed that there were few ambulances from different hospitals both private and public came to take all people to the hospital. My next mission was to find out all my family members in each hospitals in Phnom Penh city. I don't where to begin. However, I got a clue that there must be some private hopitals nearby came to take my family members as well.

I went to the nearby hospitals and I found three of them. Two were already passed away, very saddend moment to me. I began my work then on. I did not ask the doctors in that hospitals why they let my mom and my lovely little nephew dead. I just did my work by calling friends to help. I forwarded my remaining families to the public hospital and I called to the crematory center for permission to cremate my mom and nephew. I asked my friends to handle for a while those dead body at the temple. I went to officially register the remaning a live in the public hospital. Then I came back to the cremation center for the last ceremony.

I still was searching for my other family members. One after another, they called me that my father is in this hospital, my little sister is in that hospital, my grandma is in another hospital... Then I came to take them in one big, public hospital. For about 15 days, I can't sleep. I have to run from one hospital to another to deal with many issues such as finance, giving blood, x-ray, foods, cleaning...etc.

This is how my life begin. After everything setlled, I asked my family members why this thing happened to them while driving car back home. They told me that it was nothing else than beer. Nobody hit our car. We drove our car into that cruel accident. We didn't crush with any other cars, humans except killing our own family.

While driving our family back home, the driver was drunk. He insisted that he is not drunk; he can drive it. Of course, he could drive for already 200 kilometers from Prey Veng Province to Kampong Speu but he failed to reach the destination.

I blamed nobody. I know it was because of beer. We drink a lot beer in Cambodia. It is now become our culture to drink, regardless of any events or ceremony. We drink beer in all occasions both religous and non-religous events. When wedding party, we drink beer; birthday party, we drink beer; funeral ceremony, we also drink beer; and Pchum Ben which supposed to be a sad event we, the Cambodian, also choose to drink beer to cheer the event.

Why we got this culture? Who to blame? Why it is so popular like this? Do they recognize any damages from this culture? I believe they know it both all people and the government but why no action. Some people would say it is because government did not take serious action to discourage drinking beer but I feel like people have no pressure to the government to take action.

If beer culture is resulting bad to our people's lives and need to very quick response why we have to wait for action from the government. Why don't we start from ourselves? Each of us is killing our family members and the whole nation if we keep this culture alive. It is noteworthy to note that every day there are at least five to ten traffic accidents causing by drunk driving or beer related problems. And every day there are 2 to 7 Cambodian people get killed because of these traffic accident. Much worse than HIV/AIDS that used to be the number one killer in Cambodia, traffic accident gains its way to the top now. Many people lost their love ones because of this. When I go out to work, I never feel sure about my life. I do not if it will be me or my family suffered from traffic accident since the proportion of killing by traffic accident is very high.

Why not reducing or giving up drinking beer if we need our family members stay with us longer. Why don't we stop drinking beer if we our Cambodia grow faster and become a civilized nation as it used to be in Angkor Empire. Think of it again, please!. I hope my real story can help change all of you from this suffering.
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About One Book One Wisdom

My name is Horn Ken. I design this blog with purpose to share leadership development tips and also working to find greatest sources for leadership building. I hope users benefit from this blog as I do. Please kindly share it if you find my article useful!